Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bad blood doesn't boil over for Yankees, Tigers

Thankfully, the bad blood from last night's game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers didn't boil over into today.

The Yankees and Tigers played a relatively quiet game, with Phil Hughes pitching an efficient game, helped by some sparkling defense, and the Yankee offense finally coming back to life. I was concerned that some of the ugliness from last night would filter into this afternoon's game, but the players retreated to their neutral corners and focused on baseball.

I was surprised to see Johnny Damon of all people stirring things up on the Tigers' side, accusing Brett Gardner of a dirty slide that put Carlos Guillen on the disabled list. Damon should know his former teammate better than that, but he obviously wasn't the only Tiger who felt that way. Jeremy Bonderman hit Gardner in the first inning last night, triggering a warning from the home-plate umpire that turned out to be completely pointless.

There's no question the umpires did a bad job last night. Bonderman hit Gardner on the leg, which I have no problem with, and that should have been the end of it. But the warning led to any ugly dispute later in the game between Tigers manager Jim Leyland and the umpires after Miguel Cabrera was hit after hitting two home runs. I don't believe Chad Gaudin intentionally hit Cabrera, but the umpire boxed himself into a corner by issuing the warning. The Tigers were rightly enraged when he didn't throw Gaudin out of the game and later threw at Derek Jeter. No question that was on purpose.

But I'm glad it ended there, rather than the Yankees retaliating for their captain being thrown at. With about six weeks left in the season, the Yankees have a lot more to lose than the Tigers.

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