Happy 11th Anniversary, Varitek Shoving His Mitt Down A-Rod’s Throat

It's been more than a decade since a bench-clearing brawl produced of the most iconic images of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Oh man, are the 2015 Red Sox bad. Even worse, they’re expensive and bad, and poorly managed. The Red Sox are the circa-2012 Upper Crust of baseball.

Back in 2004, this wasn’t the case. The Red Sox were good! And so were the New York Yankees. Long before Alex Rodriguez watched the Lance Armstrong scandal unfold and muttered to himself, “Oh yeah? Watch this,” the Yankees slugger stepped to the plate early in a 3-0 game, only to get plunked by Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

A-Rod took exception to that. He said a unsavory things to Arroyo, and a few more to Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

This was, as fate would have it, a mistake.

As was usually the case for these two bitter rivals in the early Aughts, the benches cleared.

Spotted: a 28-year-old David Ortiz!

…and he did not know what to do with his hands.

Of course, we all know how that season ended. The bench-clearing brawl at Fenway Park served as the perfect prelude to Boston’s historic comeback in the ALCS against the Yanks months later, on the way to their first Word Series title in 86 years.