MLB urges can ban in Toronto park

Tues­day in­ci­dent prompts apolo­gies from Blue Jays fans

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Sean Welsh sjwelsh@balt­sun.com The As­so­ci­ated Press contributed to this ar­ti­cle.

Ma­jor League Base­ball has called for ban­ning cans at Rogers Cen­tre in Toronto af­ter some­one threw a full can of beer onto the turf on Tues­day night, barely miss­ing the head of un­sus­pect­ing Ori­oles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim.

The in­ci­dent prompted apolo­gies from Cana­di­ans and a state­ment of “ex­treme dis­ap­point­ment” from the Blue Jays, pleas from po­lice for the cul­prit to come for­ward and anger from Ori­oles play­ers and fans in the hours af­ter the Ori­oles’ 5-2 ex­tra-in­ning loss in the wild-card game.

Toronto po­lice said Wed­nes­day on Twit­ter that they were ask­ing the per­son who threw the beer can at Kim as he tried to field a fly ball in Tues­day’s game to turn him­self in. In the tweet, po­lice said they’re in­ves­ti­gat­ing the “un­sports­man­like fan,” say­ing they have pho­to­graphs and ask­ing the fan to “turn your­self in.” Some re­ports late Wed­nes­day iden­ti­fied a man as the sus­pect po­lice were look­ing for, but no charges were filed and po­lice said they were con­tin­u­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Kim was in left field, on the warn­ing track be­fore the wall, and lined up un­der­neath a fly ball from Melvin Up­ton Jr., when the pro­jec­tile landed at his feet, nearly hit­ting his head. Kim caught the ball for the third out of the sev­enth in­ning. An en­hanced im­age of the can re­vealed it was sil­ver and blue with a Blue Jays logo.

Cen­ter fielder Adam Jones ran over, shout­ing up at the fans in the sec­tions above the out­field wall.

“That’s a full beer that’s be­ing thrown, and that’s just not part of the sport, man,” Jones said af­ter the game. “Like I said, call us what you want ... to put us in harm’s way, man, all we’re try­ing to do is fo­cus on the game and that’s not part of base­ball.”

Man­ager Buck Showal­ter ran out of the dugout to see whether Kim was OK.

“I don’t like it. No­body likes it. I’m sure the Toronto Blue Jays don’t like it,” Showal­ter said.

It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear whether a fan was ejected.

Emails to The Bal­ti­more Sun news­room on Wed­nes­day morn­ing from peo­ple iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as Blue Jays fans or Cana­dian res­i­dents ex­pressed apolo­gies to the Ori­oles and their fans.

One wrote: “Out of 50,000 fans it only took one to ruin the mood and en­joy­ment of this great game. No player should have to be con­cerned with ob­jects be­ing thrown at them while en­gaged in play­ing any sport. This was a no-class ges­ture and it re­flects badly on an oth­er­wise great city with pas­sion­ate fans.”

The Toronto Sun of­fered a $1,000 re­ward for “in­for­ma­tion that leads to the ar­rest of the wit­less” fan.

The Toronto pa­per re­ferred to the thrower as “a beer-toss­ing boob.”

“We’d be very in­ter­ested in talk­ing to any­one who can iden­tify the ‘loon ball,’ as our mayor sug­gests, who chucked a beer can onto the ball field and gave our city a nasty black eye,” said The Sun’s ed­i­to­rial vice pres­i­dent, James Wal­lace.

Later in the day, a photo was re­leased of a dark-haired man in a Blue Jays shirt and a jacket.

There’s also a Go­FundMe cam­paign un­der way to of­fer a re­ward for any­one who can pro­vide in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to an ar­rest, with a $1,010 goal.

“We are work­ing very hard to lo­cate the in­di­vid­ual in­volved,” base­ball com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred told the As­so­ci­ated Press.

“I think from a de­ter­rent per­spec­tive, it’s im­por­tant to fol­low up and make sure that he’s pros­e­cuted to the ex­tent avail­able.”

Man­fred is also lead­ing the move to ban cans from Rogers Cen­tre. The Blue Jays said they will “en­act height­ened se­cu­rity mea­sures and al­co­hol poli­cies that will en­sure ... safety.”

“I don’t think there is an­other ball­park where beer is served in cans,” Man­fred said. “We’ve worked re­ally hard to make sure that al­co­hol is served and con­sumed in a re­spon­si­ble way in all of our ball­parks.” Ori­oles out­field­ers Hyun Soo Kim, left, and Adam Jones look to­ward the seats af­ter a beer can was thrown at Kim. twit­ter.com/SeanJWelsh

FRANK GUNN/CANDADIAN PRESS

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