FanDuel - WFBC

April 15, 2005

Swing and a miss: - Sheffield takes a wicked cut... at a fan... who may or may not have punched him whilst collecting a ball in play. It's always something with these guys. And I, for one, welcome it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey to baseball at 08:09 AM - 65 comments

In other news - 11 other games were played last night. Complete games were pitched, homers hit, etc.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:11 AM on April 15

I saw this, and I'll be goddamned if I wouldn't have jumped out of the stands and tackled Sheffield. The guy shouldn't have had his hands in the field of play, but where the hell do they get that he punched him? All I see is a fan excited about a hit in his direction who leans too far forward and Sheffield runs into him! When Sheff thens turns around, shoves at the guy and throws the ball back, I'm out there and on top of him. Sure I'm going to get my ass handed to me on a Silver Slugger, but it'll be worth it, and here's why: * The Red Sox are negligent for having that stupid short wall. Exactly how are you supposed to stay out of the field of play with 100 drunk fans shoving you from behind? How about some Plexiglass like they have (or had) in the Metrodome, or just moving the damned stands back? * I give credit to Sheffield for not climbing into the stands and wailing on random folks, but for Christ's sake, his hat didn't even get knocked off! He still went back and took what amounts to a swing at a fan. That's still an overreaction, and in my mind, you are now fair game, pal. * I jump out, get in one good lick perhaps, and now the rest of the Yankees are doing a hat dance on my back. Hello, profit! Here comes the lawsuit, as I name the Yankees, the Red Sox and MLB for shoddy security and insufficient barriers. I'd like $10M for the damage to both my body and my psyche ... oh yeah, and can you get Sheff to sign a bat for me?

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:25 AM on April 15

I dont really care...We are supposed to be excited because it was the Yanks and Red Sox. I was watching real baseball.

posted by daddisamm at 08:45 AM on April 15

Upon further review, this from the Boston Globe: Asked if he was concerned for Sheffield's safety, Torre, who had not seen a replay, said: "No question, these people shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets, much less come to a ballgame. The sad part about it is it's a handful of people who screw it up for the people who just come to watch a ballgame." Joe, you haven't even seen a replay yet and you're calling out Red Sox Nation. I might also point out you are siding with a guy who used to throw baseballs away on purpose in an effort to get traded out of Milwaukee, and said the promotion by the Brewers of Bill Spiers over him at SS was "race-related." AND you are saying this fan, who may or may not have hit Sheffield, shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets? Close your mouth, Joe, before you cut your tongue with your spikes.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:46 AM on April 15

The guy shouldn't have had his hands in the field of play, but where the hell do they get that he punched him? They showed the replay approximately 1000x times last night and as a Sox fan, I have to say the guy is a complete dirtbag who intended to elbow Sheffield in the mug. He was just too drunk to make it work out. He dipped down halfway to where you'd need to be to get the ball and then came up with his arm trying to clip Sheffield. Whether he succeeded or not is immaterial (though the devil on my other shoulder wishes it was Karim Garcia playing right last night). I was watching real baseball. I appreciate being sickened by the over-hyping of the Sox-Yanks rivalry, but to suggest it's currently anything but baseball played at the best level of competion is silly. Take a look at the rosters and count how many guys among those 50 have at least an outside shot at the Hall of Fame and then tell me why it's not "real baseball".

posted by yerfatma at 08:53 AM on April 15

wfrazerjr, stop the nonsense, I was watching this game and Sheff did not just "run" into the fan, the guy bent over and took a swipe at him. It looked like the guy was trying to mess up the play but not actually punch or hurt Sheff, kinda like A rod's bitch move in last year's playoff game.

posted by jbou at 08:55 AM on April 15

I was watching real baseball Totally. Last night's Astros/Mets tilt had everything a REAL baseball fan needed, bunting, pitchers bunting, sacrificing to move the runner along and the ever-impressive double switch. Alas, I was watching the best two teams in baseball slum it up and embarass the game. I really need that MLB extra innings package.

posted by YukonGold at 09:03 AM on April 15

the Mets have been great to watch this week. three come back wins. u gotta luv it.

posted by garfield at 09:06 AM on April 15

I appreciate being sickened by the over-hyping of the Sox-Yanks rivalry, but to suggest it's currently anything but baseball played at the best level of competion is silly. Take a look at the rosters and count how many guys among those 50 have at least an outside shot at the Hall of Fame and then tell me why it's not "real baseball". Please, stop telling me how great these guys are. Yes the Yankees and Sox have the best that Money can buy. There are other teams and players in the league and they are playing baseball. GOOD BASEBALL. You dont have to be a future HOF to play good baseball. Quite Frankly, the Big Unit got lit up like a 19 year-old rookie last night. Isnt it enough that the Yanks and Sox have taken over the playoffs?? Let us watch the 28 other teams in the Majors and see what they got during the season.

posted by daddisamm at 09:13 AM on April 15

And I was watching the game too, and saw it replayed too, and I saw it completely differently than those who say the guy took a swipe. And here is why I think it was an unfortunate coincidence/accident: Did you see the guys reaction when Sheffield turned on him? You could read his lips and he said "WHOA!" because he didn't even realise that he had touched Sheffield and was therefore surprised by his reaction. The guy who should be pissed is his buddy sitting next to him who he actually did hit in the face. Sheffield shouldbe fined as should the entire Yankees bullpen for leaving the bullpen and getting involved. Up until then it was an unfortunate occurance, but the Yankees players are the ones that made it an incident. Wish the Nationals' game had lasted a little longer so I wasn't tempted to watch this crap.

posted by scully at 09:19 AM on April 15

I can't tell if the guy was swiping at Sheff's cap or swiping at the other fan's hands that were reaching for the ball. In any case, he definitely didn't get much of a piece of Sheffield though. The whole "he busted my lip!" thing is a bit overdone. But in other news, it's the national stage when these two teams meet. Fans need to check themselves and act like they've been there before. All hands and arms inside the car at all times, bozos.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:35 AM on April 15

Let us watch the 28 other teams in the Majors and see what they got during the season. Nobody's stopping you, pal.

posted by rocketman at 09:38 AM on April 15

I saw this, and I'll be goddamned if I wouldn't have jumped out of the stands and tackled Sheffield. No, I'm willing to bet you woulda shit your pants if Sheffield glanced your way. Intentionally or not, Sheffield WAS hit in the mouth while fielding the ball. He shoved the guy, threw the ball back, and for a split second looked like he was going to knock the guy out, but he didn't. Big deal. It's not a relfection upon "Redsox Nation" or whatever to call the fan an idiot. Even Johnny Damon backed-up Sheffield...

posted by crank at 09:40 AM on April 15

the Big Unit got lit up like a 19 year-old rookie last night So that makes it bad baseball? (and besides that's not even true) You're not even making a point except that you don't want to watch the Red Sox or Yankees. Congratulations...you'll be watching them come playoff time.

posted by YukonGold at 09:54 AM on April 15

Wasn't there an incident in that exact same area during the playoffs? Wasn't one of the opposing outfielders (repeatedly) hit in the back by a fan with one of those inflatable bats while trying to field a bouncing ball out there? I seem to remember watching that replay...

posted by grum@work at 09:55 AM on April 15

There are other teams and players in the league and they are playing baseball. GOOD BASEBALL . . . Isnt it enough that the Yanks and Sox have taken over the playoffs?? So you're retracting your implication that Sox v. Yanks isn't "real baseball"?

posted by yerfatma at 09:59 AM on April 15

Sheffield was justified. Reminds me of the time when a fan fell into the penalty box at a Flyers-Leafs games and attacked Tie Domi. Dome kicked is ass and I see the swing Sheffield took as very similar. If someone comes to your place of work and wants to rumble, then hell take him out. Also, hats off to Sheffield for not escalating the situation.

posted by Bag Man at 10:20 AM on April 15

Someone do a video grab and show me the motion where the fan takes an uppercut at the player. I just watched the video feed at mlb.com and he's not even freaking looking at Sheffield -- he's looking toward the right-field corner and swings his arm in that direction. If you wanted to hit Sheff in the mouth, wouldn't you swing ... I dunno ... at his mouth? I think this was just an unfortunate incident where a fan was in the field of play (wrongly, but for God's sake, look at the stands and the fence) and he made unintentional contact with Sheff. As for going onto the field, I'm taking it from the standpoint that I'm innocent. It doesn't matter that it was in a game situation. I'm just saying if I haven't done anything wrong and someone comes after me, you're goddamned right I'm going back after him. That's a reactionary thing, and it's why I'm not faulting Sheffield for his initial reaction and crediting him for not going postal.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:30 AM on April 15

They should stop serving beer and start rolling joints!!!!

posted by watseka burnout at 10:31 AM on April 15

posted by YukonGold at 10:53 AM on April 15

I would like to commend the security at Fenway for a job well done. That first kid who ran in there deserves a raise. Nice work. Really, the only problem with this whole event was that the fan shouldn't have been reaching over the rail near a ball in play. That's it. From there, he brushed/tapped/came into contact with Sheffield. No matter his intent or the extent of the contact, I think Sheffield reacted as best as one could expect. He's looking down at the ball in play and feels a fan hit him in the face. I'd flip out too. But his flip out was pretty minor when it comes right down to it. He twirls around failing, chucks the ball into the infield and gets back at the fan. But even in his body language you can see the restraint. And then that security guard comes in and it's all, but over. After that, the only thing I noticed was that the fans around the area continue to get on Sheffield. I guarantee you they weren't complimenting his throw to the infield. If they were inciting him, they should have been tossed from the park as well. Again, kudos to the Fenway staff, and by extension the organization, for a job well done in minimizing this entire thing.

posted by 86 at 11:34 AM on April 15

My point being is there more to MLB then Sox and Yanks. Everyone of their games is over-hyped.... I never said it was bad baseball-it just aint the only good baseball being played.... and yes,I do watch other teams.

posted by daddisamm at 11:37 AM on April 15

Elsewhere, the Diamondbacks (seemed to) deliberately plunk Vinny Castilla to block his opportunity to hit for cycle in the Nats first ever home opener. I haven't watched a whole lot of baseball since Peter Angelos tarnished the Orioles Way. I hadn't realized how utterly lacking in class the game had become.

posted by danostuporstar at 11:45 AM on April 15

Three HR's and 5 eraned runs-yup the Big Unit got lit up--at least a little.. It aint bad baseball but it sure aint great baseball. Shefield controlled his anger and kept the situation for getting worse. The security man was really the hero in all of this. Gary should be fined to remind him that his first reaction was a little over-the -top... As Big Mac would say"Lets live for the future" Lets Play Ball...This incident is over---

posted by daddisamm at 11:45 AM on April 15

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days Of Our Lives.

posted by chicobangs at 11:50 AM on April 15

Local radio says the NESN broadcast didn't have as good a replay as ESPN and that ESPN's shows Mr. House's elbow cleanly connecting with Sheffield's face. he's not even freaking looking at Sheffield -- he's looking toward the right-field corner and swings his arm in that direction fraze, you might be right. I might be crazy*. However, as someone who's done his fair share of dirty tricks, I can tell you this is a classic approach when you want to make the other guy look like the aggressor. And it makes twice as much sense that it's going to work and you'll get away with it when you are wasted. We might disagree re: intent, but I think his complete inebriation is something we can all come together on. * It just might be a lunatic you're looking for.

posted by yerfatma at 11:55 AM on April 15

I'm just saying if I haven't done anything wrong and someone comes after me, you're goddamned right I'm going back after him. Well, if you reached over the wall to interfere with a game in progress (reaching for the ball) and made (accidental) contact with a participant, you have done something wrong. Elsewhere, the Diamondbacks (seemed to) deliberately plunk Vinny Castilla to block his opportunity to hit for cycle in the Nats first ever home opener. If Castilla REALLY wanted the shot at the cycle, he could have told the umpire that he made no effort to get out of the way of the pitch. Then it would just be called a ball and he could stay in the batters box for another pitch.

posted by grum@work at 11:55 AM on April 15

I hadn't realized how utterly lacking in class the game had become. So you stopped watching pre-Ty Cobb?

posted by yerfatma at 11:56 AM on April 15

I dunno, it just all sounds too X-Files for me. Now we're saying this guy was purposely looking the other way to make it look like he wasn't trying to hit Sheffield when he really was? Isn't it just easier to assume the guy leaned out where he wasn't supposed to be, made contact and then was surprised as hell when Sheff came after him (sort of)? As for doing something wrong, yes, he shouldn't have had his hands over the wall. But how in the hell do you KEEP from going over that wall? I mean, if you are leaning against the wall, you are over the wall! Watch the replay again -- there are 20 arms flailing as the ball rattles around in the corner. They just happened to not whack Sheffield. I will agree with you on the drunk part, though. That guy looked like he had been eating dumbflakes, but to me that just makes it even more believable that he got caught in a bad situation. I'm not letting the guy off his responsibility for being drunk in public -- just saying I think we're going a little conspiratorial when should all just be dogpiling on Sheffield accepting it as an accident.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:14 PM on April 15

Watching Sportscenter last night, even the anchors seemed to be getting sick of the overexposure their employer has given the Yankess-Red Sox rivalry. Steve Levy was getting pretty sarcastic about it.

posted by pitchblende at 12:18 PM on April 15

Back, and to the left...back, and to the left...Back, and to the left...

posted by chris2sy at 12:36 PM on April 15

purposely looking the other way to make it look like he wasn't trying to hit Sheffield when he really was? Well, the best technique is to step on the person's foot while looking the other way, but the stands prevent that.

posted by yerfatma at 12:50 PM on April 15

Lety's face it the fan was total "white trash" no if and. or buts about it. They you have Mr. Oktoberfest in the polo shirt intentionally throwing a beer on sheff. I don't think these fans fould have toe courage to approach Gary like a man on the streets and act this way!!

posted by rockhard10 at 01:17 PM on April 15

wfrazerjr, when Gary Sheffield fields a ball in front of you, I don't care how drunk you are, you are aware of his presence. When this guy swung, he didn't stop his motion after hitting Sheffield. If it was an accident, don't you think he would have jerked back a bit after making contact, or at least not followed through completely? And it's funny that you talk about "responsibility for being drunk in public" (puhleez, it's late innings of an exciting ball game-- half the crowd is drunk), but you proudly claim you would have jumped on the field to potentially cause a riot. I'd rather sit with some drunk idiots, thank you.

posted by cl at 01:32 PM on April 15

I'd rather sit with some drunk idiots, thank you. I'll let you know when the family reunion is this year. How close are you to Rhode Island?

posted by yerfatma at 02:19 PM on April 15

The guy with the camera in this photo snapped a couple of candids. [via waxy]

posted by yerfatma at 02:37 PM on April 15

Watching Sportscenter last night, even the anchors seemed to be getting sick of the overexposure their employer has given the Yankess-Red Sox rivalry. Steve Levy was getting pretty sarcastic about it. If they'd stop overexposing both teams, it'd be great. But it isn't going to happen.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:40 PM on April 15

If they'd stop overexposing both teams, it'd be great It's a matter of what outlet's exposure are you gonna watch. I'm a firm believer in the fact that Red Sox/Yankees are really the only thing baseball has going for it right now with all the shit that's come out and will come out involving steroids. I think there's a lot of great talent out there too, but it's not exactly Red Sox/Yankees. It's only getting exposed because there's nothing else like it in baseball.

posted by YukonGold at 02:58 PM on April 15

Canadians shouldn't be allowed to post... wfrazerjr you moron.

posted by mossface at 03:04 PM on April 15

They do have baseball in Canada, go look at the WS circa 1992 and 1993...for real. Its played just like it is here in the U.S....except I think they run the bases clockwise, running to third, first, after hitting the ball.

posted by chris2sy at 03:41 PM on April 15

Those candid shots are hilarious. For some reason they capture the stupidity of the moment better than the competently shot footage from the pro photogs. People who would judge Sheffield harshly ought to consider the instability of being one athlete in a sea of hostile, drunk-off -their-ass home team fans. Whether he was hit intentionally or by accident, he showed enough restraint to keep it from becoming a Pistons game.

posted by rcade at 03:52 PM on April 15

I think it is simple...Dude in the stands should of kept his arm in the stands and not on the field of play. And of course Sheffield overeacted the guy probly had the worst profanity ever yelled at him during the course of the game. Boston fans were probly yelling at him telling him they were going to attack him!! As far as he knew that guy may have wanted to do more then just hit him..like get on the field and go after him. Someone had already ran on the field earlier in the game. Remember Tom Gamboa in Chicago. Fans are CRAZY when drunk. If anyone wants a copy of the Gamboa attack email me I have it on tape.

posted by watseka burnout at 04:01 PM on April 15

Would it be rude to ask why?

posted by yerfatma at 04:19 PM on April 15

I don't care about a riot, cl, I care about someone swinging at me when I don't think I did anything to merit it. If you choose to let that pass because of the situation you're in, that's fine. I wouldn't, that's all. The candid photos are terrific. For some reason, that first picture reminds me of what my golden retriever Dusty looked like when he wanted a piece of my barbecue on the back deck. Canadians shouldn't be allowed to post... wfrazerjr you moron. Actually, I'm still an American citizen, dickface. Try another spurious reason to hate me.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:01 PM on April 15

People from St. Louis shouldn't be allowed to post.

posted by yerfatma at 06:35 PM on April 15

Lety's face it the fan was total "white trash" no if and. or buts about it. They you have Mr. Oktoberfest in the polo shirt intentionally throwing a beer on sheff Well im going to go ahead and disagree with you there, i saw no mullet, and/or handlebar mustache to qualify this guy as white trash,

posted by mattonimus at 06:50 PM on April 15

Its played just like it is here in the U.S....except I think they run the bases clockwise, running to third, first, after hitting the ball. Also, the bases are 90 meters apart. And they are not called "bases." Rather, they are called "zeds." Pretty cool, hey? Finally, people from earth should not be allowed to post. I guess that leaves only Valient Thorr to jibbah jabbah about sports in these parts.

posted by NoMich at 08:06 PM on April 15

I don't care about a riot, cl, I care about someone swinging at me when I don't think I did anything to merit it. If you choose to let that pass because of the situation you're in, that's fine. I wouldn't, that's all. Cheap talk. Ever done it? Tell us how the night in the drunk tank was. ...because that is exactly where you would have ended up.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:33 PM on April 15

my golden retriever Dusty My hair isn't even blonde, and I don't fetch for shit.

posted by dusted at 08:59 PM on April 15

Cheap talk. Ever done it? Tell us how the night in the drunk tank was. I couldn't tell you how night in the drunk tank was because 1) I've never spent a night in jail and 2) I rarely drink. I have, however, pasted a couple of guys who chose to put their hands in my face without what I thought was a justifiable reason. I don't make a habit out of beating people up, but I don't make a habit out of letting people push me, either. I'm the bad guy for that?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:34 PM on April 15

i saw no mullet, and/or handlebar mustache to qualify this guy as white trash, Handlebar mustache? Did he and his barbershop quartet buddies ride to the game on their high wheelers?

posted by crank at 09:43 PM on April 15

I have, however, pasted a couple of guys who chose to put their hands in my face without what I thought was a justifiable reason. I don't make a habit out of beating people up, but I don't make a habit out of letting people push me, either. I'm the bad guy for that? Are you being disingenuous, or do you really believe that if you reach over the wall and onto the field of play during a baseball game, interfere with a play, and intentionally or unintentionally make contact with a player's face...and that player reacts by shoving you back...that you would be seen as "justified" for then "jump[ing] out of the stands and tackl[ing] Sheffield" and "get[ting] in one good lick"? That's an act of self-defense in your vocabulary, is it? Because I don't think there are many police departments that would see it that way. Oh, and to answer another question of yours: how you KEEP from going over that wall is to stay in your goddamn front-row seat and don't stand up and lean forward over the wall.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:18 AM on April 16

Was at the park last night. They changed all the signs posted around that short end of the right field wall to read... "ANYONE WHO ATTEMPTS TO INTERFERE WITH A BALL IN PLAY WILL FACE EJECTION" They also had a little speech before the game from the announcer about not being jerkoffs.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:57 AM on April 16

So, go to the game, don't EVER stand up and don't ever lean forward! Well, gosh, what if I have to pee? Can I put my hands on the rail fo the fence? But then my fingertips are in play! end of ridiculous exaggeration I understand what you are saying, LBB, and I even agree to some extent, but that fence and the proximity of the seats makes it highly improbable that people are actually going to keep themselves out of the field of play, and putting little signs there is not going to change the physical make-up of the area. It doesn't totally excuse the guy for having his arm over the fence ... but the park doesn't exactly do anything to hinder from doing it even incidentally. I still also don't believe the guy was making much of an effort to interfere with anything. One arm in the wrong place at the wrong time, that's it, and suddenly Gary Sheffield is taking a swing at him. All I'm saying is, given the surprise on that guy's face, I'm not even sure he knew he hit Sheff. If that's me, and suddenly someone's coming in the stands after me, I'm absolutely defending myself. I don't care what the police department thinks about it. It's what I'm going to do as a reaction to having someone's hands in my face. And yes, after it's all over, I'm not going to feel bad about myself. I'll apologize if it comes out that perhaps I overreacted, but then, how do you overreact when someone else is shoving you?

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:30 AM on April 16

Yeah- but isnt that what Sheffield was doing? The guy hit him in the face (purposefully or not). Sheffield was justified in'defending' himself. By your own logic, Sheffield did what you would have.... Declared jihad on all suspect muthafuckas! Destroy the menace! Your manhood is at stake! Hey Fraze when are you going to go to a Jays game?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:49 AM on April 16

They also had a little speech before the game from the announcer about not being jerkoffs. Well, I hope this doesn't mess things up for real fans who try to interfere only when it'll give the Sox a base. Also, I would hope the announcer actually said something about not being "retahds." Gotta speak the language to get your point across.

posted by yerfatma at 11:55 AM on April 16

The fan who took the blurry photos was an FHM contributing writer. He offers some more details on the fan, who doesn't sound like the type to be fired up enough to elbow Sheff.

posted by rcade at 01:16 PM on April 16

The fan who assaulted/bumped/windmilled Sheffield is Christopher House, and you can read lots of Seinfeldian speculation on Boston Dirt Dogs. Here's an animated GIF from the Boston Globe: Watching that, I now know less about House's motive than I did before. I might believe he was doing the windmill to wave runners home, his latest explanation, but who's watching the infield when a player is fielding the ball less than two feet from you? Perhaps his best defense should involve both the windmill and the phrase "drunk off my ass."

posted by rcade at 01:28 PM on April 16

From that image, rcade, sure doesn't seem like the fan was going for the ball and that he could see Sheffield a lot better than Sheffield could see him.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:36 PM on April 16

Weedy, I totally agree about Sheff -- he got at least grazed in the face, and the fact that he kept himself from going Jake LaMotta is admirable. I place no fault with him at all. I'm going to two of the Cards/Blue Jays games in June ... you in?

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:29 PM on April 16

Yeah - thats one of the series that are on my list. I have recently re-discovered the Dome as a great drinking place - thanks to $2 tickets. God bless general public apathy towards baseball.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:47 AM on April 17

Yeah - thats one of the series that are on my list. I have recently re-discovered the Dome as a great drinking place - thanks to $2 tickets. God bless general public apathy towards baseball.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:47 AM on April 17

Back and to the left. Back and to the left.

posted by YukonGold at 07:19 AM on April 18

For those still paying any attention to this, the fan has had his tickets revoked for the season. The beer-dousing fan will not be allowed to buy tickets for the remainder of the year. I think this is pretty fair, as even though I don't think the guy did anything intentional, he WAS in the field of play. This is the only way the Sox can make an example of him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:27 AM on April 19

He also issued a BS statement, calling it 'ridiculous to suggest' he took a swing and thanking the Fenway staff for quickly (saving his ass) assisting him. what a knob. the more often I see the clip, the more he looks like he took a swing.

posted by garfield at 11:40 AM on April 19

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