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The other night Pirates relievers Kyle Crick and Felipe Vázquez got into a fight and Crick suffered an injury to the index finger on his pitching hand. He underwent extensor tendon repair surgery and his season is over.
Now we know what the fight was about. From Nubyjas Wilborn of the Post-Gazette: it was music. As in Crick was playing music at his locker, Vázquez asked him to turn it off, Crick said no, they argued, and then fisticuffs ensued. And, depending on how precise this characterization of it is, it sounds like Vázquez may have sucker punched Crick:
Vazquez threw a punch that Crick wasn’t expecting and then followed with another blow, and Crick retaliated with punches back at Vazquez. The fight ended with Vazquez requiring six stitches to his nose. Vazquez was seen after the game with bandages on his nose.
Crick was fined $2,500 by the team, while Vazquez was fined $10,000, according to a team source.
Crick told Wilborn he’s filing a grievance over the fine because he feels like he was attacked and was merely defending himself.
Obviously there was some simmering animosity here before the dispute over music. You’ll recall that last month there was another incident in which bullpen coach Euclides Rojas was suspended for a couple of games. That was the result of an on-field pregame shouting match between him and Crick which required Pirates players to separate the two. The source of the shouting: Crick asking why Vázquez wasn’t on the field for warmups and why Vázquez was allowed to wear t-shirts rather than warmup jerseys during the pregame routine. I’m gonna assume Vázquez was well aware that Crick had a problem with him when the music fight began.
Anyway. Vázquez is an elite reliever who is under contract through 2022 and there’s a club option for 2023. Crick is under team control for several more years. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re both reporting to Bradenton next February.