Sluggerrr, the Royals mascot, wins in court once again


This blog launched as “Circling the Bases” in April 2009. Not long after that we posted a story about how a man was struck in the eye by a hot dog tossed by Sluggerrr, the Kansas City Royals mascot, and detached his retina. All of that seems like ages and ages ago. Yet, the legal case that resulted from that continues on, pushing six years later.

Yesterday a jury ruled that neither the team nor the mascot were at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries as a fan in the stands assumes the risk of flying objects, hot dogs included. This is now the second time a jury has so ruled. The first time was back in 2011. In 2013 an appeals court reversed that, saying that foul balls are one thing, mascots throwing hot dogs another. Last June the Supreme Court reversed that, ruling in favor of the fan and remanding the case for a new trial, which concluded yesterday. Of course now, one assumes, the fan will appeal agin and we’ll have another 2-3 years of this.

Which is to say that this will easily be the longest-covered story in the history of CTB/HBT once it’s all said and done. Players will have come up through the minors, made their mark in the bigs and then subsequently retired in the time it will take to resolve the old hot dog-to-the-eye case.


Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”


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