Ex-Fish Pitcher Koch Is Not A Good Neighbor

Never take a bat to a fight against a baseball player

Mr. Rogers, Billy Koch is not.

Police in North Port arrested the former Marlins pitcher Saturday on charges of criminal mischief and battery following an altercation with his next-door neighbor, Angel Camacho. 

Camacho, who had worked as a bouncer, apparently wasn't smart enough to realize that, like bringing a knife to a gun fight, you probably don't bring a baseball bat into a fight with a baseball player.

The fracas began about 2 a.m. when Camacho, out walking his dog with his son, approached Koch's stepson who was hanging out on their street to ask him about a person who was threatening Camacho's son.  The scene turned ugly, Koch's stepson became aggressive with Camacho, and Camacho allegedly pushed him out of his personal space.  

Then some impromptu batting practice broke loose.

Brandi Koch ran outside to confront Camacho, who said in the police report she was "spitting and screaming." Her husband was right behind her.  As Camacho and his son retreated into their own driveway, attempting to close themselves safely inside the garage, Camacho armed himself with a bat and a shovel. 

He didn't have possession long. While wrestling for the bat, Koch landed a seven-stich punch on Camacho, splitting his lip. Koch and the bat then helped themselves to the garage door and the vehicle of yet another neighbor. 

When police arrived, Camacho asked police if he could speak with Koch instead of pressing charges -- "I...said, 'Look, I have to live here. Is there any way I could just talk to him?" -- but Koch refused and, based on witness statements and evidence at the scene, found himself arrested as the primary aggressor.

No word on whether the needy Fish had a radar gun trained on that punch. When in the prime of his career, Koch regularly pitched over 100 mph and earned the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award in 2002.  He earned about $14 million over a career that included stints with the Blue Jays and A's before he wound up (pun intended) with the Marlins for a season in 2004. 

Koch's arraignment is set for August 7.  On the bright side, maybe now people will stop asking him about how fellow pitcher Justin Miller has "I love Billy Koch" tattooed on his ass.

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