Taking the rivalry a bit too seriously perhaps, the low Single-A Greenville Drive and Charleston River Dogs had it out Friday night, brawling after the second pitch of the game.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler said there was some lingering bad blood from a series between the teams three weeks ago, so when Red Sox prospect Miguel Celestino hit former Yankees first-round pick Slade Heathcott in the top of the first, mayhem ensued.
Rather than go after Celestino, Heathcott turned and shoved catcher Christian Vazquez instead.
Youtube user rdogsfan11 caught the brawl on the video:
Ejections were handed to Heathcott and Vazquez, as well as one reliever for each team: Garett Rau for the Drive and Kelvin Perez for the River Dogs.
Heathcott, one of the Yankees’ top prospects, seems certain to be suspended. The 20-year-old, who was taken 29th overall in the 2009 draft, is hitting .312/.396/.504 with three homers in 125 at-bats this season.
Charleson ended up winning the contest 6-2. It was the first game in a four-game series, so perhaps more fireworks are in store.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.