Daily Distractions: Taking a moment to appreciate The Brawl; nicknaming Yasiel Puig.

Mark  McGwire, Kirk  Gibson

Mark McGwire and Kirk Gibson aren’t talking about the 1988 World Series in this photo, but isn’t it fun to imagine they are? (Associated Press photo)

Like Yasiel Puig’s arrival last week, The Brawl has been a gift to the media that keeps on giving.

Accuse us of glorifying violence, I don’t care. It was a rare occasion and one that’s been examined from a lot of angles. Searching for the words in the moment, some of us in the media not typically prone to hyperbole rose to the level of hyperbole (before remembering that, no, the 1984 Braves-Padres brawl was much worse, even when it’s set to the “Benny Hill” theme song).

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com hopes The Brawl inspires baseball’s rulemakers to forbid players from leaving the benches and bullpens during a fracas. Still others couldn’t get over the number of coaches involved who filled out our baseball card collections in the 1980s. One piece exploring this topic concludes with God admonishing Ryne Sandberg. The gift that keeps on giving.

And oh, the photos.

Take a moment to appreciate it all before the MLB-induced discipline squashes the moment today.

Some bullet points for a Thursday morning:

• Last fall, when Major League Baseball first approached the Dodgers and Diamondbacks about opening the 2014 regular season in Australia, it seemed like a random matchup. It fit MLB’s desire to have two Western-based teams, but that’s about it. Not a rivalry. Dodgers and Giants, maybe — and maybe the league asked the Giants if they were interested. That footnote might be lost to history, unless someone within the Giants organization is willing to put forth a good reason why they would have turned down a trip to Australia.

• Now, in the wake of The Brawl, there’s something resembling a rivalry. If The Brawl does help promote the Sydney games, Dodgers president Stan Kasten said, “it’s still not something I would endorse. There are other, better, less injurious ways to promote this.”

Don Mattingly and Kirk Gibson made their peace during the pregame lineup card exchange Wednesday, then shook hands. Mattingly extended an apology to Alan Trammell, whom Mattingly tackled to the ground Tuesday. Gibson reiterated that Ian Kennedy wasn’t trying to hit anyone, according to Mattingly. There was nothing resembling animosity on the field during the game.

• Someone help me out with this: I don’t know how nicknames are bestowed on athletes in the Information Age. Must they be crowdsourced first? Does something (a quote, a video, a .gif) need to go viral?

• If this were not the Information Age — the age of Grantland Rice, not Grantland.com, and bums like me were spinning prose about skinny college kids playing like “four horsemen” — I might have shoved my line about Puig looking like a bull in Pamplona down everyone’s throats a bit more. That’s what he looked like Tuesday: A bull with more rage than room to express it, running into a crowded group of people for what appeared to be no good reason other than his own self-spun momentum. And I’d keep calling Puig the “Raging Bull” whether you liked it or not.

• In honor of the Raging Bull, here’s a tune from Toro Y Moi:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
This entry was posted in JP on the Dodgers and tagged , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.