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Base-Brawl

Base-Brawl

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Doug Glanville playing in the Phillies-Braves series that ended in two brawls... Steve Schaefer/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Steve Schaefer/AFP/Getty Images

It's almost a baseball cliche — a crack, a whiz, a thud, and suddenly, a rush and a hail of uniformed bodies. It's a bench-clearing brawl — and there are moments in a game that practically guarantee them. Truth is, if you're a mere spectator, watching them is kinda boring — I remember in high school baseball games, those moments were like a summer storm — brief, adrenaline fueled, and only noticeable if you're caught in it. But I do always wonder what it's like on the bottom of the pile — especially if you just ran out in solidarity. No worries — we've got Doug Glanville on for a tour of the base-brawl. His guest op-ed in the New York Times is some of the best (and funniest) sportswriting I've ever read. Glanville goes ahead and makes several unwritten brawling rules explicit, while describing memorable bench-clearers in which he's found himself.

These rules, and others (they are too numerous to list), when broken, eventually result in a brawl. It may not happen that same day, because the grudge-holding nature of the game has no statute of limitations. According to my unfinished business archive, I still owe Hideki Irabu for hitting me in the back with the first pitch of the game in Yankee Stadium nine years ago. Since we are both retired I may have to exact revenge in some Best Buy parking lot.
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Mr. Irabu's lucky — Doug Glanville is clearly a lover, not a fighter. Tell us the memorable moments when you crossed that line — what baseball fight do you remember, which do you regret?