I just returned from a night I never expected when going to a Thursday night game at 5/3rd Field in Dayton vs. the Peoria Chiefs!
The the first inning was insane. It started with a high velocity pitcher for the Peoria Chiefs hitting one of the Dragons. Anger built up, then he hit a Dragon in the head who was taken off the field on a stretcher. A play later the pitcher had a collision with his own infielder that resulted in his teammate getting his leg broken. From there, after a long period of medical attention to his leg, the game resumed. Phipps then was on first. At the plate Angel Cabrera got hit with the next pitch thrown, in the right bicep. He was absolutely pissed off, and the Dragons manager was pissed off he wasn't thrown out. From there the game resumed, the Dragons got a hit in the infield and as Cabrera slid into second he made sure the Chiefs second basemen couldn't make the throw to first, then all hell broke out. In still be mad the Chiefs pitcher wasn't thrown out, the Dragons manager Scott came out to argue with the umpires after the Chiefs manager was yelling in anger about the play at second. From there one the third base line the Dragons and Chiefs manager were face to face, chest to chest. The Chiefs manager then gave a small shoulder push to the Dragons manager who returned the favor more sternly. Right at that point the Dragons dug out emptied. From there the Chiefs dugout emptied and coming off the pitching mound, the Chiefs pitcher in motion as he ran towards the Dragons dugout cocked and loaded a 90 mph fast ball pin point at their dugout (still not sure whether or not that pitch was what resulted in a Dragons fan getting injured, getting taken off in a stretcher with a neck brace). After the throw, a Dragon jumped on his back and put him in a choke hold. The players were throwing punches left and right, Phipps went in for a bat, punches thrown like it was UFC fight. Absolute insanity. 2 players from the Chiefs were arrested, 15 suspended total from both teams. Craziest sequence of events I had ever seen in my life.
Correction, that was just another manager, in retrospect I would guess it wasn't Ryne, but it got so heated in the fight, that former Dragons coach (now instructor for Reds) Freddy Benevides, in a Reds uniform, took on the Chiefs managerand seemed to whoop the shit out of him, had him pinned. Im still wondering who the Chiefs third base coach was, he looked a lot like Shaun Dunston, anyone know if thats true? Anyways, Players were kicking players in the ground, players were bleeding, Angel Cabrera's jersey was so bloody and torn up that he had to wear another number and blank jersey when play resumed an hour and a half later. It was insanity, I still couldn't fathom they decided to continue play. The Dragons handled the situation horribly also, just so you know, they did everything wrong. The cops werent in uniform, they never gave the fans any information, kept having ushers tell us to sit down like we were kids, tried to cover up the fan injury and relayed false information, part of why I think I started to believe that pitch wasn't the pitchers pitch that hit the fan. Then for the hour and a half we sat around with our thumbs up our ass confused, the Dragons had us sitting in silence confused as all get out while the players re-enacted the fight with each other, over and over again, beit the kicks they threw punched or whatever.
Heres Dayton Daily New's report:
NOTE: If you have video or photos of the brawl, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Marc Katz
Thursday, July 24, 2008
DAYTON — A first-inning four-run rally quickly escalated into a bench-clearing brawl between the Dayton Dragons and Peoria Chiefs tonight at Fifth Third Field that halted play for an hour and 9 minutes.
The game was resumed at 8:51 p.m. after the league office in Beloit, Wis., reversed 17 ejections that were handed down following the brawl, which lasted about 10 minutes.
Dayton shortstop Zack Cozart had to leave the game after being hit in the head with a pitch and Peoria second baseman Gian Guzman went out with a broken left leg.
Trouble may have started in the top of the first when Dayton pitcher Kyle Lotzkar hit the second batter, Nate Samson.
That half-inning ended without further incident, but when Cozart came to bat as Dayton's second batter — with a runner on first — he was drilled in the left side of the helmet by a Julio Castillo pitch.
Cozart fell to the ground immediately and eventually was helped to the dugout, finished for the evening.
Following an out, Brandon Waring then hit a slow roller toward second that Castillo tried to field. Guzman ran up behind him and fell over Castillo, breaking his leg. He had to be removed by stretcher.
That loaded the bases and Denis Phipps hit a pop fly half way down the right field line that bounced sideways into the stands for a ground rule double, scoring two runs. Catcher Devin Mesoraco then singled home two more runs.
Dayton's next batter, Angel Cabrera, was hit with a pitch, reacting angrily by throwing his bat and batting gloves toward his dugout. When Keltavious Jones, Dayton's next batter, hit a grounder to second, Cabrera slid into second, legs high, to break up the double play.
Now Peoria shortstop Nate Samson reacted angrily, gesturing it was too rough a slide.
Castillo then threw a pitch close to Brandon Menchaca's head, prompting Dayton manager Donnie Scott to leave the third base coaching box and complain to home plate umpire Tyler Wilson.
That prompted interim Peoria manager Carmelo Martinez to join the conversation, which quickly became heated, and when Martinez pushed Scott, the benches emptied.
Several fights broke out behind home plate, and Castillo threw a ball that sailed into the stands behind the Dragons' dugout, hitting a fan who had to be taken to a hospital.
Menchaca jumped on Castillo and eventually both managers and 15 players — including eight Dragons — were ejected from the game.
Those ejected from the Dragons were starting outfielders Justin Reed and Phipps, Kevin Feiner (who was taking the place of Cozart), starting catcher Devin Mesoraco and pitchers Henry Arias, Jeremy Horst, Jeff Jeffords and Luis Montano.
Peoria lost five starters, including outfielders Brandon Guyer and Cliff Anderson, catcher Mario Mercedes, third baseman Jovan Rosa and Castillo as well as pitchers Steve Vento and Audy Santana.
Within 45 minutes after the ejections were announced, they were reversed after the Class A Midwest League office heard what happened from the umpires.
The ejections were reversed because the teams did not want pitchers to play the outfield positions, which would have occurred had the ejections stuck.
Walt Jocketty, general manager for the Reds, the parent club of the Dragons, and Terry Reynolds, director of player development for the Chiefs, whose parent club is the Chicago Cubs, made that feeling known to league President George Spelius by phone.
Jocketty and Reynolds happened to be at the game.