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Pirates’ Crick: Vazquez threw 1st punch during clubhouse fight


Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Kyle Crick is pulling back the curtain on Monday’s clubhouse altercation with teammate Felipe Vazquez.

Crick injured his right index finger during the incident and required season-ending extensor tendon repair surgery on Tuesday. He said that while the pair exchanged blows, it was Vazquez who threw the first punch.

“One of those clubhouse altercations. A lot of bickering back and forth. Punches were thrown,” Crick said, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press. “You kind of have to at some point stand up for yourself and start throwing back. It’s one of those deals where it’s unfortunate.

“It’s two losers in this deal. Nobody can win fighting a teammate. It’s just an unfortunate deal.”

The tension may have been building for months, as Crick was reportedly involved in an on-field confrontation with bullpen coach Euclides Rojas in July, which resulted in the latter receiving a two-game suspension. The incident apparently was a result of the reliever complaining to Rojas that Vazquez received preferential treatment.

“In a way I think a scuffle like that can hasten the process of moving forward because we kind of got it out of the way,” Crick said. “We’ve been bickering for a little bit and I think this is something that we can easily get past with mutual respect for one another.

“It’s about the most unfortunate thing that can happen in a season. Getting injured off the field is not a good thing.”

The Pirates fined both players an undisclosed amount for violating their contracts, according to a team press release.

Vazquez declined to speak to the media following the team’s loss to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, McCauley reports.

Pittsburgh’s tumultuous season has also included a two-game ban for right-hander Keone Kela for a separate clubhouse altercation in July and several Pirates being suspended for multiple brawls with the Cincinnati Reds.





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