Former big leaguer Billy Koch was arrested over the weekend on criminal mischief and battery charges after getting into a wild incident with his neighbor in Florida.
Details on how the whole thing got started seem somewhat sketchy, but
apparently 48-year-old Luis Camacho “pushed” Koch’s stepson while they
were both in the street at 2:00 a.m., at which point Koch’s wife “came
running out of the house, screaming and spitting at him.” Koch was not
far behind, and that’s when things got crazy:
The altercation began near the Koch residence and moved to Camacho’s
driveway nearby as Camacho and his son retreated. According to
statements by the Koches, Camacho and several witnesses, Camacho
grabbed a bat to defend himself and when it was taken away, grabbed a
spade shovel. Camacho pushed Brandi Koch to the ground and swung at
Billy Koch while his son lowered their garage door. Billy Koch landed a
punch on Camacho, splitting his lip, the report shows. The injury
required seven stitches.
Billy Koch stopped the garage door from closing one time by striking
it with the bat. As the door lowered the second time, Koch turned and
began hitting a car that belonged to Melvin Habrat. Based on witness
statements and evidence at the scene, it was determined the Koches were
the primary aggressors while Camacho responded in self-defense, the
report shows. “My son was there and that really bothers me,” Camacho
said. “It’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him [Koch] with a shovel.
It still just bothers me.”
Normally “it’s bad enough I swung a bat and hit him with a shovel”
would be the award-winning quote from just about any incident, but not
here. My favorite? “I’ve lived here two years,” Camacho said. “First
time I ever laid eyes on the man was as he was trying to crush my
skull.” Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
Koch has the fifth-most saves in baseball history through the age of
27, last pitched at the age of 29, and is now making headlines for
skull-crushing at the age of 34. For anyone interested in studying
relief pitchers, his is a somewhat atypical career path.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.