It was all over an ice cream sandwich, or maybe an ice cream helmet, no one is really certain. First, Jesus Montero's season was finished. Now, a Seattle Mariners scout has lost his job.
The incident happened in late August in Boise, where Montero was playing a rehab assignment game. CBSSports.com reported on Sunday that national cross checker Butch Baccala has lost his job over the incident.
Reportedly, Baccala was heckling Montero to move faster as he headed toward the dugout. Later, the ice cream was sent from Baccala to Montero via a stadium employee.
Then, according to the Seattle Times, Montero entered the stands with a bat in his hand and threw the ice cream, which was either an ice cream sandwich or ice cream in a mini baseball helmet, at Baccala.
“This incident is of the magnitude that either party should have been more under control,’’ Mariners GM Jeff Zduriencik told the Seattle Times. “Either party should have been more professional. You just don’t get to this point and say neither is to blame or who is to cast the blame. It doesn’t really matter.
“There are always two sides to every story. In the end, I would view this as saying both parties are wrong.”
What went wrong?
It seems the scout was upset overall with Montero's lack of effort and his struggles since getting traded from the Yankees for pitcher Michael Pineda.
Those struggles included a 50-game Biogenesis suspension last season.
This season, he hasn't played much in the majors, going 4 for 17 in seven games. He hit .286 with 16 homers in Triple-A.
The Seattle Times reported that he arrived at spring training overweight and he told reporters that he had not done much besides eat during the offseason.
"It's not what is being portrayed," Baccala told the Seattle Times. "Of course I wasn't [trying to instigate Montero]. Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I've worked my … off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn't even close to the intention."
The Mariners sent Montero and Baccala home. Montero was declared done for the season while Baccala's status would be investigated.
“We are going to separate the baseball part of Jesus Montero from the human element part of Jesus Montero,’’ Zduriencik told the Seattle Times. “Our intent is to address Jesus’ issues. There’s a history here of things that have happened. We are very, very disappointed in him.”
The investigation into Baccala, according the CBS report, is obviously done now. The Seattle Times reported that Baccala once was ejected from a high school game for arguing a call at first base way back in 1984.
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