Yankees History-July 24, 2004: Jason Varitek didn't take off his mask

On this very day, 15 years ago, Jason Varitek did not take off his mask.

Image result for alex rodriguez jason varitek photo
Credit: Reuters

Keeping the mask on was a soft move in and of itself, but the original lunge was kind of soft, too.  He basically just pushed his face.  I still maintain that A-Rod was the true primary force of the fight, inciting the brawl with some choice fighting words and welcoming a punch with a patronizing hand gesture. 

Related image
Credit J. Rogash/Getty Images
Look, I kind of get it.  If there’s any one guy people want to punch in the face, it’s the dude who kisses himself in the mirror.  But, again, it wasn’t really a punch.  I don't know, maybe I'm just not a "lunge" guy in fights.  I mean, you don't see lunges on Worldstar.  However, I must give credit where credit is due.  Curt Schilling recalled that after Bronson Arroyo plunked A-Rod, Varitek apparently exclaimed, “Throw it over the plate; we don’t hit .260 hitters.” To which A-Rod replied “F--- you!” A fair response to admittedly, a pretty funny comment.

Boston fans like to pinpoint this moment as a turning point for their franchise.  It has been followed by a few World Series Championships, so they are beginning to catch up I guess, but the Yanks are still the alpha of the rivalry, having won more head-to-head matchups and AL East titles since this brawl in ’04.

Regardless, if you come at the Kings, you best not miss…and you should also take off your mask.

Article by: John Messina


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