Miguel Olivo Goes Mike Tyson on Alex Guerrero
In a strange piece of news out of the Pacific Coast League, former major leaguer Miguel Olivo and future major leaguer Alex Guerrero (actually Guerrero has already played in two major league games) got into a dugout altercation after nearly getting into a fight on the field during a meeting on the mound, and Olivo reportedly bit off part of Guerrero’s ear.
Why exactly Olivo went so far out of control is so far unclear. The present reports are that Olivo accused Guerrero of failing to make a tag on a throw to the latter by the former. Here’s an MiLB.com news article which shows Olivo and Guerrero nearly coming to blows during the mound meeting. When the half inning ended, Olivo and Guerrero were apparently separated again in the dugout, at which point one witness says that Guerrero was sucker punched and the fight was on.
Alex Guerrero is a Cuban defector who the Dodgers paid $28 million over four seasons this past off-season. He is now expected to miss as much as five weeks after undergoing surgery on his ear. The timing is terrible for the Dodgers, as Juan Uribe may be heading to the disabled list and Guerrero was hitting extremely well at AAA Albuquerque.
Olivo was also playing extremely well at Albuquerque this year, although he didn’t do much in Los Angeles during a brief call-up while A.J. Ellis was on the disabled list. However, Ellis hasn’t done much as the back-up catcher in L.A. either.
The Dodgers say they are investigating the matter further before taking any disciplinary action. Based on what we know so far and the economics of the situation, I would expect the Dodgers to release the soon-to-be 36 year old Olivo. I’m not sure you can keep around a back-up catcher who loses control that spectacularly, particularly when he seriously injures one of your most expensive prospects.
If Olivo is released, I would expect another team to pick him up given the way he’s currently hitting at AAA and his past history as a major leaguer. Even so, Olivo is likely to have his image and memory permanently tarnished, much like Juan Marichal and Jose Offerman.