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Flashback #67: Barrett v. Pierzysnki (2006)

The 2006 days of Michael Barrett and A.J. Pierzynski exchanging blows seem so long ago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2006 days of Michael Barrett and A.J. Pierzynski exchanging blows seem so long ago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.

May 20, 2006 – Michael Barrett v. A.J. Pierzynski

As if the Cubs-Sox rivalry wasn’t passionate enough, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett and A.J. Pierzynski decided to throw some fuel on the fire during a a mid-May game in 2006.

As Pierzynski was rounding third base, attempting to score, he charged toward home plate where Barrett was preparing to catch the relay throw to tag the charging Pierzysnki.

Pierzysnki barreled into Barrett, who didn’t even have the ball yet to make the tag. As the two fell to the ground, Pierzysnki emphatically slapped home plate. As he walked to the dugout, he bumped Barrett with his shoulder, which caused Barrett to retaliate.

That’s when Barrett cocked his arm back and punched Pierzynski right in the jaw.

“I got sucker-punched,” Pierzynski said after the game.”He grabbed me and said, ‘I didn’t have the ball’ and then he punched me. … I was trying to pick up my helmet. I tried to take a step around him and he grabbed me. I thought he was going to say ‘Hey, are you OK?’ And I was going to say the same thing. The words came out, I got hit and the next thing I know, all hell broke loose.”

Both players were ejected for their roles in the melee. Barrett was later suspended for 10 games, while Pierzysnki received only a fine.

The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary »