Before either team could record an out, an unusual benches-clearing brawl erupted in a game between Red Sox and Yankees affiliates, with Yankees outfielder Slade Heathcott in the middle of it all.
In the top of the first inning, low Class A Greenville righthander Miguel Celestino hit Heathcott in the shoulder with the second pitch of the game. Rather than jog to first base or even charge the mound, Heathcott turned and attacked Greenville catcher Christian Vazquez, shoving him in the face and tackling him to the ground. A brawl ensued as both benches cleared. The entire incident was caught on video:
Heathcott and Charleston reliever Kelvin Perez were ejected, as were Vazquez and Greenville righthander Garret Rau. According to sources in attendance, tensions between the two clubs were high after the teams shared some heated words during their last series three weeks ago in Charleston.
It was quite the day for the 20-year-old Heathcott, who entered the season as the Yankees' No. 9 prospect. Earlier in the day, the Charleston Post and Courier published Gene Sapakoff's in-depth profile of the off-field problems Heathcott has gone through both as an amateur and since signing with the Yankees as a first-round pick out of high school in 2009. It's a must-read story, so just click through the link, but the highlights include pointing a gun at his father (who who spent part of Heathcott's high school years behind bars), living out of his truck and issues with alcohol both in high school and while with the Yankees.
Here's another video of the incident (this one with sound) that managed to catch the second half of the brawl:
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