The Cincinnati Reds Twitter account might have summarized the events of Tuesday night best: “There’s a lotta stuff going on rn.”
There sure was, as that “stuff” included Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig being involved in a benches-clearing brawl mere minutes after news broke he was being traded.
The Reds were hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The National League Central division teams already didn’t like each other. Their rivalry goes back years, including a benches-clearing incident back on April 7 in Pittsburgh.
Tempers would flare again, but first, a little after 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, news of a blockbuster deal began to circulate. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Puig was getting traded to the Cleveland Indians for Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer as part of a three-team deal including the San Diego Padres.
It turns out Puig’s final moments as a member of the Reds were quite eventful.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, a pitch from Pirates reliever Keone Kela sailed just over the head of Derek Dietrich. While it didn’t hit him, it appeared to get the blood boiling. Reds first baseman Joey Votto shouted toward the Pittsburgh dugout between innings, and crew chief Larry Vanover warned both teams.
In the ninth inning, Reds reliever Jared Hughes was ejected after hitting Starling Marte with a pitch, one he says “just slipped.” Later that inning, amid the trade talk, Reds’ pitcher Amir Garrett gave up a three-run homer. Afterward, he started chirping with the Pirates’ bench.
Things then got crazy.
While Garrett was on the mound talking with coach Jeff Pickler, he sprinted toward the Pirates’ dugout. Garrett threw a punch, taking on the entire Pittsburgh team himself. Chaos erupted, and the game was delayed as players spilled out of the dugouts.
Reds manager David Bell – who had been ejected earlier in the game for arguing balls and strikes – came back out and charged Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
When it appeared things were starting to calm down, Puig – with the report of the trade coming just minutes earlier – kept it going.
“It’s the best fight I’ve probably been in as a member of a team,” Dietrich said, according to MLB.com. “I mean, I’ve seen trades happen. As far as it happened as the fight was going on, and I’m thinking like, ‘Dude, what are the Indians thinking right now? What’s going on? This is probably crazy that this is happening. He’s getting traded.’”
Overall, eight, including Bell, Garrett and Puig, were ejected Tuesday. The Pirates went on to win the game 11-4.
Puig found out about the trade after his ejection, he said.
“I’m going to miss all my teammates here,” Puig told reporters after the game.
Garrett will accept any punishment MLB hands down, he said.
“I apologize for my actions, but in the heat of things, sometimes they get the best of you,” Garrett said.
After it was all over, the Reds posted a tweet saying to take a few deep breaths and to go get some ice cream.
The teams have a short turnaround. They play each other again Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET.