You Are A Peanut Eating, Beer Swilling, Foul Ball Target

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bullseye guy.jpgIn today's LA Times, Kevin Baxter has one of the most interesting stories I've come across this year. Though the headline is imbecilic, the article "Foul Balls Are A Scary Part Of Baseball" is at once engrossing, eye opening and, fine I'll say it, chockful of morbidly funny bits.

The story opens with a still obviously haunted Manny Mota recollecting about the time a foul ball he hit struck and killed a kid.:

"It's very difficult," the Dodgers coach and former All-Star outfielder said. "It brings up bad memories."

"It" was a foul ball Mota lined into the seats down the first base line at Dodger Stadium during the third inning of an otherwise uneventful mid-May game against the San Francisco Giants in 1970. But what made this foul ball different from the thousands of others Mota hit into the stands during his 20-year big league career was that it hit a 14-year-old boy in the head, just above his left ear.

Five days later, the boy was dead.

"I felt guilty because I hit the foul ball," Mota said quietly in Spanish. "And a young boy lost his life."

Jesus. Mota went to an immediate slump after the internet (um... incident) and was eventually benched. Baxter tells us that estimates put about 300 people injured by baseballs at professional games every year. This doesn't even take into account Mike Hampton or Phil Hughes.

The striking thing about the article is just how much a player's remorse about hitting a fan can affect his season. Toby Hall's best season at the plate was ruined after drilling a fan, and Jeff Kent is quoted in the story showing compassion for another human other than his agent or hunting buddy. Jim Rice once dove into the stands to scoop up a 4 year old that stopped a ball with his toddlin' noggin. Rice rushed the kid to the trainer's room and is credited with saving his life. He should be in the EMT Hall Of Fame.

My favorite quote of the whole story comes from tree stump Rays' Outfielder Eric Hinske:

"When you're on the field for 162 of them, you're going to see it," he said. "You see people get hit every day. They're oblivious to the whole thing. They're not even paying attention. And they got smoked all the time.

"I just try to look away as soon as possible so it doesn't affect my at-bat."

They get smoked!? Christ, next time I go to a game I'm wearing chain mail. Thanks for scaring the bejesus out of me, Kevin Baxter. Maybe that headline isn't so dumb after all. From now on I'm flying to Japan for games where they have protective netting.

At the end of the article, I was left with one obvious question: WHY IS MANNY MOTA A FREE MAN?

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26 Comments

"Mota went to an immediate slump after the internet and was eventually benched."

I went into a slump when faced with AOL 1.0 vs Prodigy as well.

"Mota went to an immediate slump after the internet and was eventually benched."

Did he get tubgirl'd?

Jokes aside, this is a colossal bummer. My girlfriend got hit by a foul ball earlier this year, and it was pretty scary until we knew that her arm wasn't fractured. Stay alert if you're sitting in the good seats.

I am totally sending Carlos Guillen something to sign to make up for making me miss 2 1/2 innings at the Fenway hospital.

MANNY MOTA MURDERS MINORS

Sorry about the typo. I'm writing this shit on a bus today.

I was in Milwaukee this weekend for the Twins vs Brewers series and about half of the brewers fans looked just like the guy in the picture. The oter half were a lot fatter

Sure foul balls are dangerous but according to the Braves announcing crew MAPLE BATS ARE GOING TO KILL EVERYONE!

I still have nightmares about the time I wasn't paying attention to the game and a wiffle-ball hit me in the face, causing me to drop my beer. My asshole friends won't let me forget about it.

So I, like, totally understand where Mota's coming from.

When I was at spring training this year, I was down on the third base side at the Blue Jays' field, trying to get autographs, not paying attention, when one of the Phillies lines a screamer about a foot past my head. It hit one guy in the shoulder and bounced off him so hard it took down an older lady next to him. It was a zoo.

Two steps to my left and it would have been my face. Yikes.

You think that guy ever paints a face on his belly and feeds it pizza?

Put your face into the foul ball's path next time Clare. I bet they'll let you meet Cole Hamels if you get hurt.

"I just try to look away as soon as possible so it doesn't affect my at-bat."

I feel the same way when an ugly person pops up in a porno.

the japanese are pansies, but great customers

-safety net salesman

I've already met Cole Hamels. Make it a date for Percoset smoothies with Chase Utley and I'll think about it.

If I wear a Chase Utley jersey and give you enough Perc so you don't notice, can I have some too?

I'll take 2 percocet smoothies to go.

Sorry guys, we're all out of perc smoothies. We have extra fiber mango strawberry-- it's like percoset only you shit for a whole day instead of get raped or whatever you were looking to do with Mr. Utley. Interested?

I had a Roofie Colada with Pat Burrell one night and my life hasn't been the same since.

Can I shit on Utley?

No but you can pee on him, and record it and be found not guilty.

Oh, we have a "Not-Guilty-Ya'll-Got-To-Feel-Me" power shake available. It comes with a life-size cut out of Willie Rand-- oh wait, I just heard we stopped giving those out. It comes with a life-size cut out of Bobby Valentine saying MASTER FAST DELICIOUS in Japanese.

And yes, shit on whomever you want.

...

I mean. I was going to say something about how awesome Jim Rice is, and maybe throw in a joke about how terrible Dustin Pedroia's acting is in those commercials he does with Jimbo, but this thread has clearly veered off into territory in which I have nothing to contribute.

Do you have any shakes with Arsenic?

-Geoff Baker

I've got the shakes.
-Muhammad Ali.

I haven't done any movies since Shakes.

-Bobcat

"You Are A Peanut Eating, Beer Swilling, Foul Ball Target"

This is what Freud would refer to as a "Projection".

It's time to look inside yourself, CTC. And not your belly button, we all know what's in there. Yes, lint. Ball after flowing ball of lint.

Little bit tricky question about MANNY MOTA A FREE MAN ....
Flooring Florida

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