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Cubs prospect Jorge Soler grabs bat, charges other team’s dugout

Apr 11, 2013, 12:58 AM EDT

Jorge Soler AP

Jorge Soler, a Cuban defector who rates as one of the Cubs’ best prospects, was involved in an incident Wednesday at Single-A Daytona in which he grabbed a bat from his dugout and started to go after the other team.’s Patrick Mooney has all of the details that were available as of Wednesday night. The Cubs, for what it’s worth, are choosing to stay quiet until they have the full story.

Daytona and Clearwater, the Phillies’ Florida State League affiliate, were involved in a benches-clearing incident after Soler, who was on base, and infielder Carlos Alonso got tangled up at second base. Once the field cleared, Soler reportedly grabbed a bat from his dugout and started headed towards Clearwater’s dugout.

Bradley Emery, who was at the game, tweeted that Soler “was right in front of the dugout yelling and screaming god knows what” before coaches managed to drag him away.

Soler was, of course, ejected. One imagines he’ll be facing some sort of suspension from the Florida State League and maybe additional discipline from the Cubs.

After defecting, Soler got a nine-year, $30 million contract to sign with the Cubs last summer. The 21-year-old was off to a nice start for high-A Daytona, hitting .435 with two homers in 23 at-bats. In his pro debut last year, he hit .299/.369/.463 in 134 at-bats between Rookie and low-A ball.

  1. mississippimusicman - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    1324 at-bats seems like an awfully high number for a minor-league season, even if “between” two leagues meant he was on both teams and being flown back and forth by private helicopter.

    In other news, it’s the middle of the night, and I think I may be missing some bourbon – coulda sworn that bottle was nearly full earlier.

    • geoknows - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      Yeah, let’s try 134 at bats instead.

  2. johnnysoup1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    Milton Bradley’s nephew?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:25 AM

      Perhaps he thought he saw Fidel in their dugout.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:38 AM

        Perhaps he thought he was still a regime enforcer like in the old days.

  3. jessethegreat - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    1324 at bats last year? That has to be some kind of a record!

    Kid definitely over-reacted, but you can’t say the Cubbies minor leaguers aren’t intense anymore!

  4. hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Somewhere, ceps is in a bar fuming mad.

    In reality, 50 game suspension. You can’t threaten someone with a deadly weapon, no matter if a coach grabbed him or not. If he wasn’t held back, he could have killed someone. He needs to learn not to even think about that, no matter how angry you get.

    Anyone remember when that guy threw a ball at a dugout trying to hit a player, and threw it over the top into the stands? It put a little girl in a coma if I remember right. The police arrested the player on the field. The police should have arrested Soler too. I am all for policing themselves and how things happen on a field that don’t happen in real life. But you can’t do this in front of a thousand people and not have charges filed.

    • vallewho - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      Pitchers throw 90+ mph projectiles at players head all the time….all they get is a day off and a meaningless fine.

      • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:52 AM

        That is in game, during a play, that both teams agreed to partake in. This was not during a play. This was a man threatening other men with a deadly weapon, that was out of the rules both sides agreed to.

      • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:44 AM

        I was wrong about the little girl. A different incident. But a male fan was knocked unconscious.

        “During a minor league A-level baseball game, pitcher Julio Castillo of the Peoria Chiefs was ejected, arrested and charged with assault. After a heated argument with the Dayton Dragons manager which was broken up by the umpire, Castillo threw the ball at the Dragons dugout, but the ball struck a fan, Chris McCarthy, who was knocked out and had to be immediately taken to hospital; this incident resulted in a 10 minute bench-clearing brawl, and the game was delayed for one hour and nine minutes. Castillo was arraigned the next day, held on a $50,000 bond, and had to surrender his passport.[114] On August 6, 2009, Castillo was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 3 years of probation, and was sent to anger management”

        “Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco was ejected, arrested, and charged with assault and battery after he threw a metal chair into the stands that hit a fan, Jennifer Bueno, breaking her nose and causing a gash which required stitches.[88] Francisco was released on $15,000 bail and suspended for the remainder of the season by MLB. He pleaded no contest to the charges, and was sentenced to anger management classes and a work program; in 2007, he settled a civil suit brought by Bueno.”

        Does it have to come to this before law enforcement takes action? I hope not. And MLB certainly shouldn’t have to wait. When you grab a bat, you have murder on your mind. There is no other reason to attack someone with a baseball bat. Soler owes his coaches a big thank you that he is not spending the rest of his life behind bars.

      • Cris E - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Dude, that’s terribly disappointing. Where’s my little girl in a coma story? You suck.

      • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Everyone likes stories of little girls getting injured right? Sicko. Here’s one. Both incidents happened in my local area, Daytona and Ft Myers, and both injuries occurred to fans sitting directly behind the dugout. That is why I confused the 2.

    • cubfan531 - Apr 11, 2013 at 5:40 AM

      50 games is what Delmon Young got for throwing his bat at an ump. Soler never took a swing with the bat, just held it. On the play leading up to it, Alonso apparently stepped on/spiked Soler, and they exchanged words before this.

      This isn’t in the same caliber as throwing your bat at an ump, or hitting someone in the stands. 10-25 game suspension and anger management is more reasonable.

      Furthermore, I do feel Alonso should have been kicked from the game. No suspension for him, but for all we know, he may have admitted to intentionally spiking Soler at second. No further action for Alonso, but, it’s the same concept as the 10 minute misconduct in hockey. Get out of there, clear your head, and so on.

      Finally, just grabbing a bat doesn’t mean you automatically have murder on your mind. From what I can tell, he was simply trying to prove a point. You don’t know what went on at second, nor what Soler said. None of us do. Soler did clearly screw up, but we owe him the benefit of the doubt, rather than going for the extremist view that he’s a would-be murderer. Leave that fanaticism to the major news industries, not sports talk.

      • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:13 AM

        Dude. Outside of Alonso stabbing him, whatever lead up to this has no bearing on Soler’s reaction.

        “Why did you threaten him with deadly force?”
        “He stepped on my foot. Those were new Nikes.”

        Young was being an asshole. He didn’t throw it hard. No one was getting severely hurt. He should have been suspended longer, but that is beside the point. Soler had a deadly weapon in his hand, and wanted to use it. He was willing to beat another human being to death in front of children because of a baseball play.

        Inexcuseable. He certainly does not belong on a baseball field for a long, long time, and Jorge Soler does not belong in my society. He tried to murder a team because of……baseball.

      • polonelmeagrejr - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        ANtyone remember Marichal and Roseboro?

      • phillyphreak - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:36 AM

        OK just so I’m clear on this…we owe Soler the benefit of the doubt when he grabbed an object that could be used as a weapon, when he was angry, and yelling at the other dugout? What point was he trying to make?

        Random Phillie: “explitive explative gobble gobble jerkstore”

      • cubfan531 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Hittfamily, you’re saying that someone just holding a bat is intent of murder, but Young throwing a bat is nothing. If Soler had wanted to use the bat, wouldn’t he have done something like, oh, I don’t know, swung it, rather than just have it in his hands?

        Look, Soler screwed up, big time. He overreacted in the heat of the moment, and nobody’s denying that. But we don’t know WHERE he got spiked trying to break up that DP. There’s a major difference between catching the edge of a cleat on the leg and someone intentionally coming down on your manhood. I’m sure there will eventually be official statements from the Phillies and Cubs, more eyewitness accounts, and maybe a video clip, which can give a clearer picture.

        You also seem to automatically equate a bat to a loaded gun. There’s a vast difference between “I’m going to beat the piss out of you if you try something dirty like that again” and “I intend to stop your heart from beating.” Both are wrong in principle and set a terrible example for the youth, but there’s a major difference between injuring and killing someone. We’ve all done stupid stuff in the heat of the moment – it’s human. So take a small step back, try putting yourself in Soler’s situation, and stop assuming he’s this bloodthirsty psychopath you’ve convinced yourself he is.

        Are you going to seek charges for Clemens throwing a bat shard at Piazza in the 2002 World Series? It’d seem a broken bat is more deadly than a whole one, given the sharp edges. It was outside the play, as you said. Piazza never agreed to break his bat, nor to have that thrown at him by Clemens.

        Phillyphreak, it was clearly heat of the moment. The benefit of the doubt I’m talking about is that we can’t automatically jump to the conclusion that Soler’s only intent was to kill Alonso. Soler made a major mistake, and I have no doubt that him holding the bat was to send a point across using violence. But there’s a world of difference between something that would resemble a back-alley fight and cold-blooded murder. In order to be fair, we have to assume – until there’s evidence elsewise – that Soler was just caught up in the heat of the moment.

      • dakotah55 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        ” Leave that fanaticism to the major news industries, not sports talk.”

        I agree with the sentiment, but is this your first time on the internet?

      • cubfan531 - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM

        Touche, dakotah55.

      • phillyphreak - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        “Phillyphreak, it was clearly heat of the moment. The benefit of the doubt I’m talking about is that we can’t automatically jump to the conclusion that Soler’s only intent was to kill Alonso.”

        I don’t think his intent WAS to kill Alonso, but say he did hit him with the bat in the head. He COULD have killed Alonso without really meaning too do so right? Not that I’m saying that was even in his intention but clearly his intention was to threaten someone with an object that could inflict bodily damage (and even death). Plenty of things happen in the heat of hte moment in baseball and elsewhere that others handle in a much more composed manner. Just because he got caught up in this doesn’t mean he gets the benefit of the doubt on anything.

        “There’s a vast difference between “I’m going to beat the piss out of you if you try something dirty like that again” and “I intend to stop your heart from beating.

        This statement implies that no one has ever died from a fist-fight. Which is totally not true.

        “Both are wrong in principle and set a terrible example for the youth, but there’s a major difference between injuring and killing someone’

        And this statement implies that, hey injuring someone is totally fine as long as you don’t kill them.

      • cubfan531 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Phillyphreak, again, he never swung the bat once. Considering he was able to be held back by Javier Baez and Mariano Duncan (both having a 4 inch height disadvantage, and Duncan being 50), he wasn’t in an enraged overdrive. Which is the benefit of the doubt I was referring to: That he wasn’t trying to kill Alonso, as hittfamily would have us believe. I’d also like to point out that I said more than once that he did screw up, and handled himself extremely poorly.

        If he’d struck Alonso – or anyone in the Clearwater bench – it would be a vastly different story. It’d be a battery case, and possibly murder. As it stands, right now, the best legal charge that could be brought against Soler – per Florida law – is assault. Maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. What he did could have gotten a lot worse, and would have changed the tone of discourse. That said, neither you, nor I, nor anyone here can properly comment on what would have happened, because it didn’t. We don’t know what was going on in Soler’s head. We don’t know what happened at second base between he and Alonso.

        As for nobody dying from a fistfight, no, I never said that. I really don’t believe it would have come to a point of murder. Why? Because coaches and fans alike have said that Soler’s usually a very reserved, quiet type. Again, you delve into the hypothetical and try to guide this conversation from what did happen (which is what we need to be concerned about) and what could have happened (which media outlets that pander to the lowest common denominator make their money from).

        Finally, you and I both know I never implied that violence is okay. You clearly read the comment enough to quote it, so you know good and well that I said what he did was wrong and sets a terrible example. However, I also stand by my statement that murder is worse than assault. As will every legal system known to man.

        I’m not defending what Soler did, but I do feel we owe it to him to at least get the full story before deciding he’s someone unfit to be in society. We have fragments of the story, and yet, people are willing to line up in Daytona with pitchforks and torches, calling for Soler’s head. I believe we owe it to Soler to find out the full details of what happened before passing judgement as I feel that’s what we all owe each other as humans.

      • phillyphreak - Apr 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        “Finally, you and I both know I never implied that violence is okay.”

        I understand that you don’t think violence is okay, but really, when you say “…. but there’s a major difference between injuring and killing someone” on some level it condones it. Even it it wasn’t your intention, that’s what it does.

        “We have fragments of the story, and yet, people are willing to line up in Daytona with pitchforks and torches, calling for Soler’s head. I believe we owe it to Soler to find out the full details of what happened before passing judgement ”

        Again, on what possible planet is grabbing a bat and running to the other team’s dugout to yell okay? No matter what the circumstances, it’s not okay. So if people are judging him on how he reacted to a situation, that’s fair in my book. Sure we need to know more, but the action is wrong. And we can pass judgement on the action in this case.

    • ryanrockzzz - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:51 AM

      Come on man. Your a little too mad about this.

      There’s thousands of instances in a game when players have charged the mound, or have used bats to intemidate, and nothing has happened. This is nothing like something throwing a bat into the stands, this is someone walking over waving a bat.

      Also, there’s one of Soler and like, I don’t know, a whole freaking baseball team standing there. I know that Phillies prospects can’t play baseball, but they can all gang together to stop him. They were probably sitting there laughing at this guy, screaming in spanish all mad about a force play.

      And there was probably more like 1,000 people there. And half of them probably thought it was funny.

      • ryanrockzzz - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        intimidate* wow LOL

  5. joeyg88 - Apr 11, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    lay off the roids brah

  6. unclemosesgreen - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    He was investigating – following up on a lead that one of the Daytona players may have sent Ricketts the goat head.

  7. mj1818 - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    Maybe the all teams should start educating these young men on how to play the game right, and when the other team doesn’t, that its not ok to charge them with a bat.

  8. royhobbs39 - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    It was a good thing Carl Everett was there to settle things down…

  9. druhlman - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Wow, he tried to murder huh? That’s awfully strong…Delmon also could have killed that umpire as well. Give the kid his suspension, make him try to mange his anger through classes (which appeared to help Zambrano) and just watch him. This conversation is waaaaaay to heavy man.

  10. druhlman - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    *manage…definitely need an edit feature…

  11. donkeydrew - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    “willing to commit murder in front of a stadium filled with children” LOLOL these comments are awesomely “special”

  12. realgone2 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    • sabatimus - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      They came out to play, all right.

  13. eightysixisback - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    How can you say he had murder on his mind? that is ridiculous. You have no idea what was on his mind. I can just as easily say that he took the bat over to the other dugout with him to keep the dugout from emptying on him while he told the other team what he thought about them. Did someone else say he wanted to beat the other players to death in front of the crowd? come on, calm down! He definitely deserves to be punished because he should not be using a bat to intimidate anyone but it is a pretty big stretch to say he wanted to kill anyone. You can’t punish someone for what YOU think they might be thinking, lol. That is more ridiculous than him running over to the other dugout with a bat.

    • sabatimus - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      There have been MANY incidents over the years where someone has brandished and/or used what could be termed a deadly weapon (Youkilis’ throwing his helmet at the pitcher who plunked him, Mike Sweeney, Marichal). I think the only reason this is getting over-scrutinized is because most people have never heard of someone grabbing his bat after the fact and approaching the opposing dugout with it. It’s a unique display of attempted violence, as far as I’m aware, and hence the overreaction.

      This isn’t to say that Soler shouldn’t be disciplined. Far from it. But he didn’t actually DO anything violent with his bat or other paraphernalia, unlike those players listed above. Not to mention what goes on in the hundreds of bench-clearing brawls (Team Mexico vs Team Canada, anyone?) over the years.

      The fact that it happened after he went to the dugout is irrelevant. His blood was still up. Mike Sweeney was on his way to his dugout when Jeff Weaver said something to him when Sweeney went berserk. The point is that a lot of on-field violence is considered “part of baseball.” What Soler did appears to fall outside of that. But the distinction ought to be irrelevant, and the actions should speak for themselves.

  14. shwoogy1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    hittfamily- over react much?

    • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Have someone approach you with a bat, yelling in a language you can’t understand, and see if hoping the police intervene is overreacting. Should I post images of what a baseball bat to the head does to someone?

      • shwoogy1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        Yeah man he could have went pretty far with that bat since there are 100 bats in the dugout for one of the other players to grab if anything happened. The fact is he over reacted like you are over my little comment. PUT THE BAT DOWN BRO!

  15. aceshigh11 - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    That’s a clown assault, bro.

  16. 13arod - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    i thought this guy was nice and i go to the daytona cubs game often and now im worried that he will do it again

  17. psousa1 - Apr 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Theo Epstein will probably say it is all Larry Lucchino’s fault

  18. Noble Wife of A Minor League Baseball Player - May 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    It was not funny to those who were there and it was obviously newsworthy enough to get attention. He is a good guy and great player but I think people forget that for minor league players this is their job… if you get frustrated at work you can’t just run across the office throwing paper around an not expect to be penalized.

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