In a weekend full of highly anticipated combat sports events — Jake Paul versus Nate Diaz, UFC Nashville, WWE SummerSlam — the punch heard around the world came in a baseball game between Jose Ramirez and Tim Anderson.
The brawl between the Chicago White Sox shortstop and Cleveland Guardians star José Ramirez was one of the biggest stories in sports on Saturday night. While any MLB brawl is sure to cause a stir, this one was a dukes-up affair in the middle of the field between two former All-Stars where clean punches actually landed. Usually, only hockey fans get so spoiled, so let's savor this moment and break down the brawl from beginning to end.
It's fight night in Cleveland ? pic.twitter.com/3NEIpBEbSf
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 6, 2023
A Full Breakdown of the Tim Anderson-Jose Ramirez Fight
There is some backstory to the fight, and this beef had been brewing between Anderson and Ramirez. During an interview after Saturday's game, Ramirez said, "I think he's (Anderson) been disrespecting the game for a while. After he tapped me really hard, more than needed, he said he wanted to fight, and I had to defend myself."
Anderson is known for displaying flair on the field — which Ramirez clearly isn't a fan of. Therefore, once Ramirez hit an RBI double in the sixth inning of Saturday's game and slid into second base, where Tim Anderson received the ball and put down a (questionably) hard tag — then stood over Ramirez for about three seconds — Ramirez saw an opportunity to teach Anderson a lesson and took it.
After Anderson finally moved, he and Ramirez exchanged words. Ramirez stood and bopped Anderson's nose with his right index finger. Anderson shoved him, threw down his glove and raised his fists.
Perhaps the best part of this sequence is that before any punches are thrown, second base umpire Malachi Moore tried to break up Anderson and Ramirez. Then, once the fists were raised, Moore made the wise business decision to step back and let the boys be boys. He isn't paid enough to catch a stray punch from one of these two.
Once the fists are raised, Anderson and Ramirez square off for about two seconds, seemingly coming to terms with what's about to happen, before Anderson took a step in and threw a mean right punch that appeared to whiz by Ramirez's head. Ramirez, off balance, countered with a loopy right hook that missed the mark. At this point, Anderson seemed to have the upper hand and looked poised to land a big one. He threw another solid right that Ramirez either ducked under intentionally or dodged because he was still very off balance and White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech was on scene trying to push him away. Regardless, the punch missed. Then Ramirez, flailing about, followed up with another loopy right hook — which caught Anderson square on the jaw.
The punch rocked Anderson so hard that he fell to the dirt, clearly seeing stars, in what was about as clearly a technical knockout as we've ever seen on a baseball field.
The excitement ended there. Ramirez fled the scene while the benches cleared. By the time the bullpens made it to the action (late, as usual), the brawl was nothing but a shouting match.
The tussle — which has gone insanely viral — ultimately led to six ejections, and both Ramirez and Anderson face multi-game suspensions. Hopefully, for Ramirez, it was worth it.
The biggest takeaway from the brawl was that while the fight had an obvious winner, it's worth noting that the loser — Anderson — threw the much cleaner, meaner punches. It's just that Ramirez managed to dodge them. Because Anderson kept his chin high throughout the affair, Ramirez's second loopy hook landed squarely. It just goes to show that defense is just as important as offense in brawls like these. Keep that in mind, MLB All-Stars, the next time you decide to square up after smacking an RBI double down the line.
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