Friday, June 30, 2017

Assault - Joe West Hit in Head by Ball Thrown From Stands

Umpire Joe West was assaulted by a ball thrown from the Miller Park stands and into the back of West's head during Friday's Marlins-Brewers game, resulting in a multi-minute delay as Miller Park security attempted to locate the suspect and the umpires attempted to keep both teams safe.

Joe West grabs his head after a ball hits him.
With one out and none on in the bottom of the 4th inning, West was struck by a ball thrown from the stands along the right field line as Brewers batter Travis Shaw received a pitch from Marlins pitcher Edinson Volquez. As the crew chief, he quickly halted play and ordered the Marlins off the field until security could resolve the incident.

Love him or hate him, you cannot hit him.

Because he is currently on the disabled list with a back injury, Marlins pitcher Brad Ziegler was in the rare position to live tweet the incident as it transpired as a member of one of the participating teams, sending out the following message:
I hope they file assault charges for whoever just hit Joe West with the baseball. Absolutely ridiculous.
West, who remained standing after being hit by the ball, and completed the game, is in his 41st season as a Major League umpire, and recently officiated his 5,000th regular season game.

By game's end, no less than three balls had been thrown onto the playing field from the spectator area, though only one of those hit an umpire. Meanwhile, the Marlins broadcast implied a more sinister scenario, positing that at least some other fan had witnessed the act, and was refusing to cooperate with Miller Park security.

Joe West halts play after an assault from a fan.
West was most recently hit by a foul ball at first base during a 2014 game, but remained in the contest and even flexed his muscles after the direct shot; however, at least that one came from a batter's bat and on the playing field, in full view of the Cowboy.

Pursuant to league and ballpark policies, fan interference—which includes rulebook interference as well as throwing an object onto the playing field—is grounds for ejection from the game. Throwing a projectile at a person on the playing field is quite likely criminal assault that may have the additional penalty of a lifetime ban from baseball, in addition to an arrest.

The most recent instance of assault by virtue of throwing a ball at an umpire occurred in late May, when then-EvoShield Canes Texas coach Jeremy Knox was caught on camera allegedly instructing a 14-year-old pitcher to intentionally pitch the ball at an umpire's head.

Meanwhile, the assault suspect remained at large Friday night in Milwaukee. Video via "Read More"

Alternate Link: Miami broadcast discusses the incident of umpire assault at Miller Park (MIA)


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