Matt Murton misplayed two consecutive balls hit to left by Ryohei Kawamoto and Tetsuto Yamada during the 3rd inning of Friday's game against the Yakult Swallows and was immediately removed from the game.
After the game, the players and coaches gathered in a circle for a meeting. OF/base-running coach Koichi Sekikawa reportedly pointed out the problems with Murton's defense in the 3rd inning that apparently led to a kerfuffle between the two that had to be quelled by a number of people to prevent things from escalating.
The two later spent over an hour talking things out in the clubhouse. By the time Murton was ready to leave, the team bus was already gone -- he ended up grabbing a taxi with Craig Brazell.
(Video not mine)
UPDATE 8/18 @ 3:36pm - Some updates:
- Murton reportedly took a few steps toward Sekikawa as he criticized his defense. The two were in each other's faces when Brazell and head coach Shuzo Arita stepped in to separate the two. The entire incident was visible from the field since the player locker room is not walled off from view. Team staff had to scramble for towels in an attempt to cover the windows/net. The rest of the team was allowed to leave while Murton, Brazell, Sekikawa, and an interpreter headed to the visitor's clubhouse to talk things out; their meeting lasted about fifty-eight minutes. Yutaka Wada did not attend the meeting and did not know about the incident since it took place during his post-game interview. During his post-game interview, he did tell reporters that he had to think about how he was going to use Murton. Source: Sports Hochi 8/18/2012, Sports Hochi Osaka 8/18/2012
- Murton will be taken off the active roster today and will be replaced by Kohei Shibata. Sekikawa was apparently the one that asked to meet with Murton in the clubhouse. Source: Daily Sports 8/18/2012
- The meeting in the clubhouse began with Murton, Sekikawa, Arita, and an interpreter. Arita left about thirty minutes into the meeting and asked Brazell to take his place. When the meeting ended, Sekikawa left with the team spokesperson and Murton with Brazell. Before leaving, Murton apparently smiled and waved good-bye to Sekikawa. Source: Sanspo 8/18/2012
UPDATE @ 8:20pm - Murton was taken off the active roster today. GM Eiichi Takano told reporters it was not a disciplinary move and that the team was hoping for him to return to the active roster. Source: Sponichi 8/18/2012
UPDATE 8/20 @ 12:15am - While the Tigers are maintaining that sending Murton to Ni-gun was not a disciplinary move, it seems they did issue him a warning, or at least a notice, to take it easy and not let his emotions get the better of him. Source: Sports Hochi 8/19/2012, Nikkan Sports 8/19/2012