Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Friday night fights

I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks, and I hope that when I go out for mine, I have a better time than ex-Buc Al Reyes did on his.
According to a report in the St. Petersburg Times, Reyes "fell against a ceramic pot inside the bar," and apparently thought he had been pushed. The 38-year-old then began exchanging words with bar patron Eduardo Mora, who punched Reyes in the face. The paper reported that Reyes then "began to spit blood on the people in the area and began to swing his arms about."

Tampa Police Lieutenant William Ferguson wrote in the official release that Reyes "continued spitting blood and thrashing about," despite frequent attempts by the police to contain the 230-pound right-hander.

Reyes was Tasered twice after refusing command from police authorities to stay down. -Bill Chastain, MLB.com

Reyes is an interesting case, in that he's been consistently productive throughout an eighteen-year pro career, but hasn't ever had any real job security. You'd think that a guy with a career ERA of 3.79 across 12 seasons would've had at least a few big contracts, but for whatever reason he's never nailed that one big payday (and at this point, he probably never will). He was a pretty good reliever during his time here (2.65 ERA and a 3/1 K/BB in 17 IP), and was equally good during spring training in 2003, but we cut him anyway, in a decision that seemed questionable at the time. It seemed even more questionable after Mike Williams and Brian Boehringer graduated from fighting fires to lighting them (check out the the carnage here). You may also recall that as the spring where we traded Chris Young for Matt Herges, then cut Herges to clear roster space for the impressively portly Dennys Reyes.

I think it's clear who's ultimately to blame for Reyes's troubles: current Devil Rays backup catcher Mike DiFelice, who set a bad example by starting a notable nightclub brawl in the Strip during a road trip with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. A blow-by-blow rundown of the jackassery:
In his report on yesterday's incident, Officer Robert Thomas, who was working an off-duty detail outside Area 51, 2106 Penn Ave., said he was called inside the club about 1:25 a.m. to help remove a "very disorderly person."

Inside, Thomas said, he saw security personnel trying to remove a "wild and unruly" man, later identified as DiFelice. He said he helped security by grabbing DiFelice's legs and pulling him outside.

Once outside, DiFelice got to his feet and punched parking valet James Tramonte, 24, in the face "for no apparent reason," Thomas reported.
According to Thomas, the trouble began when DiFelice began rubbing the arms of a stranger, a 28-year-old Tarentum woman who is a body-builder. Her name is being withheld because the Post-Gazette does not identify accusers or victims in sex-related cases.

DiFelice told the woman he liked her arms but the woman told him to stop. DiFelice then reached down and grabbed the woman's buttocks, police were told. A 35-year-old woman, also from Tarentum, told DiFelice to stop bothering her friend but he responded by putting a lighter to her buttocks, police reported.

The first woman then pushed DiFelice away and he punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. Security personnel grabbed DiFelice but he broke loose and ran back to the woman, who was still on the floor, and started beating her again. That's when Thomas was summoned. -Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By that standard, maybe Reyes doesn't look so bad.

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