Friday, August 1, 2008
Brawl fallout: 15 minor league players, 2 managers suspended
CINCINNATI -- Fifteen minor league players and two managers were suspended and fined Friday for their part in a 10-minute, bench-clearing brawl that sent one fan to the hospital.
The rest of the players on both rosters also were fined for leaving their positions or the dugout, Midwest League President George Spelius said.
Suspensions ranged from three games for most players to 60 days for a pitcher accused of throwing a baseball that hit a fan.
Dayton Dragons manager Donnie Scott was fined and suspended for three games. Peoria Chiefs interim manager Carmelo Martinez, who was filling in for manager Ryne Sandberg, was fined $1,500 and suspended for 20 days.
The suspensions were the result of a July 24 melee at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, home of the Cincinnati Reds' Class A affiliate. The Chiefs are a Chicago Cubs farm team.
The brawl broke out after a confrontation between Scott and Martinez.
Three batters had been hit by pitches in the game's first inning, after three were hit in a game between the two teams the night before.
The Dragons cut infielder Angel Cabrera on Monday. Cabrera's hard slide helped raise tensions just before the brawl.
Peoria outfielders Brandon Guyer and Cliff Andersen, infielder Jovan Rosa, pitchers Steve Vento and Audy Santana and catcher Mario Mercedes each were fined $150 and suspended for three games, the Chiefs said.
The suspensions started Friday night against South Bend and will be staggered over the next week. The Chiefs' fines from the brawl total $4,600.
The Dragons said pitchers Henry Arias, Jeremy Horst, Jeff Jeffords and Luis Montano; catcher Devin Mesoraco; infielder Kevyn Feiner; and outfielders Denis Phipps and Justin Reed were suspended.
Scott, Horst, Jeffords and Phipps will serve their suspensions Friday night through Sunday while the Dragons are at Quad Cities. Arias, Montano, and Feiner will serve their suspensions Aug. 5-7, and Mesoraco and Reed from Aug. 8-10, the Dragons said.
Dayton police charged Peoria pitcher Julio Castillo, 21, with felonious assault and accused him of throwing a ball that hit a fan in the forehead. The fan was treated at a hospital and released.
Castillo was removed from the Chiefs' roster the day after the brawl and arraigned by video from the Montgomery County jail.
Dayton Municipal Judge Carl Henderson ordered Castillo, who is from the Dominican Republic, to give up his passport. If convicted, Castillo could face up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Castillo was released on $50,000 bond last Saturday and was reassigned by the Cubs to their rookie league club in Mesa, Ariz.
Friday's suspensions are the first for any Chiefs player due to an on-field incident since a May 2002 fight in Davenport, Iowa, against the Quad Cities River Bandits, the club said. That brawl resulted in six Chiefs suspended and fined a total of $3,900.