Dodgers release catcher who bit teammate’s ear in Triple-A fight

One way to lose your job — take a bite out of a teammate’s ear.

On Thursday, the Dodgers parted ways with veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who had been suspended for his role in a Triple-A dugout fight with teammate Alex Guerrero on Tuesday.

The dustup, which occurred during the Albuquerque Isotopes-Salt Lake Bees game, saw Olivo take a page from Mike Tyson’s playbook when the catcher bit Guerrero’s ear.

Dodgers President Stan Kasten said the Triple-A catcher’s alleged attack on Guerrero was "unimaginable, inconceivable and, frankly, unforgivable."

The Dodgers confirmed Guerrero is recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left ear in a statement released Wednesday night and will remain in a Salt Lake City, Utah, hospital for a few of days.

Asked if Guerrero was at all at fault for provoking Olivo, Kasten exploded.

"Fault?" Kasten said. "It’s not a question of fault. As I said, the action of removing a part of someone’s ear was unforgivable. Fault is not an issue here."

It’s unclear how long Guerrero will be sidelined.

Kasten said the Dodgers don’t have a timetable for when Guerrero might return. After he is released from the hospital, he will go to Los Angeles for the next phase of his recovery, The Associated Press reported. 

"We won’t know his longer-term timetable until Sunday," Kasten said. "They want to see first how well the graft takes. Then we’ll be able to predict how much longer he’ll be out."

The surgical procedure was complicated, in part because of how much of Guerrero’s ear was bitten off.

"It was the whole upper part of the ear," Kasten said. "This is plastic surgery to reattach a portion of the ear and to regrow skin over it. It’s quite complicated."


This isn’t the first time Olivo has displayed a hot temper on the field. Late in the 2007 season, he charged at Jose Reyes and missing with a wild punch during a dustup between the Marlins and Mets.

In his 13th season in the majors, Olivo, 35, appeared in eight games for the Dodgers this month. The AP reported he was paid $110,000 in the minors and $800,000 while with the major-league club.

Guerrero, a 27-year-old infielder from Cuba, signed a four-year, $28 million the Dodgers in October. He was beaten out for the starting second-base job by Dee Gordon in spring training.

Guerrero is hitting .376 with 10 homers and 29 RBI in Triple-A this season.

Kasten said there was no decision yet on whether Guerrero will file criminal charges, The AP reported.

Olivo will not face discipline from the commissioner’s office because the Dodgers terminated his contract. Under the collective bargaining agreement, either the club or Major League Baseball can discipline a player, not both.  

—The Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press contributed to this report.