Since Jose Bautista flipped his bat in last year’s American League Division Series, there has been tension between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. It came to a head on Sunday when Matt Bush hit Bautista in the shoulder in the eighth inning. Warnings were issued, but Bautista promptly made an illegal slide to take out Rougned Odor at second base. Odor took offense and punched Bautista in the face. Both benches cleared and the melee began.
Bautista was held back by Adrian Beltre throughout the brawl, but was still ejected along with Josh Donaldson, DeMarlo Hale, Odor and Steve Buechele. Jesse Chavez was then ejected after hitting Prince Fielder on the next pitch.
Here is Bush plunking Bautista in the eighth:
It’s clear that both players were in the wrong going the violence route, but I think Odor will be the one suspended and not Bautista. Suspensions for dirty slides do not seem to be on the agenda, but punches are. We’ll see what happens, but it was an ugly afternoon in Arlington, we know that.
Sunday was the series finale between these two teams and they won’t see each other for the rest of the regular season. They were bound to have some kind of drama this season and it came in their last regular season meeting. I think most of us are rooting for them to meet up again in the postseason.