José Ramírez punch puts Tim Anderson on the ground in wild Guardians-White Sox brawl

José Ramírez put Tim Anderson on the ground. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

Most MLB brawls are crowded shoving matches. The one that erupted on Saturday between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Guardians started with a boxing match.

A bizarre fight went down in the sixth inning when Guardians star José Ramírez slid into second base between the legs of White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson. Ramírez was called safe, but a dispute broke out that resulted in Ramírez and Anderson pushing their way to each other through second base umpire Malachi Moore and squaring up.

Both players threw punches, with Ramírez appearing to land the knockout blow when Anderson fell backward. Both teams quickly cleared out their dugouts and bullpens as the two players were separated.

The whole thing is best watched with the commentary of Guardians announcer Tom Hamilton, who threw out “Down goes Anderson! Down goes Anderson!” after the decisive blow.

Another angle of the fight shows how Ramírez hit Anderson with the hardest punch MLB has seen since Rougned Odor leveled José Bautista in 2016:

Ramírez said through an interpreter after the game he told Anderson earlier in the game he was tagging players too hard, including in a controversial play Friday when he hit Guardians rookie Brayan Rocchio’s hand hard enough to push it off second base.

“As soon as the play happened, he tapped me again really hard, more than needed. And then his reaction was like ‘I want to fight’ and if he wanted to fight I had to defend myself,” Ramírez said. “I felt I was able to land one.”

Regardless of the cause or outcome, both players can expect multi-game suspensions from MLB in the coming days.

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That wasn’t even the end of it. Per MLB.com’s reporter on the scene, Anderson began jawing with another member of the Guardians, leading to a second round of brawling with White Sox manager Pedro Grifol getting into it with Francona and bench coach DeMarlo Hale.

“I think [Grifol] was more yelling at me and then I kinda yelled back,” Francona said. “Anderson, once he had 11, 12 guys in between them, that’s when he started [jawing]. I said something to him, that’s probably what their manager was yelling about. It’s hard to let somebody speak to you like that and not say anything.”

At one point, White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez reportedly hopped away while limping on one foot, while Anderson was picked up by teammate Andrew Vaughn and carried off the field. Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase was held back by teammates Noah Syndergaard and David Fry, kicking off another shouting match between the teams.

Ramírez and Anderson were both ejected from the game, as were Francona, Grifol and Guardians third base coach Mike Sarbaugh.

Ramírez might have won the fight, but the White Sox won the night with a 7-4 victory over the Guardians. Anderson reportedly declined to speak to reporters after the game, while Grifol mostly held off on addressing the matter.

“I’m going to let MLB figure this out. They’ve got some work to do,” Grifol said.

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