The Appalachian League’s Kingsport Axmen has been disbanded and players sent home after a former player threatened a “Columbine 2.0” at Monday’s game at Hunter Wright Field.
The threat reportedly came from Matt Taylor, a player dismissed by the team, according to the Kingsport Police Department. He was then arrested, but USA Baseball and MLB made the decision to pull the plug on the Axmen’s season, per the Times-News:
The Axmen postponed home games Monday and Tuesday after Matt Taylor, who had been dismissed from the team, was arrested after making threats “to kill multiple people” at Monday’s game against Greeneville, according to information provided by the Kingsport Police Department.
Taylor, a 2018 Dobyns-Bennett graduate who pitched in four games for NCAA DI Kansas in the spring, was charged Monday with three counts of false reporting (a Class C felony) and one count of harassment, according to court documents. He was released Monday after posting a $25,000 bond.
Here’s part of an open letter issued by Boyd Sports, operators of the Axmen:
Recently, Kingsport Axmen players experienced troubling and concerning behavior involving a former teammate, who is now under the care of medical professionals. Since becoming aware of this matter, Boyd Sports, USA Baseball and MLB all have aimed to act with the best interests of the welfare of the players and staff in mind. Discussions regarding to these unusual circumstances, USA Baseball made the decision to allow the players of the Kingsport Axmen to return home.
Because of this turn of events, we are adjusting as necessary. We are in the process of assembling a travel team with a different group of players to complete the season, because a decision like this affects not only the Kingsport Axmen but every other team in the league’s schedule. We do not want to let down our other nine partners in the Appalachian League.
As noted, the Axmen will be replaced by a travel team to close out the season.