Franklin Gutierrez didn’t know if he was allergic to bees. But he wasn’t going to stick around to find out. With hundreds of bees swarming near him right field, the Mariners outfielder couldn’t wait for Felix Hernandez to get another out to get out of the inning.
Instead, he called time and headed for cover.
“I just ran away,” Gutierrez said. “I saw they were coming. That was scary right there.”
Hernandez, who saw Gutierrez swatting at them and then heading toward the infield, recognized the issue and ran toward third base.
“I told (the Angels) I was going into their dugout and their clubhouse if they kept coming,” Hernandez said.
For the better part of 23 minutes, the game at Angels Park was delayed because of bees. It’s not often games are stopped because of excessive insect infestation.
“I’ve never seen bees like that,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “I’ve had my share of instances with other bugs, but never bees.”
Wedge was managing the Indians during 2007 American League Division series when Game 2 had to be stopped late in the game because a swarm of insects.
“Never with a swarm of bees,” Wedge said. “I couldn’t see them at first. I didn’t know what the hell was going on. We’re lucky nobody got stung.”
An unidentified Angels’ fan, who was sitting in the suite level and familiar with bee infestation, went on to the field with something in a bucket and armed with a broom. He stood amidst the swarms and brought the bees to him. He walked off the field and most of the bees followed him. A good portion of them also piled up on the ground in right field where he had been standing. The man was also later seen behind the wall on a ladder in center field removing a branch with an apparent hive on it.
Play resumed for an inning, but it was stopped again when Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun saw the pile of bees on the ground. A grounds crew member came and blasted the pile of bees on the ground with a fire extinguisher.
In a mild coincidence, the Angels’ Triple A team in SaltLake is nicknamed the bees.