Friday, July 25, 2008

Minor Game Major Brawl

A pitcher is in a Dayton, Ohio jail this morning, charged with felony assault after a huge brawl broke out in yesterday's Peoria Chiefs-Dayton Dragons Single-A baseball game. What started out as a heated argument between the team's managers, escalated when Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo fired a baseball at the Dayton dugout. To make matters worse, Castillo missed, and instead hit a fan sitting behind the dugout. It also emptied the Dayton bench and the melee was on.

It all started in the 2nd inning when Castillo beaned Dragons batter Zach Kozart, who had to leave the game. As an aside, the next batter hit a grounder that caused Castillo and 2nd baseman Gian Guzman to collide. Guzman broke his leg and was taken off on a stretcher. Castillo's night was only going to get worse.

After giving up a pair of 2-run hits, Castillo hit Angel Cabrera, who had hit a walk off home run the night before. The next play was a grounder and Cabrera took out his frustrations on Chiefs shortstop Nate Samson. That brought acting manager Carmelo Martinez (Ryne Sandberg was away from the team) out to argue with home plate ump. Dragons manager Donnie Scott joined the argument and was shoved by Martinez. That set off Castillo and it "game on".

10 minutes later, 17 players were ejected, leaving the umpires in a quandary. They no longer had enough players to finish the game. Midwest League President George Spelius made the odd decision of telling the umpires to reinstate enough players to finish the game. Why not just suspend the game until Spelius could review the video of the incident, which he was going to have to do any way.

Meanwhile, Castillo was to be arraigned this morning. It could mean deportation and a loss of a work visa for the 20-yr old native of the Dominican Republic.

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