After yesterday’s story in the Post Courier about Slade Heathcott turning himself around, it is only fitting that he would be getting into trouble the same day. Fortunately, Heathcott’s backsliding did not involve alcohol or unsafe behavior off the field. Unfortunately, his behavior yesterday on the field will almost certainly lead to a suspension. Heathcott took exception to getting hit by a pitch high and tight, but instead of charging the mound (as is most common in these situations), he turned around and took his aggression out on the Greenville catcher, sparking a bench-clearing brawl (or at least Greenville players left the bench, not sure where the Riverdogs were on this one).
It’s unclear to me whether the catcher was trash-talking or saying something insulting to Heathcott at the time, but ultimately, it’s irrelevant. It was a bonehead move that put Slade at risk of injury, and will cost him valuable development time in a suspension. Plus, I would imagine the Yankee organization does not take kindly to this sort of behavior. Heathcott may have set himself back in terms of getting promoted to high-A, as some were predicting would happen pretty soon.
Ultimately, I don’t see any long-term harm coming from this stupidity, but I don’t really care about the baseball impact. It’s an idiotic, impulsive move for a kid with a checkered history of personal issues, and it demonstrates that he still has work to do to get himself on the right path. I’m still rooting for the kid to succeed, but that will get harder to do if he keeps putting himself in situations like yesterday.
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