It's no surprise that the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers aren't on the friendliest terms. Their rivalry started during Jose Bautista's now infamous bat-flip game. Tempers flared and benches cleared a few times during that contest, but cooler heads eventually won out.
That was not the case during Sunday's game. The two clubs engaged in a full-on brawl after Bautista engaged in a late slide at second base.
Well we knew Toronto was taking some type of L today https://t.co/WtsmMxuXjL
— #DepressedHeatFan (@NicoSZN) May 15, 2016
With the Rangers up 7-6 in the eighth inning, Bautista was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame. A few batters later, Justin Smoak hit a double-play ball to Adrian Beltre. Beltre threw to second for the force, and Bautista slid into the bag hard and late.
Second baseman Rougned Odor was able to avoid the slide, but took offense to Bautista's actions. Immediately after he threw the ball to first (which was offline due to the slide), Odor pushed Bautista, and then landed a right hook squarely on Bautista's jaw.
Do NOT pull a late slide on Rougned Odor pic.twitter.com/fbjNMXNjDR
— Brian (@brianmcnulty11) May 15, 2016
Beltre ran over and grabbed Bautista in an attempt to play peacekeeper, but benches had already cleared at this point.
From that point, it became impossible to tell who was involved or what happened. Some players on both sides definitely engaged in shoving, at the very least. We probably won't know the full extent of the brawl until the footage is examined frame-by-frame.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who had previously been ejected from the game, ran back on the field during the brawl and had words with Rangers manager Jeff Banister. Gibbons, like Bryce Harper, will probably receive a fine and a suspension for running out on the field following an ejection.
Following the incident, both Bautista and third baseman Josh Donaldson were ejected from the contest.
On the Rangers side, Odor and bench coach Steve Buechele were ejected from the game.
Once the brawl had ended and the team went back to their dugout, the umpires met and determined Bautista's slide interfered with Odor's throw. The ruling on the field was a double-play, meaning the inning was over and the game would head to the bottom of the eighth.
The game may have moved forward, but everyone involved was still focused on the brawl. Prince Fielder was hit in the thigh by the first pitch of the inning. Benches cleared once again, though no punches were thrown this time around. Fielder laughed off the hit by pitch and walked down the first base.
Jays reliever Jesse Chavez was ejected for the incident. DeMarlo Hale, who had taken over for Gibbons, was also ejected for Toronto. That brought the list of official ejections up to six.
Ejections from Jays-Rangers incident: Rougned Odor, Steve Buechele, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, DeMarlo Hale, Jesse Chavez.
— MLB (@MLB) May 15, 2016
The Rangers were able to hold onto the lead, eventually winning the game 7-6. While they were likely celebrating after the game, things won't be so rosy in a few days.
Both Bautista and Odor should be subject to possible suspensions for their actions. Gibbons will likely also be suspended for returning to the field of play. As far as any other fines and suspensions, that's for the league to sort out.
Given the amount of people involved, it wouldn't be surprising to see multiple players receive punishment once MLB has a chance to review all the footage. This wasn't a typical baseball brawl, this was something out of MMA.
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