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Batting coach Mark McGwire (R) of the Los Angeles Dodgers has words with manager Kirk Gibson of the Arizona Diamondbacks as first base umpire Brian Gorman intervenes during a bench clearing brawl in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on June 11, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Previously: Suspensions and fines could be in store for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks after Tuesday night's bench-clearing brawl.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly spoke to KTLA after the game.
"They're trying to win a game, they protect their guys, I'm gonna protect my guys," Mattingly said. "This is one of those things that you don't really want to see, but it just happens. You know we didn't walk in and say we're gonna start a fight."
The tension started when Dodger rookie phenom Yasiel Puig was hit in the face while batting in the sixth inning. It ramped up when pitcher Zach Greinke hit catcher Miguel Montero at the top of the next inning, then the fight finally broke out when Greinke was hit while at bat in the shoulder by Ian Kennedy — the ball caromed off his helmet.
Take out the baseball cards, kids, it wasn't just Montero and Puig mixing it up. Several coaches who dominated the game as players in the 1980s and '90s produced some of the fight's most memorable moments.
Manager Kirk Gibson and coach Mark McGwire gripped each other's tops and faced off nose to nose as the nasty brawl escalated (and no, this wasn't 1989).
There was McGwire, Los Angeles' hitting coach, clutched in a tense standoff with equally solid Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams. Big Don Baylor, Arizona's hitting coach, held his ground among a surge of Dodgers. Mattingly wrestled someone to the ground as he tried to get at fellow manager Gibson. Williams had Mattingly in a bear hug at one point.
Gibson, McGwire and Diamondbacks assistant hitting coach Turner Ward — who was nearly thrown over a railing near the Arizona dugout — were among the six ejected from the game.
"Everything happened so fast," Mattingly said. "It just gets a little crazy out there."
Generally, coaches try to remain peacemakers when benches clear after a player is hit with a pitch. Not this time, with two sides full of gritty former players.
Perhaps best known for his limping trot around the bases after homering to give the Dodgers a win in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Gibson refused give in when McGwire, the former single-season home run record holder, screamed at the D-backs manager.
"We're certainly not going to try and jeopardize anybody's career. We respect those guys too much," Gibson said. "They responded and it was certainly obvious. And beyond that, things just got out of control."
By the way, the Dodgers won last night 5-3 — and they play each other again Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.