Top Moment #14: Tempers Flare in San Francisco – Phillies Nation
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Top Moment #14: Tempers Flare in San Francisco

Photo: AP

The box score doesn’t tell the whole story.  Statisticians point to numbers to evaluate players, but it’s impossible to get a sense of the game just by looking at newspaper clippings.  August 5, 2011 was a perfect example: the Phillies demolished the San Francisco Giants 9-2, but the story line was much greater.

Being on opposite coasts, the Phillies and Giants aren’t known for a rivalry, but they shared some tension over the last couple years.  Jonathan Sanchez and Chase Utley exchanged words on multiple occasions.  Charlie Manuel proclaimed the Giants pitching staff “good, but not great.”  A new dimension evolved when the benches cleared in the sixth inning of a blowout game.

Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez threw at Shane Victorino, who homered early on in the game.  The Phillies already had a significant lead as the plunking appeared  intentional.  Victorino took a few steps towards Ramirez, who was ready to fight.  Victorino was held back  by the home plate umpire and started to back off, but catcher Eli Whiteside had a brawl on his mind.  Still in full catcher’s gear, Whiteside initially wanted to go after Victorino, but instead tackled Placido Polanco.

The benches cleared, turning into a lot of pushing and shoving.  Victorino was restrained, but went to find Ramirez as soon as he broke lose.  Victorino ended up tackling a Giants player.  After things settled down and the players returned to their benches, Victorino, Ramirez, and Whiteside were ejected.  A few days later, controversy sparked as Victorino was the lone player to receive a suspension.

August 5, 2011 won’t be remembered for John Mayberry Jr.’s home run, Jimmy Rollins’ two runs batted in, Vance Worley’s seven strong innings, or the Phillies eighth consecutive win.  The brawl between the orange and red will be remembered instead.

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  1. Lefty

    January 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    First I want to say that you are doing a great job on this series Amanda, thank you. I enjoy being reminded of and reading these.

    One of the things I remember from this game was that the Giants were supposedly p!ssed that Jimmy stole a base with a 6 run lead. And after the game Jimmy’s quote was

    “Two things,” he said. “Either Charlie [Manuel] stops me, or they don’t hold me on. When you’re holding the guy on, you’re still playing the game. You’re not conceding. If you concede the running part of the game, then I’ll concede the running part of the game. If you’re holding me on, you’re saying, ‘We’re still playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.’

  2. caphlfan

    January 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I was at that game and still don’t understand why Whiteside wasn’t suspended too. But it was also one of the enjoyable times for me seeing the Phils have an easy win out here.

    • zwizz

      January 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      It was an absolute joke that whiteside was not suspended for bouncing around like an idiot. He provoked the whole thing. If he hadn’t been out there jumping around like some kind of boxer. You need to just let the pitcher and the batter handle it, and for him to double leg take down Polanco like he did was uncalled for.

  3. bacardipr05

    January 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Just make sure “Polly fragile as a cracker” isnt in the mix the next time. Too much of a coincidence after this he was hurt.

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