by Alex Poletti
Tensions were high in the Baltimore dugout, as former MVP candidate and current wash-up Chris Davis exchanged fisticuffs with manager Brandon Hyde. Neither person sustained injuries as a result of the fight; Davis remained uninjured because his manager never threw a punch, while Hyde stayed clean because Davis, true to form, swung and missed.
“Tempers got a little hot in the dugout today,” Hyde said in a postgame conference, “but I knew nothing would come of it. I know he’s a big guy, but I wasn’t scared because I know he can’t hit for shit.”
The fight started after Hyde said a few words to Davis during a blowout loss at the hands of the New York Yankees. Davis was then held back by teammate Mark Trumbo and hitting coach Don Long.
Usually, brawls of this kind aren’t a good sign for a team’s morale. They also don’t bode well for a manager’s job security; the last time a notable in-house brawl broke out, Washington manager Matt Williams lost is job, as did closer Jonathan Papelbon.
Certainly, the state of Hyde’s future in Baltimore came into question after the altercation. With Davis still owed over $20 million for the next three years, it’s unlikely that the Orioles will part with him. However, Hyde is much more expendable.
“Do I think I’ll be fired as a result of this? No,” Hyde says. “When I get fired, it’ll be for the fact that I manage the worst team in baseball. I don’t think this fight will really enter into it. Hell, I thought about throwing some punches just as one last hurrah before I get canned.”
For Davis, this was the latest failure in a slew of unfortunate events. The would-be slugger started the season with the longest hitless streak in Major League history. Though he’s come back from that, he’s still batting under the Mendoza line for the season. Thus, it was no surprise when Davis couldn’t make contact during the loss, even with Hyde’s jaw.
“For some reason, Hyde’s face was like a mid-80s fastball right down the middle,” Davis explains. “I just don’t have the ability to hit it. It should be pretty easy, but when I do try to hit it I can’t.”
Baltimore sits in last place in the AL East, almost 40 games out of first place. On the bright side, the dugout brawl provided Baltimore fans with the most entertainment they’ve seen all season.