The action quickly got violent after Carmona threw over to first base moments later. Sheffield gestured and yelled, "Throw the ball home" at Carmona, who answered back. That sent Sheffield sprinting off of the bag and toward the mound as Carmona met him and both dugouts and bullpens emptied."He called me out," Sheffield said. "If you call me out, I answer the call."
Replays showed Sheffield and Carmona wrestling in the middle of the scrum as Carmona, who had Sheffield in a headlock, delivered multiple punches to the top of Sheffield's head. Others on both sides tried to break up the scrum.
They briefly succeeded, having pulled the players apart, until Victor Martinez started exchanging words with a Tigers player. It took several players to hold back Martinez, including fellow Venezuelans Magglio Ordonez and Cabrera. Several Tigers, meanwhile, forced Sheffield back into the visitors' dugout.
Sheffield, Carmona, Martinez and Placido Polanco were all ejected from the game, forcing an entirely new pitcher-battery duo into the game for Cleveland and a new baserunner for Detroit.Martinez, who was playing Nintendo with Josh Barfield before he addressed the media, was still steamed about the incident. "If you're going to do something, you charge right away," Martinez said. "After you're at first, what are you trying to do, get attention or what? "You've got to protect your teammates. I'm not going to let anyone go at my pitcher like that." Martinez brought attention to Carmona's tendency to pitch inside to every hitter, not just Sheffield. "Everybody knows that Fausto's ball moves too much," he said. Sheffield was particularly upset at Martinez, whose act, Sheffield said, "is tired." "All this macho stuff -- throwing the equipment off," Sheffield said. "Trust me, you don't want any of me." Sheffield didn't direct his anger just at Martinez. "I saw the tape," he said. "I know who they are and I guarantee you they'll have to deal with me." Sheffield, and anyone else involved in Friday night's fracas, will likely have to deal with the powers of Major League Baseball first.
Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.