Not much going on in the way of baseball brawls on this side of the globe, but things got crazy Down Under last week during an Australian Baseball League game between the Sydney Blue Sox and Brisbane Bandits. A home-plate collision made the benches clear, then one player bum-rushed the field and took out the catcher with a cheap shot straight out of pro wrestling
The people involved here: Patrick Leonard, the Brisbane baserunner, who is a prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Daniel Arribas, the Blue Sox catcher, who is also a Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer. Finally, the main Bandit (as it were) is field-rusher Joshua Roberts, who used to be in the Cleveland Indians organization and, not-surprisingly, also used to be a rugby player.
His pummeling of Arribas makes us wonder if Roberts would be better off back in rugby. Roberts reportedly received a six-game suspension for his part in this, which is said to be the longest ever handed down in the Aussie league.
And remember, folks in Australia, two of the MLB teams that hate each other the most, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers, will be starting the 2014 season in Australia. Let's hope this melee isn't just a warm up for what might happen when those two clash again.
BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball
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