Jury selection begins in Bryan Stow’s civil case against the Dodgers

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Bryan Stow was nearly beaten to death in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day 2011. His criminal assailants are now in jail, but the matter is not totally closed. Stow has a civil case pending against the Dodgers which accuses the team and former owner Frank McCourt of not providing sufficient security that day. Jury selection began in that case yesterday. Stow was there for it, but he has suffered brain damage and will not testify.

The jury questionnaire asks potential jurors about their experience with or knowledge of traumatic brain injury and caring for people who are disabled for life, as Stow is. It asks about fistfights at a sporting events and their experience with stadium or arena security. It also asks something else:

”What is your opinion if any of Frank McCourt?” they were asked, referring to the unpopular Dodgers owner who sold the team under duress. They were asked how many times they have been to Dodgers or Giants games and whether they ever had a negative experience at Dodger Stadium.

Given that he’s a defendant who had all kinds of bad press in the couple of years before and after Stow’s beating, it’s probably pretty relevant.

Ultimately the case will be about whether there was sufficient security that day. The Dodgers and McCourt have long said that they had their biggest security detail ever for that game. Maybe so, but that is beside the point if, in the opinion of the jurors, that was still not reasonable.

Stow will need medical care, assistance and rehabilitation for life. It could cost him and/or his insurers upwards of $50 million.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.