The passionate Chicago crosstown classic between the Cubs and White Sox produced the third scuffle in the last few years, and each time it has been among teammates rather than opponents. Add A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy to the fight card as the fellow Southsiders took their heated confrontation during Wednesday nights game into the tunnel of the dugout.
Peavy was making his first start since coming off the disabled list due to a groin pull. Throughout the game Peavy was animated and barking at himself, Cub hitters and talking with umpires after almost each inning. After being pulled from the game in the sixth inning, Peavy left the mound for the dugout and twice turned around to chirp and point directly at his catcher, Pierzynski.
After the end of the inning, Pierzynski was approached by a confrontational Peavy in the dugout. Pierzynski grabbed Peavy by his uniform and dragged him down the stairs into the tunnel, out of view of the television cameras where the two players settled their business ‘old school’ style, man to man.
Both players and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen downplayed the incident after the game.
Guillen, “I don’t think it was a big deal about anything. They had a couple of words back and forth. We are laughing about it now and it’s not gonna carryover. I get paid to win games, not make friends.”
Pierzynski, “There was no fight, we’re fine, he’s a great competitor,” then added that they argued about SEC football in the dugout tunnel.
Peavy was equally elusive, “Me and A.J. argued over who was the better hunter. We are both passionate people and A.J. won the game tonight.”
Peavy was referring to the fact that Pierzynski drove in two runs with his first triple in over two years in the fifth inning. A few pitches later Pierzynski scampered home on a perfect squeeze bunt play. Peavy was credited with the victory to raise his record to 3-1.
The victory enabled the White Sox to win their 17th straight inter-league series.
The baseball brouha follows last year’s commotion during the Sox-Cub game when the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano melted down in the dugout during a tirade directed at his teammates. Zambrano also got into a fistfight with his catcher, Michael Barrett, during a Cubs-Sox game in 2007.