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Texas Rangers second baseman sits out eight games following brawl

Posted by Betonline team on 5/20/2016 4:17:12 AM


First came the bat flip. Then Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista got flipped by a vicious punch from Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor’s.

Following the most entertaining and rough bench-clearing brawl in recent baseball memory, Odor was suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball and fined $5,000. Bautista, Elvis Andrus, and Tim Leiper were suspended for one game each and John Gibbons and Jesse Chavez must sit three games.

The Texas Rangers denied it, but the festivities were ignited seven months ago when Bautista made his famous bat flip after his home run sank the Rangers in Game 5 of the American League Division Series in Toronto. You can also blame baseball’s eye for an eye culture.

The back flip began a debate about the thin line of athletes expressing themselves in celebration or crossing the line in an unsportsmanlike play. The Rangers were enraged and decided to exact revenge during the next to last inning in their final game.

Bautista was plunked in the lower back by a 97 mile-an-hour fastball in the top of the eighth inning by pitcher Matt Bush, who was not with the Rangers last season. Bautista barked at Bush but was eventually led to first base.

Following a Justin Smoak ground ball, Bautista exacted his own revenge and slid into the feet of Odor, who appeared to throw at Bautista’s face during his errant relay throw to first base. Both men stood hood on each other before Odor ended it with a Joe Frazier right cross that sent Bautista’s helmet and sunglasses into orbit.

Let’s give Bautista credit. His knees buckled but he did not fall.

“It shows, at least the apparent lack of leadership that they have over there when it comes to playing baseball the right way,” Bautista said. “Baseball players are supposed to be taken care of with baseball plays. I thought it was pretty cowardly of them to wait until my last at-bat to do that in the whole series. They could have come out and done it if they wanted to send a message. Again, it shows a few of their colors.”

The Blue Jays showed their colors too when pitcher Jesse Chavez hit prince the Rangers Prince Fielder in the bottom of the eighth. Chavez was immediately ejected.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said his team did not hit Fielder deliberately, a claim few believe.

“I’m not going to entertain that talk or question,” he said. “To me, this is a young man (Bush) in his second appearance in the big leagues. I’m sure there was some adrenaline flowing, and he’s seen the intensity level. I’m not going to entertain talk that it was anything else than us trying to get outs. To think we’re going to put the tying run on purpose, I’m sorry.”

Meanwhile, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called Banister “gutless.” Gibbons has been ejected earlier for disputing balls and strike calls. But he returned to the field when the brawl started and jawed at Banister.

“To me it was gutless,” he said. “The other 29 teams, they come at you right away, but to wait until the end, it sort of tells you something. I’ve been around this game a long time, like a lot of these guys, and it’s sort of surprising. If what happened last year bothers you that much, you usually take it up.”

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