Julio Castillo, a pitcher for the Peoria Chiefs of the Class A Midwest League, was arraigned in court Friday morning on a felony assault charge after throwing a baseball into the stands and hitting a fan during an on the field brawl that took place Thursday night. Castillo threw a ball at the opposing team’s bench, which apparently missed badly and hit a fan above the dugout in the forehead. The 44-year-old fan was said to be incoherent, was rushed to the ER and was still hospitalized that night. Chris McCarthy is now out of the hospital.
Three players were hit by pitches thrown from Castillo before this fight got out of hand and the benches emptied. One of the batters Castillo popped was hit in the head. The second batter Castillo drilled, Angel Cabrerra, slid hard into second base to break up a double play, prompting Castillo to brush back the next Dragon batter.
Dayton manager Donnie Scott began complaining to the plate umpire and then argued with interim Peoria coach Carmelo Martinez. The argument escalated, Martinez pushed Scott, and the benches emptied after Castillo unleashed his throw towards the Dayton Dragons’ dugout.
Fifteen players and both managers were ejected following the 10-minute, bench-clearing brawl that happened early in the game (bottom of the first inning). Seventeen total people were sent to the locker room early. The game did continue and Dayton went on to win the game 6-5. The two fighting teams were affiliates of the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds organizations. Castillo’s team, Peoria, is managed by former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg.
This is a sad situation where Castillo obviously stepped over the line. Brawls do happen and benches do clear in baseball, however throwing a baseball at the bench is really ugly. When you miss and hit a fan that is even worse. I believe that Castillo should be charged for his actions and prosecuted. He could face up to 8 years in jail and I believe he deserves some jail time to learn a lesson.
He did hit three batters during the first inning of the game and was obviously out of control. He took it to another level when he hit a fan with his “dugout fastball” during the brawl. I hope he gets banned from baseball for a while and pays for his stupid actions. Although brawls do occur, this was not an ordinary action by Castillo. He should keep the game on the field and not bring fans into the brawl by throwing “deadly weapons” (according to Ohio law).
This past year we have seen quite a few brawls in baseball and in other sports. The Detroit Shock of the WNBA certainly shocked us when a brawl recently went down in Detroit. The cat fight occurred last week and was the first big brawl in the WNBA. Not surprisingly, it was the Detroit Men’s team who started the whole fighting dilemma in sports, when the palace at Auburn hills erupted several years ago against the Indiana Pacers. Are more athletes getting their green belts in karate and trying to fight or is this just competitive athletes fighting to win?