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Arts and Entertainment

Tempers Erupt and Excite Baseball

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By looking at what’s happening on the baseball diamond (and outside of it in some instances), it’s evident it’s the dog days of summer.

Tempers are flaring between players, managers and even umpires.

Last week we saw the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder go on a rampage to try and break through the Dodgers clubhouse after a game. On Wednesday Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval overreacted to James McDonald throwing a pitch inside to him which set Russell Martin off.

Even all around baseball we saw Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis throw his batting helmet at Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Diamondbacks manager AJ Hinch got thrown out of a game on Friday by first base umpire Jerry Crawford who ended up giving it back to Hinch. Even the bleacher bums got in the action at Wrigley Field Wednesday night when one fan threw a cup of beer at Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino as he was going back to the ivy to field a fly ball.

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It’s the time of the year when the finish line is getting closer yet is still far away. Teams in the hunt for a playoff spot are scratching for a position in October, and teams that are clearly out of contention are trying to have a respectable second half of the season to get some momentum for next season.

Whatever it may be it’s some of the best entertainment on the tube. Maybe I’m sick, but I will hear word of an ejection happening and will log into MLB.tv and watch the video over and over again. Some people have their Real Top Chefs of the Hills. I have this.

When I was given access to cover the Dodgers and do my lame impersonation of a beat reporter, never in my wildest imagination did I think one of these scuffles would happen within inches from me. If you look very closely in that KCAL/CBS2 video that was looped endlessly on ESPN the day after the Prince Fielder incident, you can barely see my head in the corner of the stairwell trying to get a better view while laughing my ass off.

After getting quotes from Joe Torre and the players in clubhouse, I was walking back to the press box with a beat writer remarking about how after the 17-4 rout by the Dodgers thinking it would be very boring down there. It was a saving grace that the incident happened to break the monotony.

It’s 162 games in six months, and by the time August comes around everyone is getting restless: players, managers, umpires, fans and even reporters. So any little thing that breaks up the routine is a welcome relief. Just at least we don’t have another Juan Marichal/Johnny Roseboro incident.