UPDATE: September 1 at 3:02 p.m. ET
The Seattle Mariners officially announced that Montero will not play again this season.
#Mariners place Jesus Montero on suspended list. Will not play the remainder of the 2014 season.— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) September 1, 2014
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UPDATE: August 29 at 3:08 p.m. ET
Mariners cross-checker Butch Baccala (the scout involved in this strange incident) denies provoking or taunting Montero on Thursday night.
Baccala told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times on Friday that he did not attempt to anger the catcher and that the events of the evening are being portrayed incorrectly. First, he denied sending Montero an ice cream sandwich then said he wasn't allowed to talk about it.
He also told Baker to check whether they even sell ice cream sandwiches at Everett, Washington's Memorial Stadium (where the game was played).
"It's not what is being portrayed," Baccala told Baker. "Of course I wasn't [trying to instigate Montero]. Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I've worked my [expletive] off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn't even close to the intention."
Baccala told Baker he didn't know what the club intended to do regarding his employment and will not be able to speak further until meeting with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik.
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According to Maun's report, the drama occurred during a minor league game between the Everett AquaSox and the Boise Hawks.
Montero, playing with the AquaSox while rehabbing a strained oblique, heard a voice in the crowd yelling “Rapido! Rapido!” as he jogged off the field between innings.
This voice belonged to a “cross-checker,” which is a major league scout who presides over other scouts within a regional territory.
To reiterate the significance of this moment: A professional major league observer decided to put the screws to one of his team’s own players.
The screaming likely surprised Montero, who ignored the taunts and went to the dugout. A stadium employee approached the catcher with a special delivery shortly thereafter: one ice cream sandwich.
Montero’s not-so-secret admirer? The yelling Mariners scout, who ostensibly sent the dessert over as a means of taunting the catcher’s overweight arrival at spring training in February.
Montero snapped upon receiving the sandwich.
The catcher stormed out of the dugout with a baseball bat and hurled the delicious frozen treat at his tormentor. Maun reports he was restrained by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera and returned to the dugout. Montero sat out the remainder of the game.
Zduriencik told Maun the team is assessing the situation and cannot comment.
“I am aware of the incident in Boise,” Zduriencik said. “We are currently in the process of gathering information, but until I have all the details, I cannot comment.”
More details will certainly emerge as this story develops, but for now, it’s safe to say that the Mariners need to get their house in order.
It’s time for Zduriencik to put on the big-boy pants and straighten out this tussle. You can’t fight ice cream sandwiches with ice cream sandwiches and expect to solve anything.
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