The 5 Dirtiest Plays in Baseball History
By Jordan Tracy
There have been many arguments about dirty slides, plays at the plate and intentional bean balls this year in baseball. This year has been unique in that it’s the first year with the new rule about blocking the plate. It’s difficult to figure out what plays are “dirty” and what is just an example of aggressive play. We’ve done the work for you and created this list of the dirtiest plays in baseball history.
5. Matt Holliday’s Playoff Slide
Game 2 of the 2012 NLCS resulted in a San Francisco Giants’ win and a Marco Scutaro injury. Holliday went for a take out slide in the first inning to break up a double play. It’s a totally normal play in baseball as long as it’s a normal slide but Holliday starts his slide late on this play and barrels right into Scutaro.
4. Manny Machado’s Butter Fingers
It slipped? I don’t think so. A’s lefty Fernando Abad threw consecutive pitches that nearly hit Machado. His response? On the next pitch near him, Machado left his bat go and it went towards Abad and ended up near third baseman Josh Donaldson. This caused a bench-clearing melee that ended with Machado getting suspended, which he will appeal.
3. Pete Rose Pummels Ray Fosse
It was the 1970 All-Star Game and Pete Rose, who’s known for his aggressive play, barrels into Ray Fosse at home plate in the 12th inning. Fosse was waiting for the throw to come in but what he got instead was the steam rolling Rose. While I don’t find this necessarily dirty, it shouldn’t happen in an All-Star Game. In a regular season or playoff game, Rose would have been celebrated for his grit and aggressiveness.
2. Don Zimmer vs. Pedro Martinez
A series of inside pitches dealt by Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens caused the benches to clear in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Even though the fight isn’t a play in the game, it was definitely a dirty moment.
1. A-Rods Running Technique
There aren’t many ways to cheat during a single baseball game. Over the course of your career you can cheat by using PEDs but that’s not something you get called out on in the middle of an inning. Alex Rodriguez, who is currently serving a suspension for PEDs, was able to find a way to cheat in a single game.
It was Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and A-Rod hit a weak grounder in between the mound and first base. Red Sox righty Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball and went to tag A-Rod before he reached first. A-Rod slaps the ball out of Arroyo’s glove which allowed Derek Jeter to score making it a one run game in the bottom of the eighth. The play was discussed by the umpires and A-Rod was called out.