Reliever Troy Percival, who ignited the altercation by hitting outfielder David Justice in the chest with a pitch, was apparently upset afterward that teammate Mo Vaughn didn't join in the fray.
"That's where you learn which people on your team are standing behind you," Percival said. "You know which guys you can go to battle with. I gained respect for certain people. Certain people I have to question. You can watch the videotape."
Vaughn wasn't happy to hear that. He was the designated hitter that night and had been in the clubhouse when the fight broke out. By the time he got back to the dugout, the fight was over.
He laid into his teammates during an expletive-laced clubhouse tirade the next day, particularly taking aim at Percival for taking his complaint to the media instead of the players he was criticizing.
"Take a beating like a man and get the next out," Vaughn shouted, with Percival standing just a few feet away.
Hitting coach Rod Carew stepped in at that point and took both players aside to hash out their differences more privately.
Friday night, the team closed its clubhouse to reporters, violating baseball's rules on access for media, after beating the New York Yankees following manager Terry Collins' resignation.
Big unit, little offense
Arizona Diamondbacks ace Randy Johnson apparently has decided to quit worrying and enjoy the close games. He clearly felt persecuted earlier this year when several great performances went to waste because of minimal offensive support, but he seems to have come to grips with the situation.
Once again, he got almost nothing to work with Tuesday night and came up on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss to the unimposing Montreal Expos.
Johnson is 14-9 and the D'backs have scored a total of 11 runs in his nine losses. That's an average of 1.2 runs per game. Seven times the club has been held to one run or fewer in a game started by Johnson, who has a 2.38 ERA in those games.
"It's been like that all year," he said. "It's made me a better pitcher. If we get 10 runs, I go out there like it's a 1-0 ballgame. I don't look at the scoreboard until the game's over."
If the season ended today
The Diamondbacks would play the New York Mets in the Divisional Series, which wouldn't be a delightful prospect for the Mets. The D'backs won the season series against New York, 7-2, and outscored it, 63-39, but don't expect them to be overconfident if the postseason matchup takes place.
"Once you get into October, who cares what happened in the regular season?" Arizona pitcher Brian Anderson said. "The Mets won't come in here intimidated by us by any means if we happen [to meet]."
What are friends for?
Chicago White Sox infielder Greg Norton jumped to the defense of teammate Frank Thomas after he was booed heavily during an 0-for-8, four-strikeout performance in Monday's doubleheader sweep by the Seattle Mariners at Comiskey Park.
"It's too bad they're booing Frank," Norton said. "He's a good guy and he has done so much for the organization. I've tried my best to play poorly and take some of the heat off him."
If that's the plan, Norton is succeeding. He committed his 26th error of the year on Tuesday.
When Cincinnati's Aaron Boone and Atlanta's Bret Boone homered in the same game Wednesday, it was the first time in nearly 25 years that two brothers have homered for opposing teams in the same game.
The last time it happened was Sept. 14, 1974, when Graig Nettles of the Yankees and Jim Nettles of the Detroit Tigers turned the trick at Tiger Stadium.
Not long after Marlins top draft choice Josh Beckett signed a $7 million contract, he was playfully accosted by Florida pitcher Alex Fernandez during a visit to the Marlins' clubhouse.
"So, you're the guy who's going to pitch in the All-Star Game in two years," said Fernandez, reminding Beckett of his brash draft-day prediction. "Well, let me tell you something. I've got 102 big-league wins and I've never sniffed an All-Star Game."
Fernandez is known for his lighthearted needling, but Beckett didn't know that. He quietly took the good-natured tongue-lashing and then turned to his father and said, "I think we better go."
All sentimentality aside
Darryl Strawberry's return to the Yankees' clubhouse brought out all the well-intentioned cliches about his uphill battle against drug abuse and his comeback from colon cancer, but manager Joe Torre took a more practical view.
"I can't get caught up in the story about perseverance," he said. "It's a great story, but I have to find out whether Darryl can help us."
Barring more bad news off the field, he probably can't hurt. He may take a few at-bats away from DH Chili Davis in September, but Strawberry can be a presence without even swinging the bat.
"Darryl can affect the outcome of a game without even having to come off the bench," Torre said. "He's one guy who can scare the other manager and change the way he uses his bullpen."