I couldn’t believe what I saw after Alex Avila’s home run last night. If you were following the game online you no doubt saw it too, as video of it quickly went viral. A fan in the right field stands ripped the home run ball out of the hands of the woman who came up with it and threw it back on the field.
Amanda Rykoff captured it on Vine. Click to animate:
Thankfully, not long after it happened, word started to circulate that the fan was ejected from Fenway. Which, good. He’s lucky that he wasn’t arrested and charged with assault & battery. I mean, there’s no effective difference between him taking the ball from the woman’s hands and throwing it like that than taking her cell phone or something.
But it gets worse! Jeff Passan of Yahoo! spoke to fans in the section where this took place and reports that, before he was ejected, the fan taunted a black Tigers fan sitting nearby all game with racial slurs, including calling him “Trayvon Martin” and “Prince Fielder’s crackhead brother.” He also told another black Tigers fan to “go back to the ghetto.” This was confirmed by several fans sitting in that section.
Man, what an utter piece of garbage.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.