The Blue Jays and Rangers brawled during the eighth inning of Sunday’s game in Texas following a controversial slide into second base by Jose Bautista. The Blue Jays slugger slid hard through the bag and into Texas infielder Rougned Odor in an attempt to break up a double play opportunity, and Odor took serious exception to it.
What followed wasn’t your typical “baseball fight,” which usually just features many grown men clearing the dugouts to hug and lightly push each other. Nope, this was something else entirely.
That’s Odor delivering one of the best punches ever thrown on a baseball diamond. Unfortunately for Bautista, he was on the receiving end and the haymaker landed directly on his jaw. The impact was so forceful that it sent Bautista’s sunglasses flying off his face but, to his credit, he was never fully knocked down.
That punch sparked some further shenanigans that halted the game right in the middle of play, but no punches could top that one. The two teams remained on the field for several minutes until the dust settled and play could be resumed, but the fight will be the story of this one regardless of the outcome.
One has to wonder how much animosity between Odor and Bautista traces back to last season’s ALDS, when Bautista plunged a dagger into the Rangers’ season with a monster home run (and crazy bat flip) during the series finale in Game 5.