The Closer: "It Was Mayhem Down In The Tunnel"

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Notes on a day in baseball:

1. Shocking Brutality In The Great White North! OK, now we're talkin'. The Blue Jays may have a warped sense of the term "fighting for a playoff spot," but we're not complaining. We've always said it: Fisticuffs between players and managers are just plain fun. Toronto manager John Gibbons got into some sort of brawl with pitcher Ted Lilly on Monday, after Gibbons removed him in the third inning of their game with the Athletics. Words were exchanged, and Gibbons followed Lilly from the dugout toward the clubhouse, where some sort of rasslin' match occurred. Gibbons received a bloody nose, as did the Blue Jays, who blew an 8-0 lead and lost 12-10. Both said no punches were thrown, which is a damnable lie. "We were on the verge of something regrettable happening. We were yelling at each other face to face," Lilly said. Bobby Kielty homered and drove in four runs for the A's. Canadian Press photographer Aaron Harris said Lilly was waiting for Gibbons in the tunnel leading to the clubhouse. Awesome ... ambush! "Gibbons just went at him," Harris said. "It looked like Gibbons grabbed him and they disappeared. Then the whole dugout emptied back there. It was mayhem down in the tunnel." Gibbons told that there was no blood spilled and that he didn't go into the tunnel to confront Lilly. ''I went to (go to the bathroom),'' he said. ''I do that six times a game.''

2. Your AL Central, By The Numbers. Detroit's Justin Verlander beat the White Sox for the first time, as the Tigers' 7-1 victory gave them a 6 1/2 game lead over the second-place Vanilla Hose in the opener of a four-game set. Chicago leads the wild card race by half a game over the Twins.


3. Take Five. The last time the Yankees swept a five-game series from the Red Sox, Biff was giving George McFly Indian burns while making him do his homework. Cory Lidle threw six shutout innings, as the Pinstripes took a 6 1/2 game lead over Boston in the AL East.

4. Red Dawn. We hear the tiny pitter-pat of footsteps coming from second place in the NL Central. Damn, it must be Cincinnati ... getting closer ... ahhhhh!


5. Hitting It Clear (And Cream) Into McCovey Cove. Hey, Barry Bonds. Remember him? He hit his 725th career home run on Monday (now 30 behind Hank Aaron) as the Giants beat the D-Backs 5-0. Go ahead, you can admit you were at the game; you're not under oath.