History Repeats as Odor Ignites Brawl
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The long-awaited beaning of Jose Bautista finally took place in Sunday’s game against the Texas Rangers when Matt Bush hit the Jays’ slugger in theoretical retaliation for the bat flip heard ‘round the world in Game 6 of the Division Series in 2015.
Gasoline was poured on the fire when Bautista slid hard (and, under the new rules, illegally) into second baseman Rougned Odor as he was trying to turn a double play. Odor took offense and pushed Bautista, then hitting him with a punch to the face. A donnybrook ensued and a whole pile of players got ejected as the field filled with players from both teams. Gregor Chisholm’s story and the video from Sunday and the background on last fall’s Game 5 of the ALDS.
If you follow the Blue Jays’ minor league teams (like I do) and have done a massive amount of research into the Jays’ minor league players (like I have), you’ll know that on July 11, 2011 the Vancouver Canadians had a similar bench-clearing brawl which resulted in suspensions for Canadians player Jon Berti and Shane Opitz (both currently with New Hampshire). The player on the Spokane Indians who precipitated the brawl? Rougned Odor.
That’s Rougie there, the runner sliding into second base (illegally by today’s standards) and, according to Steve Bergum at The Spokesman-Review, he took offense to Opitz hitting him accidentally in the back of the head with his glove as he was throwing the ball and clearly lost his mind. Lost. His. Mind. He used the exact same M.O. as he did with Bautista: a push to get some distance, then a punch to the face. And another punch to another face. And repeat.
Clearly Sunday’s situation was a little more heated than the one back in 2011, but Odor obviously has some anger management issues if he’s taking offense to little things like he did as a Spokane Indian. His sucker-punching Jose Bautista is deserving of a significant suspension (the jury is still out in my mind about what “significant” might entail) and I’d like to see MLB take into account that he’s done this before and should, perhaps, mandate some counseling. The Jays won’t see the Rangers again this year unless they face off in the playoffs and, if they do, we’ll have to look out for Rougned “Firecracker” Odor.
The 2016 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available in e-book and print formats! Visit the Handbook page for more information!
Now is a great time to subscribe to the Blue Jays from Away Premium Content Section!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2016) and may not be used without permission.