Fan who ran onto Citi Field after Johan Santana’s no-hitter fined $5,000

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How much does a moment’s stupid impulse cost you in New York?  How about $5,000 and 100 hours of community service:

A New York Mets fan who ran onto Citi Field following Johan Santana’s no-hitter has pleaded guilty to interfering with a professional sporting event.

Prosecutors said Thursday a judge ordered 32-year-old Rafael Diaz of Massapequa to pay $4,000 in civil penalties to the Mets and $1,000 to the city. He also must perform 100 hours of community service and cannot visit Citi Field for year, although the Mets have already banned him for life.

It was already bad for the guy to begin with, what with the fact that he missed his son’s first birthday party because of his arrest. And because he was wearing jorts at the time.

$5,000 does seem a bit steep, though, no?  I mean, I understand you want to deter people from doing this and everything, but really: how likely is it that the Mets are going to give over-exuberant fans a reason to rush the field in the future? Deterring that is like deterring horse thievery. Or regicide.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.