Jose Bautista says Odor tried to hit him with relay throw just prior to brawl
Here's the latest wrinkle in the story of the Blue Jays-Rangers brawl from earlier this season
Not so long ago, the Blue Jays and Rangers engaged in a pretty stirring on-field brawl -- one that featured, most prominently, Rougned Odor's socking Jose Bautista in the jaw. Said brawl led to a number of suspensions, including a seven-game punishment (initially eight games) for Odor and his mighty right hook.
For a necessary reminder, let's roll the tape once again ...
All of the hostilities on display surely trace back to Bautista's Bat-Flip Heard 'Round the World in last year's ALDS. In the moments leading up to the actual thrown-down, we had Matt Bush's plunking Bautista, Bautista's sliding hard into Odor at second base, and then, possibly, this ...
That's Odor's relay throw just prior to the onset of grievance-airing. That's a pretty low arm angle, as such things go, and it gives rise to this accusation leveled by Bautista in a conversation with Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci:
"I've been playing baseball for a long time," Bautista said. "I know exactly what he was trying to do when he threw the ball. He tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face. And it's not the first time he's done it against me or some of my teammates. And there's video to prove that."
At this point, let's marshal some "soft" evidence. Here's Odor's relay angle from earlier in this same game on May 15 ...
This is grainy and blurry, but note Odor's arm angle at the moment of the throw. It's quite a bit higher and more parallel to the ground. Now here's Odor on May 5 against the Angels ...
And here he is on May 21 completing the pivot over Colby Rasmus, who's sliding in hard ...
Again, note the significantly higher arm angle.
We certainly can't call this definitive evidence, but it in this images Odor was certainly taking a "safer" angle on his relay throws. So there may indeed be something to Bautista's accusation.
There was never really any danger of this Jays-Rangers thing being over already, and this surely reinforces that notion. Developing!
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