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Minor League Baseball

Rangers Minor Leaguer Channels Inner Garbage Man, Throws Trash Can At Fans

Being a minor league ballplayer involves a lot of “toughing it out” in order to pursue one’s dream of reaching the major league: long bus rides, crappy motel rooms, the list goes on and on, but who knew that part of the responsibilities around the clubhouse was seeing that undone custodial work was completed? Perhaps that might not be entirely accurate, but for one Texas Rangers minor leaguer, not only did he take on more work than needed, he performed horribly at it. You see, when taking out the trash, you are not supposed to heave the cans into the crowd. That’s a big no-no, a fact Engel Beltre now knows all too clearly.

Beltre has been suspended indefinitely by the Texas Rangers organization for his actions during a Frisco RoughRiders game against the San Antonio Missions in Texas League, Double-A ball. After fans began throwing water bottles at players – an unacceptable act in its own right – Beltre unwisely retaliated by heaving a trash can into the stands.

But how could have things escalated into such an ugly scene? Via ESPN Dallas:

The incident came soon after a controversial call in the ninth inning when umpires overturned a potential three-run, go-ahead homer by Frisco’s Michael Bianucci, instead ruling it was an RBI ground-rule double.

RoughRiders manager Steve Buechele was ejected for arguing the call. The next Frisco batter struck out for the final out of the game.

San Antonio Missions president Burl Yarbrough was nearby when the melee broke out.

“I was standing there, and all of a sudden, a trash can came flying out of the dugout,” he told the San Antonio Express-News in a story on the newspaper’s website. “I’ve been here 24 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Obviously, there have been many occasions where an irate manager or player has tossed a trash can out of the dugout, but I believe this is the first time said trash can was used as a projectile weapon against unruly fans. I suppose that’s the beauty of minor league baseball: radical changes to the old pastime always begin down in the lower ranks.

Player threw trash can at fans [ESPN Dallas]