Tyler Wade, New York Yankees

Yankees: True Or False – There Will Be At Least Two Hit Batsmen Tonight

Is it over or has it just begun? Will the Yankees and Red Sox resume the testiness of their rivalry in a way that spills over into Bean Brawl in Beantown? My thinking says no and here’s why…

Neither the Yankees or Red Sox are in a position where they can risk losing a player to an “injury” resulting from a continuation of last night’s brawl. The melee resulting in the ejection of Tyler Wade and Phil Nevin, third base coach of the Yankees, along with Boston reliever Joe Kelly, who plunked Wade in retaliation for Wade “taking out” Red Sox second baseman, Brock Holt, previously on a hard slide.

By now, it’s an old story but in case you missed it, here’s how it played out:

Suspensions will likely be handed out once Joe Torre, and his staff at Major League Baseball have reviewed all the video. (See below for an update) But the primary concern for the Yankees has to be tonight’s game and what’s going on and being said as this is being written (5:00 P.M. Thursday) in the clubhouse two hours before game time.

This is where leadership steps up to set the tone for tonight’s game and whether or not the Yankees will take steps to reignite the tension or not. To this end, Aaron Boone may issue direct orders to the team to go this way or that way. Or, he could leave it to Brett Gardner and CC Sabathia to set the tone.

But one way or the other, the Yankees will take the field tonight with a predisposition as to whether or not a Red Sox hitter gets plunked in retaliation for Kelly hitting Wade in the ribs.

There is, of course, another team playing tonight and without question, the same discussion is going on in the Red Sox dugout as well.

We’ll know soon, but it’s my best guess both teams will settle down and play a spirited (as always), but a non-violent and traditional game tonight. Both Sonny Gray and Rick Porcello, the scheduled starters, have pinpoint control, at least with their fastball, which is apparently the pitch that could cause the most damage to a batter who is hit.

It would be unusual but not a total surprise to see the umpires take control of the game from the get-go with a warning to both benches before the first pitch is thrown. If necessary, this can be sensed by the umpiring team during the exchange of lineup cards at home plate, if they feel tension during what is usually a, “Hi, how’d the golf game go today” conversation.

Besides, I have to get up and go to work tomorrow. And that whole thing last night took way too much time to get everything sorted out, leaving no chance I’d make it to the end of the game.

As a footnote, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks (right intercostal strain), was 1 for 3 with a double in his second rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LJ Mazzilli was 1 for 4, a day after he was acquired from the Mets organization. Boone said Hicks might rejoin the Yankees on Thursday.

This Just In…Tyler Wade has been suspended for five games and Joe Kelly for six games. Both players are appealing.

For more on the Yankees, visit my Home Page

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