Jackson Hammerheads closer Rick Sheen landed himself in hot water on Friday night when he was involved in a fight. The altercation occurred in a bar near the Hammerheads’ spring training facility in Pascagoula. Sheen tussled with a couple of fans who heckled him after a poor performance in an intra-squad scrimmage. The incident ended with all parties involved spending a night in prison for disorderly conduct.
Sheen, the brash 21-year-old nicknamed “Wild Thing” both for his pitching and his personal conduct, was drowning his sorrows at the Dixie Bullfrog bar after yielding 3 runs in an inning of work, including 2 home runs. He was then approached by 27-year-old Randy Qualls and 26-year-old Harry Charles, who serenaded him with, “Hey Mild Thing, I think I loathe you!” Sheen told them to get lost, but Qualls and Charles continued to harangue him loudly.
Sheen attempted to ignore the duo as they continued their verbal assault, but when Qualls called Sheen a “gelding,” the closer snapped and belted his tormentor in the mouth. Charles then jumped on Sheen’s back, but was quickly thrown to the floor. Qualls took a swing and connected with Sheen’s eye; Sheen responded by pushing him into a wall. The combatants were then separated and the police were called. Sheen, Qualls, and Charles were all arrested. No charges were ultimately filed against any of the men.
Sheen, sporting a black eye but no other apparent injuries, was defiant. “I did what I had to do,” he told reporters. “Those maniacs started the whole thing, and they wouldn’t leave me alone. What else was I supposed to do? I’m proudest of the fact that I remembered to punch the guy with my right. Can’t risk my pitching hand slugging a drunk.”
“Obviously, this is not something we want to encourage,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Hayes. “We know Rick didn’t start it, but we don’t want our guys getting in bar fights. We want that energy directed at our opponents.”
Neither the league nor the team has any plans to suspend Sheen for the incident. However, the owner of the Dixie Bullfrog, Philip Conner, said that Sheen, Qualls, and Charles are no longer welcome in his establishment.