The Los Angeles Dodgers' spent $28 million to sign Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero in the off season, and today they aren't sure when he will recover after surgery to reattach part of his ear, severed yesterday by teammate Miguel Olivo.
Guerrero and veteran catcher Olivo, teammates on the Dodgers Triple-A farm team in Albuquerque, NM got into a nasty altercation resulting in Olivo biting off part of Guerrero's ear in the team's dugout on Tuesday, during a game in Salt Lake City, Utah. ESPN's Buster Olney reported that as of earlier today, the team was unsure how long the standout infielder would take to recover and if the portion of ear tissue will be successfully reattached.
UPDATE: Los Angeles, CA May 22, 2014 11:10 a.m. PDT: The Los Angeles Dodgers issued the following statement. "Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers released catcher Miguel Olivo from their roster. The club now has 39 players on its roster."
Alex Guerrero, 27 was being groomed to come up to the big leagues as a second baseman for the Dodgers and as of yesterday he was hitting .376 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. The team had begun to give him playing time at other infield positions as well as second base. Olivo, 35 had been up and down between LA and Albuquerque this season, beginning with the Dodgers' first series played in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ned Colletti, the Dodgers GM spoke with media while in New York for the team's games against the Mets. "We don't condone it, and we don't think it's constructive, People can have disagreements. When it gets beyond that level, it's over the limit." Quite an understatement. See update above for final actions taken by the Dodgers.
According to Guerrero's agent Scott Boras, his client has yet to decide how he will address the savage attack, which could include taking legal action and/or reporting the incident to the local police. Boras added his two cents to the comments about Olivo's actions. Equating the violence to a shooting or a stabbing, the super agent said:
"Cannibalizing a player has no place in baseball."
Miguel Olivo has been part of emotional outbursts in previous stops along the way in his baseball career, but none as extreme or damaging as what he did to Alex Guerrero. According to Boras, the two players argued after Olivo threw the ball to Guerrero, expecting him to tag a runner.