Major League Baseball players have long memories, as evidenced by Monday afternoon's brawl between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants.
All the way back in the 2014 playoffs, Washington star outfielder Bryce Harper hit two home runs off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland and admired the blasts, much to the chagrin of Strickland.
On Monday, the two players faced off for the first time since that postseason, and Strickland hit Harper in the hip with a 98 mph fastball, sparking a brawl between the two squads.
Noticeably absent from that scrum, however, was Giants catcher Buster Posey, who stayed standing behind home plate until the fight was in full swing. After many questioned why he didn't go out to try to protect his pitcher, he explained to reporters that he didn't know what was happening until it was too late:
“After it happened, I kind of saw Harper point. Next thing you know he’s going after him,” Posey said in the video. “Those are some big guys tumbling around on the ground.
“You see Mike Morse, is about as big as they come, and he was getting knocked around like a pinball. So, be a little dangerous to get in there sometimes.”
Indeed, Mike Morse, who stands 6'5" and weighs nearly 250 pounds, was sent flying to the ground, but it was thanks to a collision with his own teammate.
As the leader of both the Giants' offense and defense, perhaps having Posey avoid a wild scrum was for the best, but it still looks bad when the leader of the team doesn't defend his fellow players.
However, when you also consider Posey's history of injuries - specifically concussions - it starts to make a lot more sense why the star catcher was hesitant to get involved in the melee.
Plus, though he took a right hook to the face from Harper, Strickland seemed to be more than holding his own before the fight was broken up.
In fact, it took several of his San Francisco teammates to corral him and carry him back to the team's dugout. After the game, Strickland said he had a lot of adrenaline pumping through his system (via ESPN.com):
"He decided to come out, that's what he decided to do. It's go time. You protect yourself and stand your own ground," he said. "And I'll take what consequences come with it. I was pretty fired up, to be honest. It's part of the game."
The two teams continue their series on Tuesday and Wednesday, where there could be even more retaliation for Monday's antics yet to come.
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