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The 5 Dirtiest Plays in Baseball History

By Jordan Tracy

There have been many arguments about dirty slides, plays at the plate and intentional bean balls this year in baseball. This year has been unique in that it's the first year with the new rule about blocking the plate. It's difficult to figure out what plays are "dirty" and what is just an example of aggressive play. We've done the work for you and created this list of the dirtiest plays in baseball history.

5. Matt Holliday's Playoff Slide

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)

Game 2 of the 2012 NLCS resulted in a San Francisco Giants' win and a Marco Scutaro injury.  Holliday went for a take out slide in the first inning to break up a double play.  It's a totally normal play in baseball as long as it's a normal slide but Holliday starts his slide late on this play and barrels right into Scutaro.

4. Manny Machado's Butter Fingers

Tossed bat starts altercation in Baltimore by MLB on YouTube

It slipped?  I don't think so.  A's lefty Fernando Abad threw consecutive pitches that nearly hit Machado.  His response?  On the next pitch near him, Machado left his bat go and it went towards Abad and ended up near third baseman Josh Donaldson.  This caused a bench-clearing melee that ended with Machado getting suspended, which he will appeal.

3. Pete Rose Pummels Ray Fosse

Pete Rose barrels over Ray Fosse by MLB on YouTube

It was the 1970 All-Star Game and Pete Rose, who's known for his aggressive play, barrels into Ray Fosse at home plate in the 12th inning.  Fosse was waiting for the throw to come in but what he got instead was the steam rolling Rose. While I don't find this necessarily dirty, it shouldn't happen in an All-Star Game. In a regular season or playoff game, Rose would have been celebrated for his grit and aggressiveness.

Related:  10 Embarrassing MLB Player Injuries

2. Don Zimmer vs. Pedro Martinez

ALCS Gm3: Red Sox Martiez, Ramirez, Yankees Clemens, Zimmer in benches-clearing by MLB on YouTube

A series of inside pitches dealt by Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens caused the benches to clear in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Even though the fight isn't a play in the game, it was definitely a dirty moment.

1. A-Rods Running Technique

Hank Aaron Michigan Matters
Carol Cain, Senior Producer/Host of "Michigan Matters" interviews baseball legend Hank Aaron. Michigan Matters airs Sundays at 11:30 on CBS 62. (credit: Ken Bryant/CBS 62)

There aren't many ways to cheat during a single baseball game.  Over the course of your career you can cheat by using PEDs but that's not something you get called out on in the middle of an inning.  Alex Rodriguez, who is currently serving a suspension for PEDs, was able to find a way to cheat in a single game.

It was Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and A-Rod hit a weak grounder in between the mound and first base.  Red Sox righty Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball and went to tag A-Rod before he reached first.  A-Rod slaps the ball out of Arroyo's glove which allowed Derek Jeter to score making it a one run game in the bottom of the eighth.  The play was discussed by the umpires and A-Rod was called out.




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