Why did benches clear in Yankees game?

Why Benches Cleared in Yankees Game

Baseball is a sport that is known for its intensity and competitive spirit. The New York Yankees have a long history of playing hard and getting into heated exchanges with their opponents. On April 19th, 2021, the benches cleared during a game between the Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, leading to multiple ejections and suspensions. So, what caused this altercation and why did benches clear in the Yankees game?

History of Yankees and Blue Jays

The Yankees and the Blue Jays have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the 1970s, when the two teams first played each other. This rivalry has been intensifying over the years, as both teams have become more competitive and play each other frequently in the American League East division. This animosity between the two teams was evident in the lead up to the April 19th game, as the Blue Jays had just taken two of three games from the Yankees in their last series.

The Incident

The incident occurred in the sixth inning of the April 19th game, when Yankees pitcher Michael King threw a pitch behind the shoulder of Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández. This immediately sparked an altercation, as the two teams began to yell at each other from their respective dugouts. King was immediately ejected from the game, followed by Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who was also ejected after confronting the umpires.

The Ejections and Suspensions

The incident resulted in three players being ejected, including Hernandez and Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin. Austin was then suspended for five games, while Blue Jays reliever John Axford was also suspended for three games. In addition, Boone was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount.

The Aftermath

The incident sparked a lot of controversy, as some felt that the umpires had overreacted and that the players involved were simply acting in the heat of the moment. However, Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred defended the umpires and their decision to eject the players, saying that the actions of the players were “unacceptable and could not be tolerated.”

The Reactions

The incident received a lot of attention from the media, with many outlets discussing the implications of the incident and the suspensions. The Yankees and the Blue Jays released statements expressing regret for the incident, while some players expressed their opinions on social media.

The Impact on the Season

The incident had a significant impact on the season, as the Yankees had to play without Boone and Austin for several games. This left the team shorthanded and they struggled to find their footing until Boone and Austin returned. The Blue Jays also had to adjust to the absence of Axford, but they managed to remain competitive throughout the season.

Lessons Learned

The incident serves as an important reminder of the importance of keeping emotions in check during games. MLB has taken a zero-tolerance approach to any type of altercation and the punishments for those involved in the incident were a clear indication of this.

Changes in MLB Rules

This incident has prompted MLB to take a closer look at its rules and make adjustments to ensure that similar incidents don’t occur in the future. In particular, MLB has implemented a new rule that will require players to remain in the dugout or bullpen during an altercation.


The benches clearing incident between the Yankees and the Blue Jays on April 19th, 2021 serves as an important reminder of the emotions that can boil over during a game. Players need to be aware of the consequences of their actions, as the punishments can be severe. MLB has made changes to its rules to ensure that similar incidents don’t happen in the future, but the ultimate responsibility lies with the players to remain in control of their emotions.