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Video: Jose Bautista slides late into Rougned Odor, sparking benches to empty

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A benches-clearing fracas ensued in Arlington, Texas in the eighth inning of Sunday’s series finale between the Blue Jays and Rangers. The two clubs aren’t the best of friends after Jose Bautista‘s infamous bat flip, but the peace had been kept in the six previous meetings between the two teams this season.

That changed on Sunday. Rangers pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista with a fastball and that earned both teams a warning. Later in the inning, against Jake Diekman, Justin Smoak hit an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Bautista, who has already been on the wrong end of a slide into second base, slid late into Rougned Odor. Odor was not happy about it, so he took a few swings at Bautista. One of the punches hit Bautista square in the jaw, sending the outfielder’s sunglasses flying off of his face. Both benches emptied and chaos ensued.

Here’s the video:

The next inning, Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez drilled Prince Fielder with a first-pitch fastball and immediately walked towards the dugout, knowing he would be ejected. The benches emptied again but peace was more quickly restored.

As mentioned in the first post on the subject, Odor, Bautista, Bush, and Jesse Chavez are likely looking at fines and possible suspensions.

Marcus Stroman tweeted during the game that he has “zero respect” for Odor and “never will.”

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.