Pedro Martinez says Joe Kelly handled Red Sox-Yankees brawl 'perfectly'

No one can say that the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees lacks intensity and drama anymore. The two teams faced each other on Wednesday night, and it came to blows. After the Yankees’ Tyler Austin spiked Brock Holt on a slide, Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly threw at Austin to retaliate. Austin didn’t like being hit, so he threw down his bat, charged the mound, and punches started flying.

Pedro Martinez has quite a lot of first hand experience with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry — and with brawling. He punched Don Zimmer, after all. Pedro had some thoughts about how the brawl went down, and he shared them on Twitter.

You have to love Pedro — he’ll pass on the compliments, but not without a little constructive criticism. Of course, while Pedro credited Kelly for his near-perfect handling of the situation, Joe Kelly continued the grand tradition of denying there was any intent behind his pitch.

Ahh yes, the “actually, I’m a bad pitcher” defense. There’s absolutely no way that Kelly would admit to hitting Tyler Austin, since that would earn him a suspension for sure. Cole Hamels admitted to hitting Bryce Harper back in 2010, and he got five games. But while there’s definitely some truth to what Kelly said (he definitely does not have Greg Maddux command), retaliation is what’s expected in baseball. Whether someone told him to do it or not doesn’t matter, because Kelly knew what his teammates expected of him.

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Yankees-Red Sox brawl during game
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Yankees-Red Sox brawl during game
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) slams his bat before charging the mound during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly (56) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) is escorted off of the field after a scrum against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) is held back during a scrum against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly (56) during the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Benches clear as Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after fighting with Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees after hitting him with a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox tries to hold back Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees as he storms the pitchers mound after being stuck by a pitch thrown by Joe Kelly #56 during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees reacts as he is ejected from the game after being hit by a pitch by Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: From top left, Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees and Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox separate Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox, bottom, from Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees, not pictured, during a fight in the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin rushed the mound after being struck by a pitch from Kelly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox after being struck by a pitch Kelly threw during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox, right, works to separate Joe Kelly #56 and Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin rushed the mound after being struck by a pitch from Kelly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after Tyler Austin #26 was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after Tyler Austin #26 was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after Tyler Austin #26 was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: From left, Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox, Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees and Rafael Devers #11 of the Red Sox work to separate a fight involving Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox and Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin rushed the mound after being struck by a pitch thrown by Kelly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox tries to hold back Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees as he storms the pitchers mound after being stuck by a pitch thrown by Joe Kelly #56 during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after Tyler Austin #26 was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after Tyler Austin #26 was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights with Joe Kelly #46 of the Boston Red Sox after being hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of a game on April 11, 2018 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The play led to a benches clearing argument. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Boston Red Sox, right, works to separate Joe Kelly #56 and Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin rushed the mound after being struck by a pitch from Kelly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees fights Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: From left, Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox, Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees and Rafael Devers #11 work to separate a fight involving Joe Kelly #56 of the Boston Red Sox and Tyler Austin #26 of the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Fenway Park on April 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin rushed the mound after being struck by a pitch thrown by Kelly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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One more Hall of Famer weighed in on the brawl on Wednesday night. Chipper Jones doesn’t have the same kind of experience with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry as Pedro, but he knows a little something about the unwritten rules of baseball.

And Pedro agreed with him.

The unwritten rules of baseball are completely fascinating, but breaking them down can make your head hurt. Rolling in with your spikes up is considered a violation, and it’s punished by throwing at a player, risking more injury. And the player who gets thrown at can either take the punishment or do what Austin did: throw down his bat, charge the mound, and throw some punches.

Baseball is a sport that’s played for public consumption, so everyone’s going to have an opinion on whether these kinds of unwritten rules enforcements are safe or wise. But almost all of us, including the commissioner, are on the outside looking in. Because Chipper’s right: baseball has policed itself for years, and the players don’t care what anyone thinks about it. It’s their game and their rules. With Rob Manfred continuing to add new rules to baseball, the players are going to hold onto the unwritten rules even harder, because those rules belong to them. They don’t want anyone telling them how to play the game.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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