We were reminded by Internet funnyman and mailbox vandalism victim RandBallsStu that Jose Mijares and Delmon Young -- who are, yes, foes in the World Series -- once nearly came to blows as teammates on the Twins. To take you back to that magical scene from three years ago, here is Joe Christensen's game story:
Delmon Young's right leg was throbbing Thursday
afternoon, and he was furious.
After getting hit by Jeremy Bonderman's fastball, Young rolled on
the ground, sprung to his feet and began pointing at the dugout.
Not the Tigers dugout. The Twins dugout.
Young was mad at rookie reliever Jose Mijares for provoking
Bonderman's payback pitch, and so were Young's other teammates.
The Twins staved off elimination for one day at least, by
defeating the Tigers 8-3 at Comerica Park, but it was clearly going
to be a surly flight home to Minnesota.
"We didn't need any of this to happen," Young said. "You've got
two teams in a pennant race. You don't need to get somebody
suspended or hurt."
The Twins trimmed Detroit's lead to two games, as each team heads
into a final weekend series at home. The Tigers' magic number is
two, so the Twins could be eliminated tonight if they lose to the
Royals, and the Tigers overcome Jake Peavy and the White Sox.
While cruising to their second victory in the four-game series,
the Twins were feeling good that they wouldn't have to watch the
Tigers celebrate in person.
But then Mijares pulled what Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera
called "a selfish act."
Though the Twins led 8-2 when Mijares entered in the eighth
inning, Cabrera said the lefthander was angry that Tigers runners
twice took second base that inning through defensive indifference,
including once with Matt Guerrier pitching.
When Mijares relieved Guerrier to face former Twins teammate Adam
Everett, Gerald Laird took second base uncontested on the first
Mijares threw the next one -- a fastball clocked at 94 miles per
hour -- behind Everett's back.
"( Mijares) needs to understand how to play the game," Young said.
"This isn't the minor leagues over here."
Earlier, Twins starter Scott Baker (15-9), who pitched five
innings for the victory, hit Marcus Thames with a pitch and threw
another curveball near his head. Thames responded with an menacing
slide into Cabrera that broke up a double play.
After Mijares' pitch -- which drew both teams a warning and
prompted Tigers manager Jim Leyland to argue and get ejected --
Twins catcher Mike Redmond said he knew someone would get drilled
the next inning.
Young led off the ninth against Jeremy Bonderman, and sure
enough, on the first pitch, he took a 93-mph fastball off the back
of his right knee. "You can't throw behind their players and expect
nothing to happen," Young said. "If I'm going to get hit, it's
going to be because I did something stupid."
Manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Dave Pruemer went to check on
Young as he rolled on the ground. When Young got up angrily, the
benches cleared. But Young was pointing at Mijares, and after
helping restrain and console Young, Gardenhire controlled the scene
by quickly explaining this.
Later, Gardenhire called Leyland to apologize.
"Our pitcher lost his cool out there and made a mistake,"
Gardenhire said. "They did what they had to do, and it's over with
and they did the right thing, what they had to do, and we screwed
Young made it clear he was not upset at the Tigers or Bonderman.
"They went about it the right way," Twins catcher Joe Mauer said.
"Kept the ball down."
Mijares did not comment.
"I can't say what I said to ( Mijares)," said Cabrera, who broke
the game open with a two-out, three-run double in the eighth inning
that put the Twins up 7-1. "It was a selfish act on his part
because as a team we're here to win ballgames, we're not here to
fight with people."
Others noted that Mijares has had no other controversial
incidents this season, after putting a difficult winter and spring
training behind him. Now, the Twins need to do just that and get
ready for the Royals.
"Hopefully we'll go and at least do our part," Gardenhire said.
"We can't control it now. It's in somebody else's hands."