On Wednesday night, March 12th 2003, the Mets & Dodgers faced off in an exhibition game in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
the 5th inning, Piazza stepped in against Mota. The first pitch Mota threw, came inside at the waist. Piazza was visibly angry, he grimaced, held back his temper & stepped back in to the batters box. On the very next pitch, Mota hit Piazza on the shoulder. Piazza wasted no time & charged the mound.
Mota threw his glove at Piazza & ran. Both benches cleared, four Dodger players held Piazza back from tearing the pitcher apart. The Mets Jeromy Burnitz, went running after Mota, chasing him into the dugout. Players held back Burnitz & hid Mota in the dugout, in the wild scene. Even manager Art Howe went screaming at Mota from the dugout steps.
Mota. He was told he had already left the ballpark, but Piazza searched anyway to no avail.
Piazza was fined $3000 & suspended for five games for the incident. Mota was fined $1500 & suspended for five games as well. Jeromy Burnitz was also fined $500 for going after Mota.