By now you’ve undoubtedly seen footage of Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota drilling Brewers 1B Prince Fielder during LA’s 17-4 drubbing of Milwaukee Tuesday night, along with Fielder attempting to gatecrash the home team’s clubhouse. As historians are well aware, Mota is no stranger to being chased by a furious paragon of masculinity. The Journal News’ Peter Abraham recalls the second of Mota’s two exchanges with former Mets catcher Mike Piazza, the first one resulting in Metal Mike grabbing Mota by the throat after a March ’02 exhibition plunking.
In spring training of 2003, Mota threw at Piazza and the catcher charged the mound. Mota ran away. œLike a scared rabbit, Mets manager Art Howe said. As the situation started to calm down, Jeromy Burnitz stood in front of the Dodgers dugout challenging somebody to come out and fight him. Nobody did.
But that wasn™t enough for an enraged Piazza. He jumped in his BMW, drove over the other side of the complex and burst into the visitor™s clubhouse. œWhere™s Mota? he demanded.
Mota had fled with teammate Brian Jordan. According to legend, Mota jumped in full uniform into Jordan™s Range Rover and they hightailed it back to Vero Beach. Piazza searched every room then left the scene himself.
The next day, we asked Piazza what he planned to do. œI would have killed him, he said.
Piazza’s pursuit of Mota was in stark contrast to the passive resistance he showed after the Yankees’ Roger Clemens tossed a broken bat in the catcher’s direction during Game Two of the 2000 World Series.