Dodgers release Olivo after minor league brawl
NEW YORK (AP) Miguel Olivo was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, two days after biting off a piece of Triple-A Albuquerque teammate Alex Guerrero's left ear during a dugout brawl.
Olivo, a veteran catcher, and Guerrero, the highly paid Cuban second base prospect, fought during the Isotopes game at Salt Lake on Tuesday. The Dodgers suspended Olivo on Wednesday while they conducted an investigation.
''It's unimaginable, inconceivable and unforgiveable,'' Dodgers President Stan Kasten said at Citi Field before the Dodgers played the New York Mets. ''It's not a question of fault. The action of removing a part of someone's ear is unforgiveable. Fault is not an issue here.''
The 27-year-old Guerrero had reconstructive surgery on his ear and there is no timetable for his return, Kasten said. The Dodgers executive said he was told Olivo bit off significant chunk from the top of Guerrero's ear.
''They didn't stich him up and say go out. This is plastic surgery,'' Kasten said. ''They had to reattach that portion of the ear and regrow skin over it. It's quite complicated.''
The Dodgers should have a better idea of how long Guerrero will be out by Sunday, Kasten said. After he is released from the Salt Lake City hospital, he will go to Los Angeles for the next phase of his recovery.
''He's going to be fine one way or another,'' Kasten said. ''He's going to play.''
Kasten said there was no decision yet on whether Guerrero will file criminal charges.
Olivo will not face discipline from the commissioner's office because the Dodgers terminated his contract. Under the collective bargaining agreement, either the club or Major League Baseball can discipline a player, not both.
Guerrero signed a $28 million, four-year deal with the Dodgers in October, and he was beaten out for the starting second base job by Dee Gordon in spring training.
He is hitting .376 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in the Pacific Coast League.
The fight happened in the dugout during the eighth inning of Albuquerque's 7-4 loss to Salt Lake, briefly delaying the game, and both players were removed from the lineup soon afterward.
The Los Angeles Times reported the disagreement began with Olivo getting upset that Guerrero failed to tag out a runner after a throw from Olivo, according to Guerrero's agent, Scott Boras. Replays showed Olivo charging Guerrero during a mound visit.
In his 13th big league season, Olivo has displayed a hot temper on the field before. He charged at Jose Reyes and missed with a wild punch during a dustup between the Marlins and Mets in the 2007 season.
The 35-year-old catcher appeared in eight games for the Dodgers this month. He was paid $110,000 in the minors and $800,000 while with the big league club.
Kasten said Olivo is scheduled to clear waivers Saturday. The Dodgers might then have to deal with the issue of whether they have to pay Olivo the remainder of his contract.
Olivo was sent down last week when A.J. Ellis came off the disabled.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hasn't thought about how the loss of Olivo, who was on the 40-man roster, affects the organizations depth at catcher.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris contributed to this report from Los Angeles.