Published May 21, 2014
In a scene reminiscent to Mike Tyson's legendary fight against Evander Holyfield, Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer Miguel Olivo allegedly bit part of the ear off his teammate during a game Tuesday.
Olivo, along with teammate Alex Guerrero, got into a fight during a game with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he was disappointed to hear about the altercation, and the team is looking into it.
"It's something we don't condone and it's something that we don't think is constructive," Colletti said at Citi Field, where Los Angeles opened a three-game series against the New York Mets. "Obviously, people can have disagreements. That happens many times in many places. But when it gets beyond that level, I think it's over the line."
The Los Angeles Times reported that agent Scott Boras said Olivo bit off a part of Guerrero's ear.
Colletti said he doesn't think either player sustained an injury that would keep him from playing. The Dodgers released a statement saying the baseball operations department "is aware of the altercation and is conducting an investigation into the matter."
"I've talked to the coaches, I've talked to a lot of different people. They're still looking into it. So until we know exactly what happened and what precipitated what, don't have anything else really to add to it," Colletti said. "I'll talk to everybody that I think can help us understand what took place."
Guerrero, an infielder from Cuba, signed a $28 million, four-year deal with the Dodgers in October. He was beaten out for the starting second base job by Dee Gordon in spring training.
Olivo has displayed a hot temper on the field before, charging at Jose Reyes and missing with a wild punch during a dustup between the Marlins and Mets late in the 2007 season.
The 35-year-old catcher appeared in eight games for the Dodgers this month, marking his 13th season in the majors.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported the fight happened in the dugout during the eighth inning of Albuquerque's 7-4 loss to Salt Lake, briefly delaying the game, and both players were removed from the lineup soon afterward.
The disagreement reportedly began with Olivo getting upset that Guerrero failed to tag out a runner after a throw from Olivo, according to Boras.
The 27-year-old Guerrero was hitting .368 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs in the Pacific Coast League.
"We think offensively that he's very close. Defensively, he still needs repetition," Colletti said.
Guerrero was playing second base at Albuquerque, but the club recently started putting him at shortstop to develop some versatility.
"His bat is starting to come to life, and we need to be able to find playing time for him if we bring him to the big leagues, maybe at a variety of different positions," Colletti said.
"The way he's hit the last three weeks has obviously drawn attention to that. We've had good offensive performance from our infielders here, so it's not an easy breakthrough right now, but the more versatility he has, the better opportunity he'll have to play."
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.