The Rays’ Rearview Mirror: J.P. Howell’s Role In Tuesday’s Dodgers-Diamondbacks Brawl

By Jenna West

Benches clear after Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke is hit by a pitch from Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It is being labeled as the greatest brawl this season yet, as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks’ bench-clearing brawl Tuesday night has been receiving much attention, including video on Former Rays reliever J.P. Howell has always been a fiery character on the baseball diamond, and fans witnessed Howell’s spirited attitude as he engaged in the brawl with his Dodgers teammates and coaches.

After Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy hit Zack Greinke in the head with a pitch in the seventh inning, the benches cleared and Howell quickly found his victim. Howell hit Arizona’s assistant hitting coach Turner Ward in the ribs before pushing him back 15 feet into the camera well. Miguel Montero, the Diamondbacks catcher, eventually pushed Howell off of Ward.

“You just try to defend your guys, and if something happens you want to get in there and help him out,” Howell told Stephen Bailey of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. When asked about Ward, Howell responded, “I just wanted to make sure I’ve got him pinned and not me because I’ve been in that situation before and it’s not fun.”

Howell was referencing the infamous fight between the Devil Rays and Boston Red Sox on June 5, 2008, but James Shields and Coco Crisp were the main players fighting during that incident.

Howell currently has an ERA of 2.43, giving up 22 hits with 26 strikeouts in 27 games this season with the Dodgers.