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I WENT TO A FIGHT AND A GAME BROKE OUT
Henry Hecht
September 24, 1984
Here's the latest from baseball's war zone: With mayhem and misplaced machismo breaking out on all fronts, commissioner Bowie Kuhn said that major league owners should address the beanbrawl problem at the winter meetings.
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September 24, 1984

I Went To A Fight And A Game Broke Out

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Here's the latest from baseball's war zone: With mayhem and misplaced machismo breaking out on all fronts, commissioner Bowie Kuhn said that major league owners should address the beanbrawl problem at the winter meetings.

The week's first explosion came on Sept. 10 in Oakland, where Dave Kingman charged Chicago righthander Richard Dot-son after Dotson nailed him in the ribs. Earlier the A's had called Dotson a "jerk" for what they considered an excessive number of brushbacks. Chicago manager Tony LaRussa answered accusations about his methods by saying, "People believe I order [my pitchers] to throw, that we're headhunters but the opposite is true. A pitch that goes at a batter's head scares me. I always have a meeting [in spring training] to tell the pitchers I won't allow headhunting. Anybody who does is gone." But LaRussa went off the deep end when he obscurely referred to the A's as "pimps."

"How the hell can he say anything?" answered A's coach Clete Boyer. "He's got the best five starters in baseball and he's in fifth place. I think he's scared to death [of being fired]."

The next night in Toronto, the Blue Jays' Willie Upshaw and the Yankees' Dennis Rasmussen went at it after Rasmussen buzzed Upshaw. Said Jays manager Bobby Cox derisively, "She threw the crap out of the ball right at his head. I don't think she can pitch up here. She doesn't have the knowledge to knock somebody down."

Statistically, hit batsmen are down overall, but it appears that fighting is up. According to the National League, which lumps umpire warnings to pitchers and managers along with brawls, there were 19 such incidents in each of the past two years, and there have been 26 so far this year. The AL says there were 13 brawls in '82 and 12 in '83, and there have been 12 so far this year.

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