The Washington Nationals kick off a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night, and while they will be playing a baseball game, there are some wondering if maybe it will turn into a boxing match at some point.
You might remember what has been dubbed "The Almost Brawl" on March 21st during a Spring Training game between the two teams in Jupiter, FL.
Lips flapped and tempers flared, but no serious altercations happened after former Nationals reliever Miguel Batista plugged Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. Confused, Desmond wanted an explanation and had words with both Batista and Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz. The benches cleared, which started a 15-minute rumpus highlighted by then-center fielder Nyjer Morgan being held back by a Nationals coach, and skippers Jim Riggleman and Tony LaRussa trading barbs. The Nationals ended up winning the contest 7-2.
Yeah. Spring Training, guys. Save it for the season.
The team's venom towards each other probably stems from an August 28, 2010 game where Morgan ran into catcher Bryan Anderson during a play at the plate that the Cardinals later deemed as a cheap shot. Other incidents include Morgan bumping into Albert Pujols during the Spring Training contest while running to first, Nats outfielder Laynce Nix getting plugged by pitcher Chris Carpenter and Livan Hernandez retaliating by hitting Colby Rasmus. Throw it all together, and you have all the makings of two teams who might be really mad at each other.
It would almost be ridiculous if the past becomes an issue during this series. Morgan is no longer part of the Nationals, LaRussa and Riggleman are friends and, with Carpenter pitching on Sunday, the Nationals won't see him this time around in St. Louis.
The rematch of the Almost-Fight Of The Century will probably end up just being a baseball game. Sorry, boxing fans.