Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was as angry as you will ever see him during his team’s bench-clearing brawl against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. For those who missed it, you can see video of the melee here.
It all started in the bottom of the fifth when Chicago pitcher Chris Sale threw a pitch that went up under Prince Fielder’s chin after Miguel Cabrera belted a solo home run. The next inning, White Sox rookie catcher Josh Phegly hit a grand slam and Tigers reliever Luke Putkonen responded by throwing behind Alexei Ramirez, who then started toward the mound and the benches cleared.
After the game, Torii Hunter was asked about the brawl. He responded with several entertaining sound effects and refused to comment.
“The game was tough, man,” Hunter said with a sarcastic look on his face. “We lost the game and we’ll try to bounce back tomorrow.”
When reporters pressed on, Hunter made it clear he wasn’t going to get into detail about what happened.
“Is that the phone I hear ringing?” he joked. “It’s tough, man. You guys got tough questions today. That’s something we try to stay away from. We just play the game. The game polices itself. That’s all I got to say.”
There’s a reason Hunter has a reputation for being a great clubhouse guy. He could have fueled the fire, but instead he kept it vague and gave reporters nothing to write about. That’s the mark of a veteran and a leader.