Tensions were already running high between the Spokane Indians and Vancouver Canadians as the two teams took the field at Avista Stadium on Monday afternoon. The night before, the two minor league teams got into it, with benches clearing and words exchanged. Nothing came of it at the time, but clearly whatever happened the night before carried over to the next day. And the battle was on in a big way.
Zach Cone slid into second hard and late after a force out, but didn't make contact with the Vancouver second baseman. At least not yet. On the way back to the dugout, Cone and Canadians second baseman Rougned Odor made contact -- slight contact -- and the battle was on. Benches cleared, punches were thrown and a wild time was had by all.
This wasn't your typical baseball "brawl" that's actually a shoving match and meeting of the minds. Cone comes out swinging, throwing punches at multiple Vancouver players as they have him surrounded. Reinforcements arrive and it's game on as the small skirmish turns into a rumble.
It took about 15 minutes for order to be restored in Spokane. Fines and suspension are coming, and both teams have some explaining to do. For their part, Indians manager Tim Hulett spoke with Krem 2 after the brawl. The Texas Rangers, parent team of the Indians, also released a joint statement apologizing for the incident.
"The Spokane Indians organization apologizes to their fans for the altercation between the Spokane and Vancouver players that occurred during the third inning of today’s game. The Indians organization does not in any way condone the actions of the players during this incident. The Northwest League is currently in the process of reviewing the game, and numerous suspensions are likely to be handed out. The Spokane Indians and Texas Rangers, the Indians major league affiliate, are both fully cooperating with Northwest League officials."
Sounds like a fun day at the park in Spokane!