Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Trash Can Team Releases Player After Assault Charge

American Association's Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, home of Brennan Metzger, suspended one game for his trash can ejection, has released player Keury De La Cruz after he was charged with assault for allegedly fighting in a parking lot hallway following a contentious game at the ballpark, according to a source.

The nature of the alleged crime suggests the "fight" may not have been consensual and more of a "Team A player jumps Team B player" type of incident with Sioux City’s Jason Garcia listed as the victim.

During Tuesday's game against the Sioux City Explorers, benches cleared in the bottom of the 5th inning after pitcher Ian McKinney's first-pitch offering to Fargo-Moorhead batter Keury De La Cruz was thrown up, in, and behind the batter (which allowed a runner to score), resulting in a bench-clearing incident and warnings from umpire Ron Teague, prompting this summation from the broadcast:
Ron Teague has done a nice job in this series of playing the sheriff and judge.
According to the game report, Sioux City had taken exception to De La Cruz's treatment of a home run during Monday's game by allegedly taking his bat to first base before discarding it.

After taking a fourth ball inside for a walk in the 5th inning on Tuesday, De La Cruz jawed with more Explorers, resulting in a second bench-clearing incident during which De La Cruz had to be restrained by teammates as fellow RedHawk Charlie Valerio appeared to try and fight a member of Sioux City; neither player was ejected.

Fargo-Moorhead lost to Sioux City, 19-5, including a 12-run ninth inning for the visiting team.

Following the game, a fight reportedly occurred in the hallway to the parking lot; by Wednesday, De La Cruz had been criminally charged with assault, and the RedHawks released him, citing conduct detrimental to the team, with manager Michael Schlact saying, "Keury’s conduct last night is not condoned by RedHawks and isn’t what our team is about or how we represent the community."

Related: Following an ejection by umpire Mike Jarboe two weeks prior, Fargo-Moorhead's Metzger engaged in histrionics and profanity before using a prop from the dugout (a garbage bin) to further insult the umpire, leaving the receptacle behind home plate and pointing to it as Jarboe calmly discussed the ejection with Metzger's manager. Metzger served a one-game suspension for the conduct.
Related PostFeatured Indy Ejection - Mike Jarboe (Brennan Metzger) (8/7/18).

Updated: A previous version of this story indicated an arrest. This has been revised to a criminal charge of assault. No arrest was indicated.

The De La Cruz wild pitch video is available at the 2:20:50 mark here.


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