Answer: It can’t be done. There’s nothing dumber than a baseball fight.
And yeah, yeah, yeah; you went to a baseball game, “and a hockey game broke out.” You, the ghost of Rodney Dangerfield, and 40,000 North Siders. Very funny.
Baseball fights are lame just generally. Not that hockey fights are worth a damn (NCAA and Olympic hockey get along just fine without the shenanigans — why the NHL can’t is beyond me), but at least they hit each other. Baseball players pretty much just waltz around the diamond, trying to make sure no one actually throws a punch.
And when some poor schlub really does fire away, or attempt to, he couldn’t hit water, or the intended target’s face, as the case may be, if he fell out of a boat.
Derrick Lee and Chris Young (for the purpose of momentary objectivity, the names are listed in alphabetical order) took mighty swings at each other, and looked pretty damn good doing it. They both whiffed big-time, but the effort was there. Each guy was oh-so-close to nailing the other, and it’s obvious that either man has a career as a Hollywood stuntman if ever he wants one.
Cue up any good movie fight, a western saloon scene in particular, and watch the actors get their licks in, exactly like Lee and Young. Better yet, rent a DVD of the old Batman television show. You know, KAPOW!!! SMASH!!! BAM!!!! Adam West or Burt Ward beating the crap out of Cesar Romero. Looked great, but nobody ever landed a glove. Not really. Lee and Young, same thing.
There’s a skill to swinging and missing that closely. Bleep, even the great Muhammad Ali (at the time Cassius Clay) was only able to do it just the one time. Allegedly.
Whatever. Enough for objectivity. I’m with Chris Ello. Young was the guiltier of the two men. They both acted like idiots, but at least Lee had an excuse — he’d just been assaulted — Young was just being macho. And badly.
Plus, if you’re going to throw at a guy, why not wait until the seventh inning? The early heave-ho might very easily have cost the Padres the game. It didn’t, but it might have. Will the Pads be so lucky replacing their No. 2 starter when he sits out his eventual suspension?
Of course, with the Yellowstone-sized loophole in the baseball penal code, Young might as well wait until he’s good and ready for a fifth day off between starts to drop the obligatory five-game appeal. Maybe he and Josh Bard can plan an outing together.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, tell me Marcus Giles didn’t perform the dandiest impression of Jeff Van Gundy you ever did see.
— HOWARD COLE