Fort Myers Miracle Basebrawl: Manager Doug Mientkiewicz awaits fallout from bench-clearing fight with the Bradenton Marauders

12:02 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- A day after the bench-clearing brawl in which Fort Myers Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz raced out of his home dugout and took Bradenton Marauder manager Frank Kremblas to the ground, leading to their ejections, both men managed their teams against one another again.

This time, the Miracle played Sunday evening in Bradenton in a game that was eventually suspended in the third inning after torrential rain.

Mientkiewicz, 39 and in his first season managing the Miracle, said in a text message to "ask their manager" as to what angered him to the point of leaving the dugout. Mientkiewicz declined any further comment and instructed his players not to talk about the brawl as well.

Kremblas, 46, is in his first season managing the Marauders, the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He could not be reached for comment, as the Marauders public relations staff did not return phone calls.

"Doug knows that's not the example we want him to set for our players," said Brad Steil, the Minnesota Twins director of minor leagues and Mientkiewicz's boss. "He is a very competitive guy, and he let his emotions get the better of him. "He was very apologetic for what happened, both to me and to the team. He realizes that's not how we want him to represent the Minnesota Twins."

Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he would leave it to the Florida State League to discipline Mientkiewicz. League president Chuck Murphy could not be reached for comment Sunday.

A suspension could be in order for Mientkiewicz, Steil said, but not until after the league reviews what happened.

The trouble perhaps began brewing Friday when Marauders infielder Dan Gamache collided with Miracle catcher Jairo Rodriguez at home plate, knocking Rodriguez out of the game.

In the fourth inning of Saturday's scoreless game, Gamache was brushed in the back by a pitch thrown by Miracle starting pitcher Jason Wheeler.

That pitch prompted Kremblas to step out of the dugout and shout at the umpire and at Mientkiewicz, urging him to come out of the dugout.

Mientkiewicz obliged. He sprinted out of the dugout in anger, looking reminiscent of former Kansas City Royals first baseman George Brett 30 years ago, when he charged after an umpire in what became known as the "pine tar game."

Instead of charging the umpire, Mientkiewicz locked arms with Kremblas and brought him to the ground as the benches cleared.

Players from both teams surrounded and separated the two managers.

Players from both teams then were pushing and shoving Mientkiewicz, trying to keep him from getting to Kremblas again. The intensity then began die down, with Mientkiewicz and Kremblas meeting near the Bradenton dugout. Kremblas lightly patted Mientkiewicz's side before they left the field.

Bradenton went on to defeat Fort Myers 3-2 in 12 innings. The Miracle have a 5-10 record in August and return home at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Marauders return to Hammond Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

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