Clocking Jose Bautista was not Rougned Odor’s first violent run-in with the Blue Jays organization.
Five years before the Texas Ranger punched Bautista in Arlington, he let his temper get the better of him in Spokane, Wash. during a minor league game against the Vancouver Canadians, Toronto’s single A affiliate.
The short-fused second baseman launched a benches-clearing brawl between his Indians and the visiting C’s after he was thrown out at second but follows through with a very late and high slide. On his way back to the bench, he suddenly stops and turns to confront Vancouver shortstop Shane Opitz.
According to Steve Bergum who covered the game for the Spokesman-Review, Odor instigated the melee in the third inning:
Odor, after being forced out at second, cut in front of Vancouver shortstop Shane Opitz, who appeared to be throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Opitz's glove hit Odor in the face, and the first-year free agent turned around and shoved Opitz.
The game took place July 11, 2011 at Avista Stadium.
Four players were ejected.
Opitz spoke to the New York Daily News on Tuesday. “I started thinking back to what happened with us. I was in Vancouver and was 19 and it was my first season in pro ball so I didn't necessarily have a gauge for what was a dirty slide. So when we were playing them, he slid in and I didn't even know it was a dirty slide at the time and I'm just throwing the ball back to the pitcher and all of a sudden he just comes back speaking Spanish — which I didn't and still don't speak a word of — so I had no idea what was going on. He pushes, throws a punch and then runs away behind his whole team right after. And then he does the same thing to Bautista.”
Opitz plays for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Jays AA affiliate.