On Friday manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters that the Mariners organization has ended Jesus Montero‘s minor-league season after an altercation with scout Butch Baccala at a single-A Everett game.
If you are unfamiliar with what happened, here is the gist of the confrontation:
Montero was in Everett on a rehab assignment and was acting as the first base coach in the night game. Baccala lit into Montero for not hustling back into the dugout after the end of an inning. Then, while Montero sat in the dugout, Baccala had an ice cream sandwich delivered to Montero. Furious about the snarky sweet treat, Montero stormed out of the dugout, threatened Baccala with a baseball bat, and threw the ice cream sandwich at him.
I for one would have eaten the sandwich sarcastically and let bygones be bygones, but Montero was not pleased with the mockery.
To put it simply Montero has had a frustrating 12-months. He lost his starting catcher job to Mike Zunino last season, and was sent to the minor leagues. His name was on a Biogenesis list– the anti-aging clinic in Miami linked to steroid and HGH use. This led to a 50-game suspension in the minors.
Montero then arrived at Spring Training this season more than 40 pounds over his playing weight, looking even less nimble than he had in previous seasons.
With the extra weight came poor production at the plate, and Montero started the season down in Triple-A Tacoma. And though he’s been productive in the minor leagues this year, he has fewer than 20 at-bats at the Major League level.
Montero could well have been a September call-up used as a DH or pinch hitter in platoon split situations. But now his season is over, all thanks to a snarky scout and an ice cream sandwich.
It’s hard to know whether or not Montero will ever find a home with the Mariners. He has seemed to fail and disappoint so consistently for someone who had been so highly ranked in the New York Yankees’ farm system.
I hope the best for Montero, and I hope he can figure it out this offseason, getting his career and life back on track.