Stacey Gotsulias is the queen of the historical posts over at IIATMS/TYA. She's always good about remembering what big Yankee moments happened on what days, far better than I am, and it's always a pleasure to see those posts and be reminded of moments I experienced (like David Wells' perfect game).
Somehow I don't think she's going to get to this one, since it probably only matters to manchildren like myself, so I'll do the honors. With the Yanks heading to Baltimore for a 3-game series tonight, and the video still being up on YouTube, let's take a minute to look back and remember the classic fight from 15 years ago between the Yankees and O's. It's arguably one of the greatest fights in baseball history and another moment from my early Yankee fandom career I remember watching live.
I'm on record as saying the '09 Yankees would not have been a fun bunch to fight, but looking back at this brawl and remembering some of the big dudes the Yanks had on that team? Ho-lee shit! Straw, Lloyd, Jeff Nelson. Those guys were coming in HOT right there, Lloyd swinging as hard as he could with his pitching arm with no regard for anybody or anything. Straw's attempted sucker punch of Benitez at the 6-minute mark (a totally justified one, BTW) had Kermit Washington-Rudy T written all over it. Joe Torre practically had to put him in a chokehold in the dugout to calm him down. Girardi's out there in the mix too, and guys like O'Neill and Tino are not dudes I would have trifled with if they were angry. Great stuff all-around.
It's too bad there isn't this type of heat to any of the AL East rivalries anymore, at least not the ones the Yankees are involved in. The animosity with the O's died down when Baltimore fell off as a contender in the late-90s, and the hatred with the Sawx from the mid-2000s has really cooled off. Not sure I'd want to start throwing hands with this collection of older, semi-brittle guys, but it'd be fun to see some nastiness come back to these AL East rivalries, wouldn't it?