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Blue Jays release a statement about Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game incident

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The Rogers Centre hosted Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays. During the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, pinch-hitter Melvin Upton, Jr. hit a fly ball to left-center field. Left fielder Hyun Soo Kim camped under the ball and, as the ball dropped into his glove, a Blue Jays fan threw a can of beer in an attempt to interfere with Kim. It didn’t work, but it was still upsetting to Kim and center fielder Adam Jones, who pointed and yelled — ostensibly at the fan who threw the can. Had Kim not been able to catch the ball, Upton likely still would have been called out according to rule 3.16.

In between innings, security descended on the area, trying to find the culprit. Meanwhile, manager Buck Showalter discussed the issue with the umpires. The game went on without any further interruptions and the Blue Jays would wind up walking off 5-2 winners thanks to an Edwin Encarnacion three-run home run off of Ubaldo Jimenez.

On Wednesday, the Blue Jays released a statement about the beer can incident:

In case the above tweet doesn’t load, the statement reads:

The Toronto Blue Jays would like to express our extreme disappointment for the incident that occurred during last night’s American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre involving an object being thrown onto the field of play.

Throughout this season, we have witnessed an incredible level of fan engagement, with a passionate and loyal fan base that extends across Canada. On the heels of one of the most competitive and exhilarating baseball games in our club’s history, it is extremely unfortunate that the irresponsible actions of one individual would detract from the game on the field, and tarnish an otherwise memorable night.

We would like to offer our sincere apologies and regrets to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, its manager and players, as well as Major League Baseball for this embarrassing incident.

The safety of our fans, staff, players and visiting teams is paramount. We’re cooperating with the authorities to identify the individual involved, and the individual responsible is not welcome back to the stadium. We will also enact heightened security measures and alcohol policies that will ensure the fan experience and safety of everybody involved.

We hope the focus will remain on the exciting play on the field, and that our fans will express their passionate support for the Blue Jays while demonstrating a level of respect and responsibility that has made Rogers Centre one of the best atmospheres for families and fans of baseball.

Toronto Blue Jays

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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