First there was a story from the Post and Courier that ran yesterday that shed light on some of the details of Heathcott's troubled past. I have to admit that I didn't know ANY of Heathcott's backstory other than the mentioning of "character issues," so this was a very interesting read and I would suggest that anybody who didn't check it out from the link on the AB4AR Facebook page yesterday do so today.
But that was just the beginning. While the Yankees were stumbling over their own feet again in losing to the Fraud Sawx, Heath and his Charleston River Dogs teammates were taking on the Boston Low-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, and things picked up when Heathcott was hit by a pitch and then turned and decked the Greenville catcher, sparking a bench-clearing brawl. Check the video below.
Three things on this:
1) It would be silly to assume that there wasn't some connection between the story of Heathcott's past struggles coming out yesterday and this fight breaking out after he was hit. The catcher more than likely was talking smack and probably made a comment about the story that Heathcott took offense too. And while Heathcott was certainly in the wrong for turning around and trying to punch the guy, and deserves whatever suspension he will get, I like the fact that he stood up for himself and liked the fact that there was actually somebody in the Yankee organization showing some fight yesterday.
2) These 2 event will no doubt spark all kinds of debate about Heathcott's makeup and how stupid the Yankees were in investing the kind of money they did in a guy who clearly "doesn't have it together," but that's all crap. If you go back and read the story from the P&C, Heathcott is, by all accounts, a good person and has already made great strides in becoming a better person and a better ball player. This fight should serve as another valuable life lesson for him moving forward and I hope he uses it to continue to improve on his path to the Majors.
3) Regardless of whether or not people think Heathcott was out of line, and he was, that's a terrible job by his teammates in coming to his defense once things went down. The Drive were practically pig piling on the guy and trying to cheap shot him while he was on the ground. Check out #33 trying to kick Heathcott while he's being held on the ground at the 16-17-second mark and then #24 coming out of the pile with Heathcott in a standing guillotine choke at the 29-second mark. Call me a Yankee homer if you want, but those 2 should get some significant suspension time for those moves as well. But if you're on the River Dogs and you're going to come out of the dugout and the 'pen in that situation, you need to help your teammate. Don't just stand around trying to hold everybody back. Get in there and do something!
And Slade, I feel for ya, buddy. While I didn't start a bench-clearing brawl or get kicked or choked, I did get tossed from my HS lacrosse game that I was coaching last night. Getting ejected sucks, no matter the circumstances. Keep your head up, dude. Learn from this and move forward.
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