By: Will Burchfield
The third and final dust-up in Thursday afternoon’s ruckus between the Tigers and Yankees was dying down, both teams retreating to their dugouts, when Brad Ausmus appeared to say something to Brett Gardner.
That something, according to Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi, was “F*ck you.”
The pot immediately came back to a boil.
The dugouts had emptied because Alex Wilson had just beaned Todd Frazier, an act that Wilson later acknowledged was fully intentional. (James McCann and John Hicks had both been plunked an inning prior.)
But the confrontation at home plate was verbal more than physical, and players on both sides seemed ready to simmer down and move on.
“And then Brad Ausmus is going to say ‘F-you’ to one of my players? C’mon Brad. What is that?” Girardi told reporters in the Yankees’ clubhouse afterward.
That clearly didn’t sit well with Gardner, who immediately charged Ausmus’ way. That prompted more pushing and shoving, as if there hadn’t been enough already, while a red-faced Gardner took off on a tirade. He appeared to have his eyes fixed on Ausmus the whole time.
Ausmus denied cursing out a Yankees player, per the Detroit News.
“False,” he said of Girardi’s claim.
Said Ausmus in his postgame media session, “Brett Garnder, I’ve always liked the way he plays from the other side. He plays the game hard. He wasn’t real happy with me, emotions were running high, I wasn’t real happy with him at the time. That’s part of baseball unfortunately at times.”
Ausmus was ejected from the game after this scrum. Girardi had been tossed earlier.