Camp Day ends in vicious brawl for Marlins, Reds Single-A affiliates

By: Andy Slater

(Update: 7/27) - After video release, Tortugas GM now speaking about incident, suspensions

What a way to celebrate Camp Day at the ballpark!

The Miami Marlins Single-A affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads, took on the Daytona Tortugas of the Cincinnati Reds organization.

In the 9th inning, things got out of hand, quickly.

Take a close look at the exclusively-obtained, shocking video of last Wednesday’s brawl at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.

At one point, Tortugas manager Eli Marrero rips off a coach’s helmet and looks like he’s going to throw it.

The melee started when Marrero began jawing with umpires near the Hammerheads dugout.

Words turned into punches, as the Hammerheads bench was jawing as well.

And then madness.

Did I mention it was Camp Day?

This was not your usual basebrawl, where guys do more jawing than fighting.

You can clearly see players throwing punches, squaring off.  According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, it caused a twenty-minute delay.

Here are just a few examples of what you can see on the video.

Hammerheads manager Randy Ready (wearing number 5) gets decked by Tortugas' outfielder Aristides Aquino (who wears number 6).

Tourtugas' pitcher Keury Mella (who wears number 34) is in the mix with Ready, swings while he is on the ground and then goes to attack someone else.

The brawl led to an injury to the Hammerheads manager.

According to a source concerning Ready, “They threw him into the wall.  He pulled his hammy.”

Hammerheads hitting coach Frank Moore was caught in a tough situation according to my source, Moore “got surrounded by six of their guys… He just rolled up in the ground and took it.”

So you would figure with all of this violence happening on the field, fines and suspensions would surely follow.

Guess again.

Aquino has played every game since.

Mella pitched two days later.

I continued digging to find out what, if any, action would be taken.

Florida State League President Ken Carson said, “It is my discretion after I review the video and umpire’s report.”

I asked if there were any suspensions from the game in question.

Carson said he levied them but advised that I call the general managers from each club.

And so I did.

Daytona Tortugas General Manager Josh Lawther said, “The organization will not be disclosing any information related to the on-field incident with Jupiter last week.”

The Cincinnati Reds director of media relations declined to comment.

Jupiter Hammerheads General Manager Jason Cantone said "per stadium and team policy" he is not allowed to comment.

I asked the Miami Marlins organization about the incident.  I was told they were unaware of it.

For now, all that is clear, children were exposed to the worst side of professional sports, and no one is answering questions about the fallout.

I’ll stay on top of it until they do.

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