SALT LAKE CITY — A former Los Angeles Dodgers mega-signing was involved in a dugout scuffle with a current teammate of the Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes on Tuesday.
Alex Guerrero, who signed a $28 million contract with the Dodgers a year ago, tussled with a teammate in the dugout during the Isotopes’ 7-4 loss to the Salt Lake Bees at Smith’s Ballpark, Salt Lake police said.
The disagreement reportedly started after Isotopes catcher Miguel Olivo threw a short hopper to Guerrero, who was playing shortstop, during a stolen base attempt. The runner was called safe, and Olivo took exception with the missed tag, according to CBS Sports. As Guerrero prepared to take his next at-bat, Olivo walked over and punched him in the dugout, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported.
During the fight, Olivo reportedly bit off part of Guerrero’s ear, Guerrero’s agent Scott Boras told Deadspin. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that Guerrero will have plastic surgery on his ear to correct the damage, according to Boras.
Bees fan and blogger Matt Smith said it was a shock that a fight like this would happen.
"We were all surprised when Mike Tyson did that to an opponent, let alone doing it to your own teammate," Smith said.
Smith was at Smith's Ballpark when the brawl began.
"All of a sudden I just see just a fist come in from the middle of the dugout. Just a fist — boom!" Smith said. "I saw Olivo get Alex Guerrero in what I thought was a chokehold, so I started snapping pictures of it."
Play stopped on the field as spectators watch the fight unfold. Many of them were children who were participating in student kids at the park.
When Smith isn't blogging about the Bees, he's cheering on his son, a little league pitcher. Smith is glad his kids weren't at the ballpark to see the fight, but he believes the fight serves as an important lesson for athletes.
"That's not to be condoned. And sportsmanship is such a big thing," Smith said. "Something like that is absolutely avoidable. Therefore, in my opinion, it's inexcusable."
The Dodgers are aware of the altercation and are currently investigating the incident, the organization said in a statement. General manager Ned Colletti spoke to the Albuqerque coaching staff, but no actions have been announced at this time.
“We don’t condone it, and we don’t think it’s constructive,” Colletti told ESPN.com from Citi Field, where the Dodgers played the New York Mets on Tuesday night. “People can have disagreements. When it gets beyond that level, it’s over the limit.”
The game was delayed in the eighth inning, and both Guerrero and Olivo were suspended from the remainder of the game.
Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilkin said officers questioned Guerrero about the incident, but the shortstop is unsure if he will pursue charges in the case. If he does decide to press charges, Olivo could face a charge of mayhem. Police will not investigate the matter any further if Guerrero does not move forward.
Contributing: Cleon Wall