Tempers flare in Marlins-Mets game
Florida's Olivo ejected for throwing punches at Reyes
NEW YORK -- A blowout turned into a blowup in the fifth inning of the Mets' 13-0 rout of the Marlins at Shea Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo was ejected for throwing a punch at Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, which sparked a benches- and bullpen-clearing incident.
The situation spun out of control after an earlier incident in the same inning. With the Mets winning 10-0 at the time, Reyes doubled off Harvey Garcia with one out.
Garcia then threw a pitch that nearly struck Luis Castillo. The next pitch flew behind Castillo, who put his hands up and walked toward Garcia. Both benches and bullpen ran toward home plate, and order was restored.
The Olivo-Reyes scuffle occurred after Castillo walked and the Marlins were in the midst of making a pitching change.
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was at the mound, as was Olivo.
The two exchanged words, and Olivo sprinted toward Reyes. Third-base coach Sandy Alomar Sr. intervened as Olivo began throwing punches that didn't land.
"When I went to the mound, I was waiting for the pitcher, and I saw Reyes talking to me," Olivo said. "He was telling me he wants to fight. I said, 'OK.' [Third baseman Miguel] Cabrera was there. He said, 'Take it easy.'"
Olivo said Reyes waved his left hand toward Olivo and added, "Let's go."
Reyes had a conflicting account, saying that Olivo initiated fighting.
Olivo and Reyes have long been friends. They are both from the Dominican Republic, and they've played winter ball together.
"It started with Castillo," Olivo said. "[Reyes] started talking. I told Castillo we don't want to hit him. Then, when he went to third base, he started talking [to me]. I'm a man. I need to be a man and take care of myself. Then, I saw everybody tried to get me. I'm a man, and I'm not scared of anybody. I can take anybody anywhere, I don't care."
Again, the field was cluttered with players, pushing and shoving near the Marlins dugout. When order was restored, Olivo was ejected.
Reyes thought the two were initially joking until things got out of hand.
"We are friends," Reyes said. "We talk all the time. I thought he was kidding. When he threw his glove down, I knew he wasn't kidding."
Alomar stood between Reyes and the charging Olivo. Trying to be peacemaker, Alomar found himself in line of a swinging punch from Olivo.
Standing at third base, Miguel Cabrera said: "I knew it was going to happen."
"Coaches with glasses don't fight," Alomar said. "Sometimes it's good to maybe be a little shorter than everybody else."
Olivo says once he was thrown out of the game, that Reyes picked up the catcher's helmet and mockingly flipped it in his direction.
"I've never had a problem with him," Olivo said. "He's a good player. He's an exciting player. He can't show me up like that."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.