It’s not everyday fans see a bench-clearing brawl in baseball, let alone one in the minors. In case you missed it Sunday night, the West Michigan Whitecaps, Low Class A affiliate (Midwest League) of the Detroit Tigers, were involved in a scrum.
ICYMI: Punches were thrown and benches cleared during a minor league game between the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Dayton Dragons pic.twitter.com/6xI1e2d9ii
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 29, 2017
The incident involving with the Whitecaps involves the Dayton Dragons, Class A club for the Cincinnati Reds.
The play begins with just an average straight steal from Dayton’s Jose Siri. He’s called safe and time is called, but Siri appears to be tangled up some with West Michigan infielder Daniel Pinero. Some video footage shows Pinero stepping on the hand on Siri, not in a hurry to remove his foot, and even spikes Siri a bit on the leg/ankle.
This prompts Siri to get up and go shove Pinero and this is where the benches clear. There is additional footage of when the two teams convene in the middle of the diamond, and a Whitecaps pitcher appears to hurl a ball at a Dragons player. According to a post-game write-up, it was West Michigan pitcher Eduardo Jimenez identified as the culprit and Dragons pitcher Jesse Stallings as the victim in this brief instance.
After the dust settled, only Siri and Pinero were ejected from the game following the brawl. Instant replay in the minors cannot be used to overturn umpire decisions on the field, but can be used to hand out further punishment to players. So it is possible that Jimenez (if confirmed that is him throwing the baseball) could receive further suspension.
The Whitecaps went on to win the game 2-1 in 10 innings. Don’t expect this to be over any time soon. West Michigan (34-15) leads the Eastern Division over Dayton (32-17) by 2.0 games. They also boast the two best records in the Midwest League.
The two teams wrap up their series finale in Dayton on Monday.