‘Maximum tension, minimum release’: why baseball produces so many brawls

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For a non-contact sport, baseball appears to involve plenty of fights. What is it about the game that produces confrontations?

In 1986 I had the privilege of sitting next to the great Scottish sportswriter Hugh McIlvanney during the NFL’s first American Bowl at Wembley Stadium. One of the topics we discussed was the fascination that British fans have with baseball brawls, highlights of which seemed to occupy an unusual amount of time on British television – more, it seemed to me, than on American TV.

“It’s just refreshing to us,” McIlvanney explained, “to see most of the violence happening on the field instead of in the stands.”

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Sportblog | The Guardian

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