While neither the Toledo Blade nor the Toledo Free Press saw fit to mention the following (on their websites, anyway) the Detroit Free Press’ Jon Paul Morosi covers a bit of aggro in the (Mud)hen house.
The Tigers have suspended right-hander Roman Colon for seven days after a physical altercation with teammates in the Triple-A Toledo clubhouse.
The club announced that Colon has a contusion on his left shoulder, but teammate Jason Karnuth was injured more severely.
Karnuth, the Mud Hens’ closer, sustained broken bones in his face when he was punched during the fight.
Colon is believed to have thrown the punch, although when reached by telephone Thursday night, he said, “To be honest, I don’t even know if I hit him or not. I swear to God. I saw the trainers the next day, and I have no scars on my fingers.”
Karnuth, who had attempted to be a peacemaker during the scuffle, is due to have plastic surgery Monday. Screws will be inserted into his cheek, and it’s possible he will not pitch again this season.
Colon, meanwhile, has returned to Lakeland, Fla., to serve his suspension. He said Thursday night that he has twice apologized to Karnuth, and also to Toledo interim manager Mike Rojas.
“I didn’t even know he was hit,” Colon said. “I was surprised. I just said, ‘Jason, I’m sorry. I’m real, real sorry.’ I called him the next morning. I apologized to him.
The Tigers did not provide details of the incident in their news release, but, according to multiple accounts, the dispute occurred in the following way:
¢ Virgil Vasquez, a right-handed pitcher, turned down the music on Colon’s iPod before Tuesday’s game.
¢ Colon admonished Vasquez, prompting infielder Kevin Hooper, one of the team’s clubhouse leaders, to intervene. Hooper asked Colon to relax, at which point pitcher Jordan Tata became involved.
¢ Colon and Tata engaged in a brief shoving match, prompting Karnuth to step in and attempt to break it up. Karnuth was then punched in the face.
Colon was the only player suspended.
“I should not be the only one suspended,” Colon said. “Why would I be suspended when they were calling me a (expletive) to my face?”
Asked why he believes he was the only player suspended, Colon said, “When they called people into the office to ask what happened in the fight, there were no Latino people in there. So, I was alone.”
Though I’ve not asked Al Leiter for a comment, I’m sure he would vouch for the sensitivity of messing with another player’s personal music system.