Yasiel Puig
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Reds, Cubs benches clear after Pedro Strop plunks Yasiel Puig

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Things got a bit testy during the last few innings of the Cubs’ 6-0 win over the Reds on Saturday, culminating in a benches-clearing face-off between Cubs reliever Pedro Strop and Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig.

In the bottom of the eighth, Strop stepped in for Steve Cishek to preserve the Cubs’ five-run lead. With two outs and zero runners on, he allowed a double to Eugenio Suárez, then hit Puig in the thigh with a 93.7-m.p.h. fastball. Puig stomped toward the mound to exchange words with Strop, flipping his bat and chucking his helmet before he reached the pitcher. He was restrained by Chicago backstop Willson Contreras and home plate umpire Mark Wegner, but the both Puig and Strop continued to jaw at each other until their teams’ respective benches and bullpens had emptied around them.

It was a fruitless fight; warnings were issued and both sides seemed to respect the umpires’ directives, at least to the extent that no ejections were deemed necessary.

In the ninth, however, tempers flared again after Dillon Maples plunked José Peraza. Reds manager David Bell emerged from the dugout to question the decision not to eject Maples but, instead of Maples, was ejected from the game himself. Any further disputes were soon tabled as the Cubs wrapped up their 6-0 win following Curt Casali‘s three-pitch swinging strikeout.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.