Los Angeles, San Francisco city leaders condemn ballpark violence

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There was a time from the late 60s through to about the mid-80s when going to the ballpark was an unpleasant and, at times, dangerous experience. Alcohol flowed too freely, security was lax and ticket prices were cheap enough to where people who weren’t particularly invested in baseball games for baseball games’ sake didn’t think twice about showing up, more interested in partying or raising hell than in following the action.  Sadly, Thursday night’s horrifying beating of a man outside of Dodger Stadium reminded us of that time.

As of this morning the victim of the attack, Bryan Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, remains in a medically-induced coma and his friends say that there has been no change in his condition. Meanwhile, in the wake of the attack, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and police chiefs from both cities issued a statement of condemnation and urged civility among fans:

“This attack is unconscionable behavior that will not be tolerated in either of our ballparks or in either of our cities. Once apprehended, the attackers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Public safety is the top priority for all of us, and even one act of random violence is unacceptable.

“Baseball is a family sport that has unified our country after times of crisis and tragedy. This senseless act of violence has no place in our society and certainly not in our national pastime.

“The Giant/Dodger rivalry is one of the most storied in all of sports, dating back to when the teams played across town in New York City before their moves to California. This is a great rivalry between teams competing on the field of play. That’s where it must stay.

“We call on our respective citizens to stand together in honor of that rivalry as you have done throughout the years. Root hard for your teams, and do so with civility and common decency.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim, Bryan Stow, and his family. The best thing that we as a community of baseball fans can do to support Bryan and his family is to rise above this outrageous act and exercise good sportsmanship and mutual respect for each other.”

Perhaps more effective than the call for civility, however, is the fact that L.A. has issued a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers. Here’s hoping that it is righteously claimed, and soon.

Source: Aaron Judge, Yankees reach $360M, 9-year deal

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Aaron Judge has agreed to return to the New York Yankees on a $360 million, nine-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday because the deal had not been announced.

Judge will earn $40 million per season, the highest average annual payout for a position player. The contract trails only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for biggest in baseball history.

Judge was offered a long-term deal by New York before last season that was worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But he turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.

The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself — and won.

Judge set an American League record with 62 homers in 2022, powering the Yankees to the AL East title. He also tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs and just missed a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.

New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.

Judge, 30, was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at-bat.

A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homers and 497 RBIs in seven big league seasons.