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Venezuelan winter league suspends Yorvit Torrealba for 66 games following umpire attack

Dec 26, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT


While playing in the Venezuelan winter league last week Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba attacked the home plate umpire following a strikeout, screaming in his face and then shoving his head.

You can see the incident for yourself in this video.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said yesterday that the team was looking into the situation, but in the meantime the Venezuelan winter league has suspended Torrealba for 66 games, which amounts to the rest of this winter league season and all of next season.

Torrealba, who’s under contract with the Rangers for $3.25 million in 2012, could still face further discipline from MLB.

  1. uyf1950 - Dec 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    He should still face discipline by MLB. Bud Selig has the power under the all encompassing clause “In the best interest of baseball”. Suspend him for 50 games and let him learn that his actions have monetary repercussions.

  2. test2402 - Dec 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    This stuff never happens to Tim Tebow.

    • Old Gator - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      That’s because Tebow only pounds on his own head.

    • florida727 - Dec 26, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      Might be because Tebow has “character”. Something most professional athletes check at the door once they land a big contract with guaranteed money.

      More to the point… since this is a BASEBALL site and all… MLB should suspend this clown also. Show the winter league that’s been hugely beneficial for many MLB players in the past, that they support what they’re doing by further extending his suspension. Let him feel a little “pain point” (read: missing paychecks). Might get his head back on straight.

      • JBerardi - Dec 26, 2011 at 4:34 PM

        Might be because Tebow has “character”. Something most professional athletes check at the door once they land a big contract with guaranteed money.

        Nothing better than unnecessary quote marks that are actually necessary.

  3. Francisco (FC) - Dec 26, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Further elaboration: remember he has to be able to play those games. Typical Venezuelan MLB players don’t play the whole season in Winter League, they usually play half or less since they arrive in early December. Depending on how its handled Yorvit may actually miss more than just this season and the next. On the other hand LBVP has said post-season games counts, so assuming his team qualifies for the post-season those games can also be used to satisfy the suspension. Still just looking at the number it seems the intent is for him to be ineligible to play again until 2013.

  4. mashoaf - Dec 26, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Didn’t MLB not let Manny be eligible for Winter League Ball. They should carry the suspension of Torrealba into the MLB season.

  5. nflinla - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    MLB should suspend him the same amount

    • Old Gator - Dec 26, 2011 at 4:09 PM

      Too light. I think Torrealba should be punished under Islamic law. Of course, it’s unfortunate for him that the umpire wasn’t a woman.

      • randygnyc - Dec 26, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        Best post on Hardballtalk, EVER!!

  6. sailbum7 - Dec 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    What was he upset with the ump for, it was a swinging strike not a call one. The only person he should have been upset with was himself. While striking an ump is never OK, I could understand him being upset if it had been a bad call strike, but it was’t.

    I am not sure how I feel about MLB punishing him for something that happened in another league during the of season. I know that by league rules Selig can further punish him under the catchall “in the best interests of baseball,” but is this something that should be done. He has already received a pretty stiff punishment from the winter league, so I am not sure that MLB piling on is really necessary or appropriate. If MLB starts punishing players for things they do during the off season that could be said to reflect negatively on them and therefor the game, there will not be a lot of players left to take the field. Let’s face it, professional athletes are not exactly angels on or off the field.

    • kopy - Dec 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      I’m sure there was a questionable call earlier in the at-bat, and then the strikeout just pushed his rage over the edge. Happens all the time, but not necessarily to this extent.

  7. daviddmsvcp - Dec 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    In my opinion, there has never been an excessive fine/suspension for assaulting an umpire or referee. You got to come down hard on players who do that.

  8. sanzarq - Dec 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    In my opinion, what he did was much worse than using PED’s. He should be suspended for the entire 2012 season. Or maybe BANNED from Baseball. Screw this guy!

    • Old Gator - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      In my opinion, what he did was worse than cheating at Ouija Scrabble. He should be barred from the afterlife and condemned to spend eternity cleaning the graffiti off of LA area freeway exit signs.

  9. jdillydawg - Dec 26, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    Yorvit seems to have gone to the Milton Bradley school of hitting. Can’t hit the ball, hit a person. In Yorvit’s defense, though, it does look like the Ump was a male, whereas Milton enjoys taking his aggression out on females.

    Then again, wouldn’t surprise me if Ms/Mrs. Torrealba takes a few to the chin from time to time…

    Can someone photoshop a placard in front of Yorvit on that photo? Seriously, it would be a great mug shot!

  10. jwbiii - Dec 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    The precedent here is Jose Offerman, who hit an umpire in the Dominican Winter League a few years ago. He was done as a player at the time and managing the DWL team. The DWL banned him for life, but no action was taken by MLB barring him from managing or coaching in organized baseball in the future. I don’t see how this incident is much different or should be treated any differently by MLB.

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