How about those Bengals? They managed to snatch defeat from the hands of victory because a couple of players let their emotions get the best of them.
Baseball players can become emotional as well. Some wear their emotions on their sleeves, causing meltdowns, eruptions and confrontations that everyone can see, affecting the outcomes of games, and sometimes, their careers and reputations.
Today's post isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of these players. It's limited by my memory, my artistic license with the definition of a Baseball Bengal, and of course, by the cards in my collection.
First up is the original Baseball Bengal. In yesterday's AFC playoff game, Bengal Vontaze Burflict laid out the Steeler's Mike Brown with a vicious head shot. The Georgia Peach earned a reputation for physically punishing opponents as well.
Cobb was rumored to sharpen his spikes and use them as weapons against opposing players, and he didn't have any qualms about going into the stands to mix it up against the fans.
Good ol' Billy Martin didn't mind a good dust up himself. He had numerous fights on and off the field, and he was supposedly traded away from the Yankees as a result of a drunken barroom brawl.
As a manger, he regularly displayed his emotions for all to see, once engaging in a dugout shoving match with Reggie Jackson after yanking Reggie from the field in the middle of an inning. His numerous firings and re-hirings as Yankees manager became a running punch line for comedians.
Brett wasn't exactly a hothead, but he does qualify as a Bengal because of his famous eruption after the umpires erased one of his home runs because they determined he had too much pine tar on his bat.
Joss pitched two no-hitters and one perfect game. There's really nothing that points to him as an emotional powderkeg, but with a nickname like "the human hairpin", and that ever-lovin' mug that just seethes with, "Go'wan, I dare ya!", I figured I'd give him an honorary membership.
The next two players had one memorable clash that left impressions on both of their careers...
Robin Ventura made the mistake of charging the mound and challenging Ryan. It was a young, star third baseman against a 46-year old. The Express promptly headlocked Ventura and mercilessly pummeled him.
Andre Ethier has a well-earned reputation of letting his emotions get the best of him. A couple of seasons back, a photo went viral of Ethier shooting double middle fingers to the press, and he regularly overreacts when he feels pitchers are throwing at him, or umpires are cheating him on the strike zone.
Most recently, he went on a dugout shouting tirade against his manager Don Mattingly, in the middle of a playoff game against the Mets.
However, no Dodger was a bigger Baseball Bengal than Milton Bradley. I know I have Bradley's Dodger cards around here somewhere, but I can't find anything quickly, so this will have to do...
Here's Milton in one of his numerous meltdowns; this time he's emptying a bag of baseballs on the field. Unfortunately for Bradley, he was such a Bengal that he had these outbursts with every team he played for, and he eventually wore out his MLB welcome.
Finally, we have a Dodger who went Bengal at Wrigley Field, back in 2000.
The confines may be friendly, but not all Cubs fans are. Someone snatched Kreuter's cap off of his head, which led him to blow his other top, and go into the stands. Numerous other Dodgers went Bengal as well, causing a near-riot.
I watched this game on TV, but I couldn't find any video of it. If you didn't see the game, you can imagine what a mess it was. In the end, 19 Dodgers were suspended - and Kreuter never did get his hat back.
In honor of the Baseball Bengals, the Clash will take us out with White Riot!