Angels, Rangers rumble in batting practice

Updated: July 28, 2004, 12:49 AM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anaheim Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy and Texas Rangers catcher Gerald Laird got into a scuffle during batting practice Tuesday, a carry-over from a dispute the night before.

Laird thought Kennedy intentionally tried to get hit by one of Ryan Drese's pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning of Texas' 6-1 victory Monday night, and said something to Kennedy when he came up again in the fifth.

"Obviously, it wasn't quite resolved," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Kennedy was standing behind the batting cage Tuesday and was approached by Laird as the Angels were concluding batting practice and the Rangers were finishing their pregame stretching. Moments later, the two were in a tussle that spilled over to the warning track between home plate and the first base dugout.

Soon every player from each team was involved in the skirmish, with players pushing, shoving and grabbing each other before order was restored approximately four minutes later. It was unclear whether any punches were thrown.

"I'm surprised. It was stupid, to be honest. But it was fun, though," Texas outfielder Brian Jordan said.

Kennedy and Laird declined to speak with reporters about the fight.

"I've never seen anything like that before a game," said Eric Young of the AL West-leading Rangers. "I don't think it had anything to do with the heat of a pennant race. & To me, it's over with."

Laird, who came off the disabled list last Friday, didn't start Tuesday because he had played the night before. Kennedy batted ninth for the Angels.

"I'm in the dugout, not on the field, and I trust our players' evaluations," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "It's certainly something we talked about during the game last night. I guess just being a more competitive team this year, those things are a derivative of it."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press