Jonny Gomes was not impressed.
Monday night’s bench-clearing incident here was more like a book-club gathering, featuring home-baked oatmeal raisin cookies served with a nice Oolong tea, than anything remotely resembling a baseball brawl.
It was, said Gomes yesterday, “just a 60-yard sprint, good for some cardio. I knew nothing was going to happen.’’

Gomes keeps handy a memento of a baseball brawl that really did go down. He went to his locker to retrieve it. In the picture gallery of his smartphone is a Herald photo from the June 5, 2008, fracas at Fenway Park, in which Gomes was the primary pummeler of Coco Crisp, who had been hit by a James Shields pitch in retaliation for his hard slide at second base.
Now that was an honest-to-goodness baseball melee, and the picture captures the drama and the fury: In front of a flat-on-his-back Crisp, Gomes has his right arm cocked back, ready to unload a punch to the outfielder’s face.
“Yeah, I was there,” Gomes said. “I was there.”
Gomes was fined and given a five-game suspension for his fisticuffs, and seven others, including last night’s starter Jon Lester, were suspended for a total of 38 games.
That was five years ago, however, when a 27-year-old Gomes was more emotional and hot-headed than the 32-year-old veteran who embraces his leadership role with his new team. He credits the half-season he spent with Nationals manager Davey Johnson in 2011 for helping him understand that Monday night’s “fight’’ and subsequent outbursts from Rays manager Joe Maddon and outfielder Matt Joyce — about John Lackey intentionally throwing at Joyce and that Lackey is not a good teammate — were nothing more than static.
Monday night’s incident had no juice to it. Gomes said his and the Red Sox’ ability to treat the incident for what it was speaks to their discipline and focus.