Rangers Fan Who Fell Has Broken Ankle, Fractured Skull

There was a time-stopping moment in Arlington on Tuesday night when a Rangers fan fell from the upper deck trying to grab a foul ball. I’ve always wondered how it doesn’t happen more frequently given how low the railings at most parks are. Even though the fan fell 20 feet, he appears to be in relatively good condition.

Additionally, Larry Brown Sports has learned the identity of the fan and it’s Texas native Tyler Morris. According to sources, Morris has a broken ankle and fractured skull, and he may have a broken jaw. As you could imagine, Morris is being moved to ICU for observation for the head injury.

It’s really amazing that Morris doesn’t have more injuries given what occurred. Although we’re being told he has a fractured skull, I imagine he’ll be feeling the remnants of this fall for quite some time. Here’s to a full recovery and maybe a reconsideration from major league teams to include safety nets and higher railings in the stands. Just a thought to help prevent another accident like this in the future.

Players Don’t Like When Things They Say Or Do Turn Into Shirts

I’ve started to pick up on a somewhat of a theme over the past few weeks.  For whatever reason, MLB players don’t seem to like when things they say end up as catch phrases on t-shirts.  I’m not sure if it’s because they want a cut of the profits, they’re embarrassed by the attention, or some other reason but, Dallas Braden and Dustin Pedroia have both recently expressed discontent over shirts that have been made in their honor.

Braden is the most recent example.  He thinks the “Get Off My Mound” shirts the Oakland Athletics are selling — which is of course a reference to the famous barking attack Braden unleashed on A-Rod when he ran across the back of the mound — are a poor marketing tool and he’d rather the incident go away.  Here’s what he had to say about the shirts, courtesy of Out of Bounds via New York Daily News:

It’s just not cool,” Braden told the New York Daily News, referring to the shirt. “It’s just a serious, gross lack of tact. At the end of the day, I hope I do not become associated with that kind of approach.”

“They’re trying to generate revenue, trying to get butts in the seat, I can see that,” Braden said. “It’s almost like, at what cost do you do that? They didn’t have permission. They were told on multiple occasions, that, no, it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to be approved. They just kind of put the horse-blinders on and ran with it.”

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Omar Infante Surprised by Omar Infante’s Selection to the All-Star Game

The MLB All-Star teams were announced on Sunday and the selections resulted in snubs like always. While leaving Joey Votto off the NL team was by far the most egregious error, adding Omar Infante to the team easily qualifies as one of the worst All-Star decisions I’ve ever seen. See, every year a player or two makes the All-Star game when they don’t deserve to be there — it’s usually the result of the rule that all teams must have a representative in the game. Charlie Manuel’s decision to add Omar Infante had nothing to do with this usual issue; it was a sole act of idiocy on the part of Manuel. In what has to be a first ever, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel added a utility infielder to the All-Star team. The selection was so ridiculous and asinine that even Omar Infante himself was stunned by the news:

“I got a call from [General Manager] Frank Wren, and the first thought I had was that I got traded,” Infante said through an interpreter. “I was kind of nervous and choked up. By the time Frank told me I was going to the All-Star game, I thought he was joking around. It took, like, five minutes for me to realize I’m going to the All-Star game.”

That’s because he has no business going there! I’m not out to knock Infante nor his value and contributions to the Braves; Infante’s having a good year and he’s an important piece for Atlanta, having played five positions this year. But utility men have no place at an All-Star game. Infante has no business being on the roster while Joey Votto and his NL best OPS has to pray he wins a fan vote. If Charlie Manuel really wanted to add another middle infielder to the team then he should have gone with Rafael Furcal, Dan Uggla, or Rickie Weeks. Any of those guys belonged on the All-Star team. But Omar Infante? Maybe give him a team award at the end of the season like “Most Inspirational Player” or something. Just don’t put him on the All-Star team especially when so many other players are far more deserving.

Five Braves named All-Stars, including Infante [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Minor Leaguer Throws a Nutty

What better way to bring in the 4th of July weekend than with an old-fashioned baseball meltdown?  Ironically, this particular meltdown — thrown by Sioux City Explorer DH Ray Serrano — occured at the Wichita Wingnuts home stadium, the same ballpark where Kash Beauchamp threw one of the most famous spazzes of all-time.  While Serrano left the mock grenade throwing out of his rant, he did use one of Beauchamp’s tricks with the classic dumping of a liquid beverage on home plate.  It’s obvious that these minor leaguers do a lot of this stuff for show and as a way to get people in the stands, but it’s fun to watch none the less.  Here’s the video of Sioux City Explorer DH Ray Serrano throwing a nutty and getting ejected at a minor league game, courtesy of The Big Lead via Big League Stew:

Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend, everyone.

Check Out This Jerk [The Big Lead]
More Wichita wackiness: Minor leaguer goes bonkers on umpire [Big League Stew]

Laziness the Root of Matt Kemp Benching

It feels like we just went through the issue of center fielders being too lazy and not hustling. Last time it was Evan Longoria calling out his teammate for loafing it. With the Dodgers, it looks like one of their coaches said something to center fielder Matt Kemp about his lack of hustle. Kemp was benched on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, causing a local stir. No reason was given for the benching but Ken Gurnick said on Tuesday night it was the result of a disagreement Kemp had with a coach. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times confirmed Gurnick’s report and added a few details:

In the first inning of the 9-4 victory over the New York Yankees [Saturday], Derek Jeter drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. Because Kemp wasn’t backing up the bag, Jeter was able to advance to third base when catcher Russell Martin made an errant throw.

When Schaefer later reminded Kemp of what he should have done on the play, Kemp responded by saying that he was playing too deep to get there in time. Schaefer told him said that regardless, his duty was to charge in as soon as Martin let go of the ball. That prompted Kemp to tell Schaefer to leave him alone.

Kemp’s too good to let a little thing like that be an issue. As a batter, you can smash a line drive but you can’t help if it gets caught. At least when it comes to backing people up and hustling, that is the one thing you can control. There’s no excuse for Kemp not doing his part regarding those duties.

Matt Kemp’s benching linked to argument with Dodgers’ bench coach [LA Times]
Benched Kemp enters as sub for Manny [Dodgers.com]

MLB Ripping Off Fans with New Postseason Ticket Reservation System

MLB has announced that it is giving fans the chance to reserve their postseason tickets right now for a small fee. As wonderful as that may sound, you need to look at the bigger picture. The truth is only eight teams are going to make the playoffs, and everyone else is just throwing their money away.

For one, if you pay to reserve tickets to any game in the postseason and your team never makes it there, you’ll never see that money again. Or maybe your team does make it but gets annihilated, well then I hope you didn’t buy tickets to the ALCS/NLCS and the World Series too, because then you’re out of luck and money.

MLB is being sly about all this because at first glance it doesn’t look like that big of a deal. It’s only $10 to reserve tickets for the ALDS or NLDS. You want to go to the ALCS/NLCS too? Sure, why wouldn’t you? Well that’s just a small fee of $15. Well you might as well reserve tickets to the World Series too while you’re at it. I mean you’d be dummy not to right? Dude, it’s just $20 and you’re guaranteed a seat for the World Series; you’re making an investment in your sports future.

Eh, not really … you’re more than likely just giving MLB money. At the very least you gave them $35 in reservation fees alone. That doesn’t go towards the cost of your ticket — you still have to pay for that. There’s a lot of things that need to fall into place here for all of this to work out in favor of a given fan:

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Red Sox Being Devoured by Injury Bug

Our regular readers have probably been able to tell by now that I’m a Boston fan.  I actually tried to hold off writing about the Red Sox injury problems hoping that I wouldn’t be called a whiner or a Masshole.  So let me start by saying that I’m not crying about it, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s newsworthy.  There always seems to be one or two teams each year in the MLB that get absolutely pummeled by injuries.  With five injuries to Sox regulars in the span of one week — a week in which they had two off-days — Boston has officially become one of those teams.

On Thursday, we showed you video of Dustin Pedroia taking grounders from his knees in an attempt to stay sharp while nursing a broken foot.  Friday morning, reports were surfacing that Jason Varitek will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken foot of his own, which wouldn’t be a big deal if starting catcher Victor Martinez wasn’t already on the shelf with a fractured thumb.  The latest injury to Varitek prompted the Red Sox to bring back catcher Kevin Cash, who caught Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball for the Sox in ’07 and ’08.  It hardly stops there, so I’ve compiled a list of the Red Sox 2010 injuries to give you a better idea of how out of control this thing has gotten.

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