Brawling with Crisp

If you haven't yet had the chance, be sure to go to YouTube to see Thursday night's brawl between Boston's Coco Crisp and Tampa Bay's James Shields.

Crisp, back on his haunches, avoids a lights-out swipe from Shields. After the game, Crisp spoke with reporters. Here is an excerpt:

"Shields tried to hit me with a haymaker. He missed. I threw a punch. I pretty much missed. And the rest went down to the ground . . . like the scratches on my face were people trying to scratch like we were playing football or something, like little girls, trying to scratch out my eyes."

That might be the first time anyone has compared football to the "scratching" that is, as we all know, common among little girls.

MLB suspended Crisp for seven games yesterday for his role in the brawl. Shields received six games. Boston's Jon Lester and Sean Casey were suspended for five games and three, respectively. Tampa Bay's Jonny Gomes and Edwin Jackson were both suspended for five games, Carl Crawford for four, and Akinori Iwamura for three.

Unless appealed, the suspensions began yesterday.

More Boston, more fighting

As profound as ever, Manny Ramirez claimed that his dugout run-in with teammate Kevin Youkilis on Thursday was "in the past."

Ramirez added: "It's a new day."

On Thursday, TV cameras showed Ramirez and Youkilis in a verbal altercation at the end of the fourth inning. The two were separated by teammates.

Much ado about . . . something

Debate is a-stirrin' in Seattle, where a woman is complaining that during a May 26 game against Boston, an usher at Safeco Field - home of the cellar-dwelling Mariners - requested that she and her companion, another woman, stop kissing.

The woman said the usher told her it was making other fans uncomfortable, in particular a woman sitting near the couple.

The Mariners, in a news release, said the staff request was appropriate, since it came not because of the couple's sexual orientation but because their behavior included "making out" and "groping."


Detroit placed infielder Ramon Santiago and outfielder Clete Thomas on the 15-day disabled list. Santiago has a separated left shoulder, Thomas a sprained right ankle. . . . The commissioner's office upheld the three-game suspension of New York Yankees reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who was suspended for throwing at Luke Scott of Baltimore. Hawkins' suspension began yesterday. . . . Yankees cochairman Hank Steinbrenner said he wants to re-sign general manager Brian Cashman, whose three-year deal ends after this season.