Tempers spiked and benches cleared during the first game of a double header Saturday between the Double-A Huntsville Stars and Mobile BayBears, and no one reacted quite as belligerently as the teams’ batboys.
As the dugouts emptied following an intentional beaning of Mobile hitter Alfredo Marte, each team’s respective batboy seemed intent on expressing his rage over the incident. After yelling at each other from across the field and making some choice inflammatory gestures, things started to get ugly.
BayBears batboy Kevin Weiss acted first, swatting helmets left and right with an open palm to communicate his anger. Darren Murphy, his counterpart, responded similarly by knocking around helmets with unbridled fury.
Stars equipment manager Doug Cruickshank had never seen anything quite so repulsive in his 23 years of professional baseball experience.
“The unsportsmanlike attitude of these kids was simply unbelievable. So disappointing. Their job is to keep things orderly for the players so they don’t trip and get injured on equipment, and here they are displacing helmets, obstructing walkways, and overall just behaving like jackasses. Unbelievable.”
As the umpires regained control over the chaos on the field, startled players watched with curiosity as the batboys continued to wreak havoc on the helmets.
Stars first baseman Hunter Morris considered intervening but elected to do otherwise.
“At first I was scared he was gonna break a nail or something, but then I figured I’d let him work it out on his own. And he did. He got tuckered out, started crying a little bit, then fell asleep at the end of the bench.”
“He had a long day,” Morris added.
Though the league has no formal disciplinary code for reprimanding batboys, commissioner Steve DeSalvo insists that there will be consequences for their behavior.
“Oh yeah, they’re gonna get it. We might suspend them three games without pay, which would cost them about thirty bucks a piece. Or maybe we’ll give ‘em a little community service, have ‘em clean up equipment at some tee ball games.”
DeSalvo continued: “Or maybe we’ll just smack ‘em upside the head and tell them to take it easy. Who gives a shit. They’re batboys.”