Texas Rangers 2B Rougned Odor slugged Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista…and has no regrets.
Two days have now passed since Rougned Odor delivered one of, if not the biggest punches in baseball history. Odor doesn’t regret the punch and believes he was protecting himself.
“I can tell when someone is coming hard to second base, so I was just trying to protect myself,” Odor said Monday of his decking Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista on Sunday in the Rangers’ 7-6 win. When asked if he had any regrets about what happened, Odor responded with simple, “no” (ESPN).
“I know I’m going to be suspended for a couple of games,” Odor said (ESPN).
The fight that occurred during Sunday’s game, was an accumulation of tension that had been lingering since game 5 of last year’s American League Division Series which became highly publicized for Jose Bautista’s infamous bat flip. The bat flip was covered by every major sports outlet for days if not weeks following, and for some Rangers players it did not go over well.
Moving on to Sunday’s game where both dugouts cleared twice and there were a total of eight ejections by the eighth inning. The worst of the altercations was ignited by right-hander Matt Bush hitting Jose Bautista with a pitch. Words were exchanged by both teams, but it was Bautista’s hard, illegal slide to second base that initiated the fight with second baseman Rougned Odor. After the slide, Odor shoved Bautista who drew his hand back to punch Odor, but it was a little too late. Odor punched Bautista in the face, sending his sunglasses and helmet flying. Both benches cleared and pure chaos ensued.
“[I was] pretty surprised, and obviously that’s the only reason he got me,” Bautista said of Odor’s punch. “He got me pretty good, so I have to give him that. But it takes a little bit of a bigger man, I guess, to knock me down.
Toronto—right fielder Jose Bautista, manager John Gibbons, first base coach Tim Leiper, third basement Josh Donaldson, bench coach DeMarlo Hale and right-hander Jesse Chavez were all ejected from the game. Chavez hit Rangers’ first baseman Prince Fielder with his first pitch at-bat, leading to his ejection.
Texas—second basemen Rougned Odor and bench coach Steve Buechele were ejected from Sunday’s game.