Seems like a bit of an ear-biting went down in the 'Topes dugout today...

Salt Lake City Bees blog "Sting 'em Bees" is reporting that Alex Guerrero and catcher Miguel Olivo had a bit of a dust up in the dugout during a game at the Lab.  After rather lackluster fielding throughout the game, something happened, it's not reported what exactly, which lead to a fight in the dugout during which the catcher manged to bite a chunk out of Guerroro's right ear.  Per his agent, Guerroro underwent plastic surgery to repair the damage and Albuquerque PD are investigating the incident.

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Segment on biting from draft of book on the history of basketball in New Mexico 

It's somewhat harder to figure how rival teams and communities can develop mutual respect and appreciation after declaring war on each other at pep rallies, in pre-game media reports and vocally from one set of bleachers to another.
What keeps all hell from breaking lose, according to Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, is humankind's ability to distinguish between war and play, a survival mechanism that preceded culture. “We have only to watch young dogs to see that the essentials of human play are present in their merry gambols,” he wrote in a 1938 book, Homo Ludens. (Man the Player). “They invite one another to play by a certain ceremoniousness of attitude and gesture. They keep to the rule that you shall not bite, or not bite hard, your brother's ear. They pretend to get terribly angry. And – what is most important – in all these doings they plainly experience tremendous fun and enjoyment.” (John Huizinga. Homo Ludens. The International Library of Sociology, London, 2002, first published in England in 1944. 1)
Huizinga's theory works most of the time for dogs and humans. It's an exception to the “no-bite” rule when it doesn't. And when emotions get out of hand, it can result in injury or death among canines. When it breaks down among humans engaged in sports, it can result in real fisticuffs or worse. A literal example of the “no bite” rule occurred in 1997 when Mike Tyson bit off a portion of Evander Holyfield's ear in an infamous heavyweight championship boxing match in Las Vegas, Nev, But among humans, when emotions get out of hand, it most often merely inflames the sensibilities and makes headlines.

Via Albuquerque writer Ben Moffett


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