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No, it isn’t an early Spring Training battle just yet.

On Monday night in Cuba, one of the craziest baseball fight you’ll ever see broke out:

(hat tips to Ben Badler and Dayn Perry)

As pointed out by Badler, what makes the fight all the more crazy is the fact that the dude with the bat wasn’t even in the game. And the pitcher stood right up to him with nothing more than his glove (which he promptly chucked at the dude with. the. bat.). I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if that full swing of the bat had hit the mark.

I’m not going to say that this kind of fight couldn’t happen in the big leagues (or hasn’t before), but, yeah, that’s some crazy stuff right there. It’s not something you’d expect to see in MLB, and could be pointed to as an example of the differences between baseball in Cuba and in the United States.

Based on things like the emergence of a boisterous young star like Yasiel Puig and the Jorge Soler “bat incident,” fans are likely to hear from time to time about how the game of baseball is a little different in Cuba. It is said that the players who come to the States, then, should be given a little leeway as they adjust not only to an entirely new life away from everything they’ve known, but also to a game that is more staid and more formal than they one they’ve come to know.

While you never want to go too far with categorial descriptions like that, it is fair to say there are some differences between professional baseball in the U.S. and in Cuba. That’s not to say anything is better or worse, or that there aren’t far more similarities than differences (or that taking a bat to another player’s head is somehow OK in Cuba but not OK here). But there are differences.

Whether this is an example of those differences, I don’t know. Probably. But mostly I’m just awed by that pitcher, man.

  • Jon

    So that’s where Jorge learned it…

  • Jim

    What a horrendous fight. The only bright spot is Latin flair the announcers bring. Maybe we could have them guest star to liven up those late Sept. games.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Wow. Absolutely crazy.

    That pitcher who stood in their and was willing to take a bat is one hell of a team player.

  • Cesar Parra

    The announcers seem pretty disgusted by the situation. Some of the things they say go along the lines of “this is not our baseball, this can’t be out baseball”.

    It seems like something pretty messed up is going on because they said that they saw something like this coming due to the 11 HBP that had been thrown in the last week.

  • DarthHater

    And Robin Ventura says: “Damn, I knew I forgot something!”
    [img]http://media.giphy.com/media/Es1K4bm1ECiY0/giphy.gif[/img]

    • ChrisFChi

      Nolan Ryan is a beast.

  • Idaho Razorback

    “It is said that the players who come to the States, then, should be given a little leeway as they adjust not only to an entirely new life away from everything they’ve known, but also to a game that is more staid and more formal than they one they’ve come to know”

    It’s our game. We don’t adapt to you, you adapt to us..

    • DarthHater

      ‘Merica.

      • hansman

        The Melting Pot of Adaptation. Unless that adaptation is evolution. Then it’s scary and weird.

  • DarthHater

    The pitcher had already ducked and the guy with the bat swung high. It was a “message swing.” ;-)

    • jp3

      Insert Bob ueker saying, “JUST A BIT OUTSIDE! TRIED THE HEAD AND MISSED”

  • Funn Dave

    Holy shit. Hopefully that helps people frame Soler’s slip-up a bit differently.

    • Jon

      Yes, it’s ok to use a bat as a weapon during a baseball game! They do it in Cuba after all!

      • Jon

        My neighbor beats his wife, doesn’t let her speak or even lead a social life. I used to think he was a terrible person for this, but then I learned he grew up in Saudi Arabia, so that changed my whole perspective. I now cut him some slack as this is custom in his home country.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Heh!!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          There’s a considerable difference between excusing something and providing context for it.

          • Funn Dave

            Exactly.

        • Darth Ivy

          think before you post.

        • Funn Dave

          Jon, I’m way bigger than you.

  • baldtaxguy

    Crazy stuff. Pitcher is quite lucky.

  • Funn Dave

    “While you never want to go too far with categorial descriptions like that, it is fair to say there are some differences between professional baseball in the U.S. and in Cuba. That’s not to say anything is better or worse, or that there aren’t far more similarities than differences (or that taking a bat to another player’s head is somehow OK in Cuba but not OK here). But there are differences.”

    Some good, even-headed writing right there.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      …though i think the swinging the bat at the head is worse.

      ….on the other hand, if we made this legal in baseball we could probably bring baseball back to the olympics. Everyone wins. Go USA….beat (the hell outta) Russia!

  • BD

    Looks like #4 needs to work on that contact rate…

  • Critterbeard

    Just because it happened doesn’t mean that people consider that kind of behavior ok. I don’t know whether this sort of behavior is tolerated or not in Cuba, just sayin….

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Well obvious Emperor Bud has worked out a deal with Cuba so we can see these fights.

    • ChrisFChi

      UFMLB

  • mikequinn_

    While cultures are different and the “unwritten” rules may be different one thing, in my opinion, should be constant.

    It is NEVER ok to swing a bat at a person like you are trying to hit a 500 ft home run. I don’t care if you are 5 or 50 or from Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United States or Canada. Cultural differences be damned, it’s not ok and we shouldn’t brush it off as “oh, just Cubans being Cubans.”

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