Leading Off: Player bites off more than he can chew

Published: Thursday, May. 22, 2014 - 10:14 pm

Though he’ll never be known as the most famous athlete who has had a piece of his ear bitten off – Evander Holyfield holds that distinction – Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero could miss five weeks or more after surgery to reattach a piece of his left ear.

Guerrero, 27, and a teammate, 35-year-old journeyman catcher Miguel Olivo, got into a beef in the visiting dugout during the Albuquerque Isotopes’ 7-4 loss to the Salt Lake City Bees on Tuesday in a Pacific Coast League game.

According to Scott Boras, Guerrero’s agent, Olivo blamed Guerrero, who was playing shortstop, for failing to tag out a runner attempting to steal second base in the seventh inning and they exchanged words. In the dugout during the top of the eighth inning, according to Boras, Olivo decked Guerrero and they were separated by teammates – but not before Olivo had a piece of Guerrero’s ear in his mouth.

“This is a first for me,” Boras, an agent from Elk Grove who has represented players for more than three decades, told the Los Angeles Times.

Guerrero, who signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Dodgers in October after defecting from Cuba, was hitting .376 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIsfor the Isotopes before the incident.

Perhaps Boras summed up the disgust everyone should feel in what might be one of the greatest quotes ever.

“The custom and practice of a locker room over the course of a season does include confrontation and sometimes physical altercations with your teammates,” Boras told Tim Brown of Yahoo.com. “But shooting, stabbing or cannibalizing a player is not part of baseball or being a proper teammate.”

Not surprisingly, Olivo was released by the Dodgers on Thursday.

– Tom Couzens


Today’s poll

What should happen

to Miguel Olivo for biting off a piece of teammate Alex Guerrero’s ear?

• Banned from organized baseball

• Allowed to sign with another team

• Arrested for assault

To vote, go to sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday’s results

Are you a California Chrome fan because

he’s owned locally?

• Yes: 84%

• No: 16%

Total votes: 236

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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