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Ice cream leads to dispute between player, scout at Boise Hawks game

Seattle Mariners catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero, who was in Boise on a rehab assignment with short-season Class A Everett, was restrained from attacking a Mariners' scout with a bat by a Hawks' employee in the stands at Memorial Stadium during the fifth inning of Thursday's game, according to multiple witnesses.

Butch Baccala, the scout, has earlier yelled at Montero, who served as Everett's first-base coach, to hustle. Then Baccala sent a $4.50 ice cream in a Hawks' mini-helmet to Montero in the dugout.

A furious Montero went into the stands behind home plate where Baccala was seated. Montero threw the ice cream at the scout and yelled at him while holding a bat. He was held back by a Hawks' employee.

"It is clear that both Jesus Montero and Butch Baccala engaged in behavior that is far below what we expect from members of our organization, including bad judgment at nearly every stage of this incident," Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “I want to apologize on behalf of the Mariners franchise to the Boise Hawks and their fans. We recognize that fans, including children, were impacted by this incident, and the language that was used. We recognize the severity of this incident, and want to assure the Hawks and their fans that it will be dealt with appropriately."

Neither Montero nor Baccala was at the ballpark Friday. Montero was recalled from his rehab assignment. Baccala returned to his home in the Bay Area.

Baccala, the scout involved, disputed the public account earlier on Friday, saying he did not provoke Montero.

"Of course I wasn't," Baccala said. "Why would I? I work for the Mariners. I've worked my ass off for the Mariners. Why would I do anything to hurt anybody? That wasn’t even close to the intention."

In the game, Boise committed a season-high five errors to fall to Everett 13-8 in 10 innings at Memorial Stadium. Everett recorded season highs in runs (13) and hits (20).

The loss, paired with Salem-Keizer's loss to Spokane, keeps the Hawks (39-32 overall, 17-17 second half) two games ahead of Salem-Keizer for the final playoff spot with four games remaining in the regular season. Boise hosts Salem-Keizer for a three-game series starting Saturday.