The Fight Night:Grasshoppers battle Intimidators at First Horizon Park

Posted by Andy Durham on August 31, 2007 at 10:16 am under Professional | 10 Comments to Read

This had to be the wildest night in Greensboro Sports history. The Hoppers and Intimidators going toe-to-toe on the field. You went to a fight and a Baseball game broke out. There was Bad Blood between Greensboro and Kannapolis and it spilled out on to the field on Thursday night, a day that will go in Greensboro Sports history as the Wildest ever.

Hoppers’ skipper Edwin Rodriguez was being held down by the Intimidators’ second baseman Scotty Madsen and Edwin was being popped by one punch after another. Greensboro center fielder Greg Burns jumped in and said, “I’m not going to stand back and let some 50 year-old man(Edwin), my manager, get his head beat in”. Burns nearly had the shirt ripped right off his back.

There were 40 men and one dog out there and the fists were flying.(There was no Dog Fight, Michael Vick, the dog was just running around on the field) At one point, I counted five fights going on at the same time and these weren’t little mini-scuffles. This was the real thing, the Pier 6 Brawl and we saw it all right here in Greensboro.

Mr. Bill on Baseball, Bill Hass, has the game report and blow-by-blow continued descriptions in the www.gsohoppers daily news story below. Again, I have never seen anything like this before in my life and probably will never see it again.

KANNAPOLIS HANDS HOPPERS 3RD STRAIGHT LOSS
By BILL HASS
Gsohoppers.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The record-setting crowd that came to First Horizon Park saw a little bit of everything Thursday night.

When the dust cleared and the final out was recorded, the Kannapolis Intimidators posted a 4-3 win against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The count of 6,604 fans brought the season attendance to a record 432,085, surpassing the 2006 total of 427,890.

The Hoppers dropped their third straight game to Kannapolis.

The game was marred by two bench-clearing incidents. In the first inning, Greensboro’s Logan Morrison was hit by a pitch from Kannapolis starter Jose Zazueta. Both benches emptied, but no damage was done, although Hoppers coach Anthony Iapoce was ejected. Both dugouts were given warnings by the umpires.

The same thing happened in the third inning, Logan being hit by Zazueta, and there were several pileups and punches thrown. When order was restored, the umpires cleared the field, sending the teams to the locker rooms, and the game was delayed for an hour while things were sorted out..

Zazueta and Intimidators manager Chris Jones were ejected, by rule, because of the warnings. Several position players on both teams were also ejected, but after South Atlantic League president John Henry Moss was consulted, they were reinstated (they will still have to pay fines).

When the game resumed, the dugouts were empty and the only players on the field were the defense, the hitter, the man on deck and the hitter in the hole. Once an offensive player was out or scored, he headed to the locker room. When the defense came off the field, it did the same.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever been in that situation,” said Hoppers manager Edwin Rodriguez. “We were making history, at least for me.”

Kannapolis had a 1-0 lead at the time and Greensboro’s James Guerrero
tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with his third home run of the season. Scott Cousins followed with a single and stole second base. After Spike McDougall struck out, Morrison delivered the go-ahead RBI with a single to left field.

Jake Blackwood tacked on another run with his 10th homer of the season in the eighth inning.

But that set the stage for the Intimidators’ rally in the ninth against Blake Jones. With one out, Brandon Allen doubled and scored on Archie Gilbert’s single. Lee Cruz then lined a two-run home run over the leaping try of Cousins in right field.

The Hoppers put a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth when Guerrero walked, but Kanekoa Texeira struck out Cousins and McDougall to end the game.

The Hoppers close the home portion of their season Friday at 7 p.m. against Kannapolis in First Horizon Park.


  • Lenslinger said,

    Fox 8 has video

  • Andy said,

    Thanks for the update. I heard that Frank Buckley and the Fox 8 crew were at the game doing a feature on the Hoppers attendance and then the fight broke out and I guess they got some great footage. I visited a blog site the other day that one of the Fox 8 videographers maintains and it was very impressive. That might be the Lenslinger’s blog, I’m not sure but, but good work and thanks for the update.

  • Bill said,

    In All my years In baseball I have never seen anything like this. As team security I place a great deal of the fault on the plate ump. He never gave me the signal to bring in security, he mainly just set back and watched this brawl. It starte when he ask me if we have footage of him tossing Anthony(hitting couch) from the game. I check and gave him the answer I was told to give. He called “Bull S**t” on that and ran down to our camera guy by the Hopper’s dugout. The camera guy told him he had no film, that what he shot went directly to the media booth. This showed me after that he just didn’t care what happened. He is just as much at fault as the players in my book. I tried to reason with him to let the three batters from each team to be allowed to stay in their dugouts while they were at bat. That his system of making the players stay in their club houses, and come out on the field one player at a time was taking to long. He again over ruled and told me to have the police officers stay were I had them. I then put together a plan for after the game on how to get both teams off the field after the game. I checked with Donald Moore who ok’d a plan and we finished the night without further inceident. Also I said before “I have never and hope I never see something in sports like this again”.

  • Andy said,

    Bill, you were right on top of it. This had to be the Wildest Night in Greensboro Sports History. Greensborosports.com was there too but Bill Self was caught in the crossfire.

  • Mike said,

    bill, watch how you throw umpires under the bus being apart of the team and all. keep in mind that those guys are 21 years old and have never had to deal with a fight probably. and if you think they’re going to remember to look BACK at you when theres 50 guys throwing punches, then you really have no clue what its like to be an umpire. the players fought bill, don’t do the easy thing that everyone does and throw the umpires under YOU”RE 18 WHEELER!

  • Don said,

    Here’s the YouTube Video – shot from behind home plate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikxkd4_mGDc

  • Ray Burton said,

    Looking back on that night (i was at the game, too), I think the plate upmire had the chance to avoid the second fight by tossing the pitcher as soon as he brushed Logan back in the third inning. It was the first pitch of Logan’s second at bat (the first one prompted the initial bench clearing) and it was in the same ptich as the one he threw the first time up just before hitting him. Given the existing warnings, if the umpire had tossed him then, it would have headed off the second fight.
    True, it is with the benfit of hindisght, but the umpires already knew there was bad blood and there had already been a bench clearing incident and the ptichers response was to immediately pitch at Logan the next at bat.

  • Bill said,

    Mike, I know more umpires than you would ever know. Also everyone who knows the rules of baseball know that once the line up is exchanged at the plate by the managers. The Umpire’s have total control of the game. Security can’t even come on to the field until the Umpire gives the signal that he has lost control and needs help. (this belittles him in no from or fashion). If you look at the video you will see the plate ump just standing with his hands on his hips while security stood by waiting for his call. Thats why it took 55mins Thursday night. To get everything under control. He was taught in umpire school how to handle this type of event. I was taught in rookie school and still remember everything I was taught. This is not to belittle him at all, but as I stated before I know Umpires in several leagues, and I know for a fact they agree with me on this and their age’s vary from 21 to 35 years of age. You should read the comment by Ray Burton. I think you may have jumped the gun here. Also I don’t have an 18 wheeler. Also if you had read my last comment about Friday night you would have seen were I stated I saw after the game one of the Grasshopper players shake hand and give the said umpire a hug. To me that took guts from both of them to show respect. As far as the media and the public, well they weren’t down there. I also don’t think that President, GM Donald Moore could have explained it better with the interview I saw he gave to both news stations. If fact had it not been for his quick thinking the game would have been called Thursday night, and then how do you think the 6000 people or more would have had to go home if the umpire had his way. The Hopper’s staff did all they could, and even the GM from Kannapolis was present to do all he could working together with the Grasshoppers GM to see that things went smooth. Also it should be known that Friday night it was the same Umpires, and if you we there when it broke out. It was under control in a matter of mins. So Mike you are intitle to your comment(which I respect you for) but remember it’s different on the field.

  • Andy said,

    Vince McMahon may want to give Logan Morrison a call up. I would take LoMo over John Morrison any day of the week. Johnny Nitro does not stand a chance against Logan Morrison or Bill Self or Cecil Carr. NO CHANCE……

  • Glenn Belaire said,

    The umpires new that the pitches were purpose pitches. The second pitch caught Logan. Neither the first base umpire nor the home plate umpire had the maturity or presence to take the situation over. They let the situation get out of control.

    The film clearly shows Logan never charged the mound. League officials did not look at the tapes. What a great cadillac job after the enormous homerun. That kid has some moxy and is a real gamer!!!!

    GLENN Belair #1 Fan