The woeful Pittsburgh Pirates fined relievers Kyle Crick and Felipe Vázquez for their roles in a locker room altercation prior to the team’s game against the Giants Monday night. Worse and dumber than that, the altercation led to an injury to Crick’s throwing hand, requiring surgery, and he is done for the year.
It’s been this kind of year for the Pirates, who suck a lot and lose a lot and seem to fight a lot. They got into a massive benches-clearing brawl with the Reds back in April, then had a brouhaha with the Braves in June, then had another huge brawl with the Reds in August. And those are just the times when their rage was directed at the other team! The Athletic reported in August on two suspensions handed down this summer, one to a player and one to a coach, over altercations between members of the organization. In the latter, Crick reportedly had to be separated from bullpen coach Euclides Rojas in an argument that started with Crick complaining about the club’s favorable treatment of, wait for it, Vázquez. At the time, Crick seemed optimistic that these clashes would ultimately serve as bonding experiences for the Pirates:
“Events like that bring teams a little closer together,” Crick said. “It was an unfortunate time. But, if anything, I think it brought us closer together as a group. Just because we didn’t (much) win after that, I wouldn’t look at (the losing) being a result (of the altercations). We just happened to be playing some teams that were playing pretty well.
“We spend more time with each other than we do with our families. This is a great group of guys in there. That’s the environment the Pirates want. We’re all pretty close, that’s for sure.”
Ah ha. Crick will miss the remainder of this season, but is expected to be ready in time for spring training next year. Perhaps this time absence will make the heart grow fonder!