In an interview with David Laurila of Baseball Prospectus, Crisp offers a rare insight into the makings of a baseball brawl and the events that led up to it.
Crisp seems to blame the entire situation on Jason Bartlett who blocked second base with his knee, breaking an “unwritten rule.” But more importantly — and this shows just how nuts Crisp is — Crisp was apparently most upset about what happened when he got up and yelled at Bartlett…
So I got up and had some choice words for Jason Bartlett. He didn’t even look at me…My next at-bat, I get up and I’m like “I don’t care how I get on, but I’ve got to get on.” If he covered the bag, I wasn’t going to slide. I was going to do the dirty, you know, take him out. He didn’t want to say anything to me, fine. You play it dirty, I can play it dirty too. You’ve got to nip stuff right in the bud when it happens.
He then goes on to describe the brawl in great detail, even noting who did what in the scrum…
James Shields: Shields turns back around and throws a second punch, which was aimed for my chin, which was probably going to be a pretty good shot, but I put my chin down and he hit me in my chest.
Jonny Gomes: Gomes came over the top swinging, but he didn’t even hit me, I don’t think. He hit Navarro most of the time.
Aki Iwamura: Iwamura, who I took out, came in and threw like a little bitty punch, but it was one of those unsure ones, like “Ah, I don’t really want to hit him, but I’ll throw one anyway.”
Carl Crawford: What surprised me was Carl Crawford. He slid in there and hit me three times on top of my head, like pow, pow, pow, and he was pulling my braids and scratching my eyes.
What is interesting about this, besides the brutal honesty, is how, even using Crisp’s words, we can’t help but see how he clearly escalated a situation that didn’t need to be escalated.