Mariners Suspend Jesus Montero For Ice Cream Incident With Scout

Last week we told you about an incident involving Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, a heckling team scout, and a hurled ice cream sandwich. In light of what happened, the Mariners have decided to suspend Montero for the rest of the season.

Here's what Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told reporters, per the Seattle Times:

"This incident is of the magnitude that either party should have been more under control,'' Zduriencik said. "Either party should have been more professional. You just don't get to this point and say neither is to blame or who is to cast the blame. It doesn't really matter.

"There are always two sides to every story. In the end, I would view this as saying both parties are wrong."

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In that same story, the scout, named Butch Baccala, attempts (poorly) to cast doubt on whether the alleged incident even happened:

Earlier in the day, Baccala had said the incident was being blown out of proportion.

"It's not what is being portrayed,'' he said.

He denied attempting to provoke Montero about his weight.

"Of course I wasn't,'' he said. "Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I've worked my ass off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn't even close to the intention.''

Baccala at first denied the ice cream sandwich story, then said he couldn't comment one way or the other. He suggested a reporter check whether they even sell ice cream sandwiches at Memorial Stadium in Boise, where the game was played.

Todd Rahr, president and general manager of the Boise Hawks, confirmed that ice cream sandwiches are indeed sold at the ballpark during games.

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[Seattle Times]

Below is our original ice cream-chucking story.

Jesus Montero Heckled By Scout, Throws Ice Cream Sandwich At Him

Jesus Montero was a can't-miss catching prospect who appears to be missing, badly, and an incident last night during a minor league rehab appearance in which he tried to fight a scout who had been heckling him is probably not going to speed his trip back to the majors. It's a pretty incredible story, though.

Montero, who showed up to spring training 40 pounds overweight, started the season in the minors, and has played just six games for Seattle all year. As part of his rehab for a strained oblique muscle, the 24-year-old Montero has been assigned to the low-A Everett AquaSox, though not yet put on the roster—he was coaching first base during last night's game against the the Boise Hawks when he started hearing it from a Mariners "cross-checker," or senior scout.

MiLB.com writer Tyler Maun explains how it went down:

Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker yelled at him to hustle off the field ["Rapido! Rapido!"], according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.

According to a game offical, the cross-checker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the cross-checker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.

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Montero was not ejected, perhaps because everyone was in shock over the fact that a Mariners scout was taunting a Mariners player for being fat and lazy. Seriously—Montero acted poorly, should have avoided confrontation, and should never have wielded a bat like that, but what in the world was that scout thinking? If things went down as reported here, that scout will be out of a job pretty soon.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times via text:

"I am aware of the incident in Boise. We are currently in the process of gathering information, but until I have all the details, I cannot comment."

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[MiLB.com]