Winter League baseball in the Caribbean and South America is a very big deal, and the passion and emotion in games is oftentimes greater than what we see in Major League Baseball games.
That can be good, in the case of the celebrations that occur in big moments, but also, as we learned on Wednesday night, can take things across a line rarely breached in baseball. In a Venezuelan Winter League game between Aguilas del Zulia and Caribes de Anzoategui, one in which Caribes led 13-1 (and would go on to win 13-2), a 3-0 pitch thrown behind Aguilas outfielder Alex Romero sparked a wild brawl.
Romero immediately turned around and started hitting the catcher, Gabriel Lino, with the bat, who fought back by launching his glove at Romero. It’s a wild scene that saw both benches pour onto the field and lasted nearly two minutes with skirmishes popping up all over the field.
Baseball brawls aren’t anything new, but when someone uses the bat as a weapon, that certainly raises the stakes and brings things to a whole other level. In a sport governed by unwritten rules, not using the bat to hit people is a pretty well respected one, but Romero was clearly fed up in the blowout loss and decided to take that out on Lino. Luckily, he was a left swinging right handed on Lino so it doesn’t seem like he was hitting too hard, but even so, that had to have hurt and Lino throwing everything he could at Romero in retaliation is rather unsurprising.