Tyler Maun of MiLB.com reports that a crazy incident occurred in Boise during a game between the Everett AquaSox and the Boise Hawks in the Northwest League yesterday. Jesus Montero, who is with Everett as he rehabs from an oblique injury, was coaching first base and was being heckled from the stands. Not by an ordinary fan, but a cross-checker — a scout who usually oversees scouts in a given geographical area — who is actually employed by the Mariners.
The incident was kicked off when the scout yelled at Montero to hustle off the field after an inning, yelling “Rapido! Rapido!” Then the scout ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, which one assumes was a dig at his weight issues (Montero showed up for spring training 40 pounds overweight). Montero didn’t take kindly to that at all, heading toward the stands with a bat in his hands, throwing the ice cream sandwich at the scout and screaming expletives at the scout. He had to restrained by an Everett coach.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times that he was looking into the matter. And while, as the high-profile player who was acting aggressively, Montero is going draw most of the heat and coverage here, what on God’s green Earth is a scout employed by the Mariners doing acting like that at a baseball game which he is presumably working? Toward a Mariners player no less? We obviously don’t have all the information here, but if his behavior was as reported by Maun, I’m not sure how that guy doesn’t get fired pretty quickly.
In other news, the minor leagues are a great bang for your entertainment buck.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.