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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Temper, Temper: Sports Tantrums of Spring

Spring has sprung.
The grass has ris'.
Tell me where the self-control is?

Okay, not exactly Shakespeare.  But a recurring column about grown men acting like misbehaving children hardly deserves world class poetry.  So, here we go.  The best sports tantrums of spring.

1. Tony Stewart Challenges Joey Logano's Manhood.  Most NASCAR fans will tell you that the Auto Club 400 in California this March was one of the most exciting races of the season.  Kyle Busch and Dale Junior avoided a crash on the final lap to finish first and second.  But the excitement continued after the checkered flag flew.  Tony Stewart squared off against Joey Logano with fists and words.  And lest you think that it was the wreck that broke Denny Hamlin's back that sent Stewart into a tirade, dial down your righteous indignation a bit.  It was far less noble than that.  It was a offensive block that incensed Stewart.

2.  A Basebrawl with Injuries.  Yeah, I know.  I didn't think that was possible.  But when Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres squared off against Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 11, that is exactly what happened.  Based on the circumstances of this game, it is almost inconceivable that Greinke intentionally hit Quentin with this pitch.  But, apparently, there is some bad blood between these two that extends back a few years to when both players played in the American League Central.  And so, the brawl was on.  I give Greinke credit for attempting to level the charging Quentin.  But, when all was said and done, Greinke suffered a broken collarbone that put him out of commission for an extended period of time.

3.  Fight Like a Girl.  This is from the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond on April 24.  Not only does Nelson Piquet, Jr. intentionally wreck Brian Scott after the race was over but he follows it up with a kick to the crotch on pit road.  Am I the only one who thinks this fighting style looks like something a drunk sorority girl would employ?  Go ahead and skip the to the 1:00 mark.

3. Time for Anger Management?  For the first time in the history of this column, one person makes two separate appearances in a single Temper Temper post.  Give it up for Zack Greinke, everybody!  When we last saw him, he broke his collar bone fighting Carlo Quentin.  In this clip, he plays a prominent role in one of the best baseball fights of the season.  The hostilities between the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers started in the 5th inning when Greinke hit Diamondbacks' outfielder Cody Ross with a pitch.  Ian Kennedy then responded in the bottom of the 6th inning by hitting the Dodgers' rookie phenom Yasiel Puig in the nose with a pitch.  In the top of the 7th inning, Greinke promptly plunked the D-backs' catcher in the center of the back.  Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Ian Kennedy exacted his revenge by hitting Grienke with a pitch right between the numbers.  And then it was on.  This fight has some great blasts from the past.  Don Mattingly, Kirk Gibson and Mark McGuire all got suspensions after this brawl.

4.  A Bear and a Monkey.  I thought NASCAR drivers had violent reactions to wrecks during a race.  Then I saw this video.  A bear is competing against a monkey in a bicycle race in China.  When the monkey wrecks in front of the bear ... well ... let's just say that the bear has a rather extreme reaction.  There is really no end to the comments I could make about this video.  But, I'll just say that this is simultaneously the funniest and most violent sports tantrum I've ever seen.

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