There were 10 minor league brawl participants who were ejected from a bench-clearing fight during Saturday’s game between the Albuquerque Isotopes and Reno Aces. The incident happened at the top of the second inning, and there were dozens of players and personnel involved by the time everybody was pulled apart.
ESPN shares that the first hint of a problem came after Erisbel Arruebarrena of the Isotopes was angry after pitcher Mike Bolsinger seemingly threw at him. Arruebarrena had pulled off a home run in Friday night’s game, and it seems he thought the Bolsinger pitch was crossing a line. The benches cleared out, but nothing major happened. Just a few pitches after that, Arruebarrena struck out and he then shoved catcher Blake Lalli. Aces first baseman Mike Jacobs charged toward Arruebarrena, who then threw his helmet.
From there, things got wild. Both benches cleared out and multiple Aces players tackled Arruebarrena. The group throwing punches grew and pushed on the netting near the crowd behind home plate. Eventually 10 minor league brawl participants were tossed out of the game, including Reno Aces manager Phil Nevin. Many baseball fans may remember that Nevin once played in the major leagues for a handful of teams.
The Aces are a Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks while the Isotopes are associated with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the brawl, the Aces managed to win, which came after a big win by the Isotopes in Friday night’s match-up. AZ Central notes that of the 10 minor league brawl ejections, six of those booted were from the Aces. Overall there were no significant injuries in the brawl, though Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said, “I heard there were some sore hands.”
What happened after the brawl? Inside the Dodgers shares that on Sunday Arruebarrena was reassigned to the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga team. While the team has not specifically said that the move was due to the fight, and Erisbel’s Albuquerque numbers seemed solid, the timing of the move certainly seems to be a statement from the team regarding his actions Saturday. The Pacific Coast League is reviewing the incident, and some sort of discipline for Arruebarrena is expected as well.
As for the player’s take on the situation, he has posted on Twitter about it a bit. Erisbel Arruebarrenatweeted, “I was approached by several Aces.” He seems intent on defending his actions, but it doesn’t look like he’s getting any support. Should Arruebarrena take the brunt of the heat for the fact that 10 minor league brawl participants were kicked out of the game? So far it seems the overwhelming answer to that by commentary online is yes. Arruebarrena got the ball rolling with this one and he shouldn’t try to make excuses.
[Image via ABC News]