Know that old line about going to a fight and a hockey game broke out?
Well, that was what happened last night at the Dayton Dragons game that I attended…
Update: Peoria pitcher held on $50K bond, preliminary hearing set for August 1. (DDN)
Update: Matt Klinker’s view on the brawl and tonight’s game (DDN)
Saturday Update: Another good article from Milb.com
According to the DDN, the tension started when Dayton starter Kyle Lotzkar hit a Peoria hitter in the first inning, the 4th Peoria player hit in 2 nights. I can’t speak for what happened on Wednesday night, but I will say that tensions started to rise in the bottom of the first when Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo hit Dragons SS Zach Cozart in the helmet.
Cozart lay on the ground for several minutes, his helmet was knocked about 5 feet by the pitch and the ball ended up at 1st base. All the time he was on the ground, Castillo never even came in to see how he was.
Later in the inning, Dragons 2B/SS Angel Cabrera (who had hit a walk off HR the night before) was hit by a pitch. Cabrera said something to Castillo, but the catcher and umpire kept it from going any further. One batter later, he slid hard into second and the Peoria SS took exception to it and words were exchanged again. (Earlier in the inning the Peoria 2B had broken his leg in a collision with Castillo.)
The DDN article says that Dragons manager Donnie Scott came down the line to complain when the next Dragons hitter, Brandon Menchaca, was brushed back; but from my vantage point, the problems started when interim manager Carmelo Martinez came onto the field (Ryne Sandberg, the regular Peoria manager was in Cooperstown for the HOF ceremonies), crossed both foul lines and confronted Scott. (At this point, in my opinion, the umpires lost control of the situation, they never should have allowed Martinez to cross the field and get in an altercation with the opposing manager.)
Castillo then took the baseball (and he was showing about 95 MPH on the gun earlier in the inning) and threw it as hard as he could into the Dragons dugout…and the brawl was on. According to an article on MiLB.com, the ball apparently ricocheted into the stands and hit a fan. (The fan was later removed by an ambulance to a local hospital.)
The Milb article says that Castillo was arrested and charged with felony assault.
The fighting went on for about 10 minutes….at one point, one of the Dragons went into the dugout and tried to come out with a bat. Thank goodness, someone stopped him from getting out of the dugout. It looks on the video like Castillo may have tried to get a bat out of his dugout also, but my seat location doesn’t allow me to see the front of the visitor’s dugout. The game was held up for well over an hour as things cooled down and the umpires decided what to do. Initially, 15 players were ejected but then that was rescinded and no one was thrown out of the game (after the umps talked to the league offices and both parent organizations). Suspensions, etc will probably be handed out today. Reds GM Walt Jocketty and Director of Player development Terry Reynolds were in attendance in Dayton last night.
And guess who pitches tonight in the last game between these two teams?
Redleg Nation Spotlight Player Matt Klinker