December 23, 2011
Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba has always played the game of baseball with a lot of fire and a lot passion. Unfortunately, the 11 year big league veteran took that fire and passion too far while playing for Leones del Caracas of the Venezuelan League on Friday.
After Torrealba took an ugly cut at a breaking ball and missed for strike three, he immediately began a heated discussion with home plate umpire Dario Rivero, Jr over a disputed strike call earlier in the at-bat. The two men jawed face-to-face for a good fifteen seconds before Torrealba struck the umpire in the face mask with the palm of his hand and pushed him away.
Here's video of the incident from the Venezuelan League broadcast on Friday afternoon. The punch will come 35 seconds in.
Needless to say this is an inexcusable and disgusting display by a guy I've always respected for his passion, but even more so for his high character and leadership on and off field. To see this happen with any professional baseball player would be startling, but for it to be Yorvit Torrealba is absolutely stunning.
There's no doubt baseball can get the best of even the very best on any given day, but whatever explanation and apology Torrealba comes up will simply not be good enough. It's a very sad and very disappointing situation. There's no other way for me to put it.
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• Video: 'Santa' Forde's Christmas gifts for college football
• Boxing's promising state heading into the new year
• Five secrets to successful gift returning