Man dies after falling from stands at Rangers Ballpark

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Terrible news out of Arlington, Texas.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Drew Davison, a man who fell 20 feet onto a concrete level Thursday evening at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has been pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan addressed the media shortly after the conclusion of Thursday’s game against the A’s, expressing “deep sadness” on behalf of the entire organization and its fans.

More from Davison and the Star-Telegram:

The fan tumbled over the railing at approximately 7:30 p.m. after asking Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton for a foul ball hit by Oakland outfielder Conor Jackson in the top of the second inning. Hamilton tossed the ball up to him, he leaned over and caught it and then went headfirst into the gap between the seats and out-of-town scoreboard.

The man has not currently been identified. Witnesses say he was a firefighter from Brownwood, Texas and was attending the game with his son, who looked to be around six or eight years old.

Several players who witnessed the fall were visibly shaken when informed of the news after the game.

UPDATE:  More details on this awful incident can be found here.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.