by Tom McConville
A Knight at the Fights
Sorry, I couldn't resist the title. Which was probably the same one the New York Post used the morning after the epic Mets/Reds throw down in 1986. Just to set the stage. The Mets were down 3-1 with two on and two outs in the ninth. Keith Hernandez hit a routine fly ball out to Dave Parker who proceeded to drop the ball. This error led to the Mets tying the score and sending the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the tenth, Jesse Orosco gave up a single to then player/manager Pete Rose, who took himself out for a pitch runner. A then 24 year old speedster named Eric Davis. Davis then stole second. And then, a few pitches later took off for third. This is what happened next.
The Mets went on to win the game in the 14th, 6-3. Aside from the brawl, the extra innings also featured Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell alternating between the outfield and pitcher's mound. As well as Gary Carter playing third as Knight's replacement.
Now, I'm not condoning the brawl. In fact, I completely agree with Tim McCarver's idea that if two guys want to go at it on the diamond, make it more like a hockey fight. Anyone else who jumps in is automatically fined and suspended.
What I love about this was the fact that the '86 were a bunch of tough dudes who took absolute no crap from anyone. We're they a bunch of arrogant bullies? Yep. Did they back up their reputation? Absolutely. Something the New York NL'ers have not done in a long, long time.