Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez EPIC BRAWL 14 Years Ago Today…

Boston Red Sox CAPTAIN makes an example out of New York Yankees SINGLE HANDEDLY!

Anniversay of Fenway Park FIGHT from 14 years ago that FUELED FIRES between rival clubs.

Sports historians can all agree that on July 24th, 2004 – 14 years ago today??? Wow! Yes, 14 years ago to this date, the Boston Red Sox had a Major League turning point in their season. July 24th, 2004 was the day Red Sox Team Captain and catcher Jason Varitek went mitt to mug on New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez at Fenway Park.

Sports Writers from AROUND the HORN

Courtney Cox – NESN

Yep. It’s been 14 years since the epic throw-down between the rivals. Let me set the scene: July 24th, 2004… when the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry was, well… peak entertainment. Bronson Arroyo took the mound. Top of the third he hits A-Rod. Well, a screaming match ensues, Varitek gets involved. “We don’t hit .270 hitters on purpose” was the rumor of what he (Varitek) said to get A-Rod that riled up. And well, the rest is history.

Tweet deets: Twitter

Dakota Randall – NESN

The Red Sox and New York Yankees met for one of the most memorable insallments of sports’ greatest rivalry. In the third inning, with the Red Sox trailing 3-0 to the team that ruined their World Series hopes the previous season, Boston starter Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez, who began talking trash on his way to first base. Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek then got in Rodriguez’s face, and a wild, benches-clearing brawl ensued.

Read more: NESN

Joe MacDonald – EPSN

The image of Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek shoving his mitt into the face of Alex Rodriguez has become an iconic symbol of the storied rivalry between Boston and the New York Yankees.

The picture hangs in sports bars, restaurants and man caves all over New England. It is sold in memorabilia stores — even though both players refuse to add their autographs to the print — and it represents to Red Sox Nation all that went right that season.

It’s been 10 years since those two players ignited a bench-clearing brawl on July 24, 2004 at Fenway Park. The Red Sox, who had fallen to the Yankees in a heart-wrenching seven-game ALCS the year before, were trailing 3-0 with two outs in the top of the third inning when pitcher Bronson Arroyo drilled Rodriguez on his heavily padded left elbow with an inside fastball.

Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek
Home Plate Umpire gets between Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek moments before their epic brawl at Fenway Park (Joe Rogash – Getty Images)

As Rodriguez slowly started toward first base, he stared down Boston’s pitcher and had words for Arroyo.

“Throw that shit over the fucking plate,” Arroyo recalled in a phone interview. “Then he said the exactly same thing again.”

Rodriguez then turned his attention to Varitek, who was telling the Yankees’ cleanup hitter to shut up and go to first.

“I told him, in choice words, to get to first base,” Varitek said at the time. “And then it changed from him yelling at Bronson to [us] yelling at each other, and then things got out of hand.”

That included Rodriguez throwing out a string of profanities to Varitek.

The Red Sox captain, who was still wearing his mask, had heard enough and shoved his catcher’s mitt into Rodriguez’s face. The benches and bullpens emptied. Varitek and Rodriguez were ejected from the game.

Full article: ESPN

Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek at Fenway Park
Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek moments before an epic brawl took place on July 24th, 2004 at Fenway Park between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rival clubs. (photo by Barry Chin – Boston Globe)

Kyle Scott Clauss – Boston Magazine

It’s been more than a decade since a bench-clearing brawl produced the most iconic images of Red Sox and Yankees rivalry. Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate early in a 3-0 game, only to get plunked by Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo. A-Rod took exception to that. The Yankees slugger said unsavory things to Arroyo, and a few more to Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. This was, as fate would have it, a mistake.

11th Anniversary Special: Boston Magazine

A-Rod challenges the Captain

Of course, we all know how that season ended. The bench-clearing brawl at Fenway Park served as the perfect prelude to Boston’s historic comeback in the ALCS against the Yanks months later, on the way to their first Word Series title in 86 years.

“Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you! Come on…” – New York Yankee 3rd Baseman Alex Rodriguez

Sports Illustrated

Jason Varitek may have cemented his place in Red Sox lore when he challenged Alex Rodriguez during a July game at Fenway Park in 2004. Varitek shoved Rodriguez in the face with his glove after A-Rod objected to being hit with a Bronson Arroyo pitch, and following the subsequent brawl (in which both Varitek and Rodriguez were ejected), the Red Sox rallied to a dramatic 11-10 victory. The image can be found hanging in many a sports bar throughout New England.

Varitek and A-Rod fight
Captain Crunch! Boston Red Sox Catcher Jason Varitek goes glove to face on New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez at Fenway Park. (Damian Strohmeyer for Sports Illustrated)

A-Rod Stuffed: Sports Illustrated

“Many things I’ve done in my career, especially my time as a New York Yankee, were cringe.” – Alex Rodriguez

Adrian Garro – MLB

2004 was a wild year for the Yankees and Red Sox. Coming on the heels of a 2003 ALCS showdown wrought with tension, high-stakes heroics, brush-backs and bench-clearings and a now-iconic Aaron Boone walk-off in Game 7, the series was essentially a forecast of what was to come.

And while the real drama surfaced when the two clubs met in the ’04 ALCS (you may remember how that played out), there was a sneak preview on a particularly action-packed afternoon at Fenway Park. On July 24, the two American League East rivals engaged in a slugfest ultimately won by Boston, 11-10 — but this one was much more than a box score.

MLB article: MLB.com

Benches clearing BRAWL!
Benches clear at Fenway Park between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

Jason Andrew Varitek (born April 11, 1972), nicknamed Tek, is a retired American baseball catcher. After being traded as a minor league prospect by the Seattle Mariners, Varitek played his entire career in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Boston Red Sox, for whom he now works as a special assistant. A three-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner at catcher, as well as a Silver Slugger Award winner, Varitek was part of both the 2004 World Series and 2007 World Series Championship teams, and was viewed widely as one of the team’s leaders. In December 2004 he was named the captain of the Red Sox, only their fourth captain since 1923. He was a switch-hitter and is still a badass.

Wicked Pissah: Wikipedia

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