Tempers flare in minor league as Phillies, Yankees coaches get into brawl

Yankees vs. Phillies MiLB brawl at Steinbrenner Field on April 23, 2023.

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In a minor league game between the Phillies and Yankees, a bench-clearing brawl broke out, with coaches from both teams getting involved in the melee. The fight reportedly began when a Yankees player was hit by a pitch and exchanged words with the opposing team’s catcher.

The altercation quickly escalated, with punches thrown by coaches from both sides. Video footage showed a Phillies coach taking a swing at a Yankees coach, and chaos ensued as players and coaches rushed onto the field.

All hell broke loose in the Yankees vs. Phillies game

During a minor league game between the Yankees’ and Phillies’ Single-A affiliates, a hit-by-pitch sparked a frenzied bench-clearing incident in which one coach punched another.

According to minor league baseball reporter John Brophy, who captured it all on video, it all started when Tampa Tarpons pitcher Alex Bustamante hit Clearwater Threshers’ Erick Brito in the top of the third inning on a day when the Yankees affiliate’s pitchers were a touch wild.

During a game, the Thresher’s manager, Marty Malloy, was coaching third base when a batter on his team was hit by a pitch. Malloy believed the opposing team’s pitcher had thrown intentionally at his player, and he was ejected from the game for arguing the intent of the pitch.

As he walked down the baseline and away from the field, the song “I’ll Cry If I Want To” by Lesley Gore played in the background, perhaps mirroring the manager’s frustration with the situation. The incident highlights the passion and intensity often seen in baseball, as well as the potential for disputes to arise between players, coaches, and umpires.

Yankees vs. Phillies MiLB brawl at Steinbrenner Field on April 23, 2023.

Benches cleared

Malloy made his way to home plate after speaking with the umpire, as the Threshers’ bench began to clear.

When Malloy arrived, he confronted Tarpons pitching coach Gerardo Casadiego, who was attempting to push back his players and fired a right-handed punch his way.

Casadiego’s cap was knocked off his head by the swing. He appeared to retaliate by taking a swipe at Malloy and then punching another thresher, who was seen collapsing to the ground.

As a result, both benches were cleared, and more fists were thrown during a chaotic situation. Rick Guarno, the Tarpons’ hitting coach, was also tackled to the ground. The melee resulted in multiple ejections, and the game resumed 20 minutes later.   

The Threshers eventually won the game 12-3.

While the cause of the fight remains unclear, it serves as a reminder that tensions can boil over in competitive sports. The incident will likely result in disciplinary action for the coaches and players involved, as well as heightened scrutiny on future games between the two teams.

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