Quad Cities manager Josh Bonifay, Burlington skipper Chad Tracy and River Bandits coach Tim Garland were all ejected after a shouting match nearly turned into a physical altercation during a Midwest League game on Monday night.
Bonifay appeared to bump chests with Tracy as the first-year Bees manager went nose-to-nose with Garland near the top step of the Quad Cities dugout moments before the eighth inning was set to begin. The trio was tossed by home plate umpire C.J. Davis.
"It was a disagreement between professional people that got a little heated,'' Bonifay told the Quad Cities Times.
Players, coaches and field umpire J.C. Velez joined Davis in trying to separate the feuding managers after Tracy came close to entering the River Bandits' dugout at Modern Woodmen Park.
"Things spewed over, and rightfully so,'' Bonifay said. "There were some things that needed to be said that were said and I think everybody said their piece. It was just a professional disagreement between staffs.''
Chad Tracy (right) argues with Bandit coach Tim Garland (left) before the eighth inning. (MiLB.TV)
The Bees are the Angels' Class A affiliate and the River Bandits are part of the Astros organization.
According to the Times, Bees shortstop Erick Salcedo was apparently at the middle of the dispute after Garland, an outfield and baserunning coach, expressed his displeasure with the shortstop's "continued chatter in the on-deck circle and on the field."
Garland and Tracy began arguing in front of the Quad Cities dugout, prompting Bonifay to get involved as Tracy moved toward the dugout steps. Tracy and Bonifay were restrained as players poured out of the dugouts and home bullpen when the dispute began to heat up.
Salcedo, who went 0-for-3 with a walk, was later warned by the umpire when, according to the Times, he repeatedly slammed his bat in in the dugout. Davis briefly stopped play in the eighth and "instructed Salcedo to stop pounding a bat onto the dugout bench."
The report said Salcedo was at the middle of a benches-clearing incident a day earlier, although there we no ejections from that argument.
Tracy, 30, spent eight seasons in the Minors with the Rangers, Rockies and Royals before briefly signing a Minor League deal with the Orioles and then retiring last year. His father, Jim Tracy, spent 11 years as a manager in the Majors.
Bonifay, 36, played eight seasons in the Minors with the Pirates and Astros from 1999-2006 before beginning his career as a coach and manager. He spent the past two seasons with Rookie-level Greeneville in the Astros system before joining Quad Cities this spring.