Baseball is nowhere to be found in the United States right now. The World Series ended two months ago and spring training is still six weeks away. The blizzard that ran through the Midwest and will soon hit the Northeast is a harsh reminder of just how far away from baseball we are.
That is not the case on the other side of the world. The Australian Baseball League season is well underway right now, and last week it brought us one heck of a benches clearing brawl. Let's quickly set the scene before we go to the video: Rays prospect and Brisbane Bandits infielder Patrick Leonard ran over Pirates minor leaguer and Sydney Blue Sox catcher Daniel Arribas on a play at the plate. The two tussled after the collision, and then:
That sprightly young fellow who storms out of the Brisbane dugout to sucker punch Arribas (0:16 mark) is former Indians minor league infielder Joshua Roberts. Shots don't get much cheaper, so he's the evil villian here. No doubt. Roberts, a former rugby player, was suspended six games, the longest ban in ABL history.
Home plate collisions, by the way, were banned by Major League Baseball last month. The players' union just has to sign off on the plan before the rule change is finalized.