Thursday, April 28, 2005

A's fan sues chair-thrower

Right when I was about to forget about the ugly chair throwing incident from last year Gary Sheffield got into a scuffle with a few Red Sox fans. I was soon reminded of all of the nasty player/fan altercations in baseball in recent history which included the chair throwing incident.

So today, Jennie Bueno, the woman who was struck in the face by the now infamous chair has filed suit against Franklin Francisco...Well not just Franklin Francisco:
In addition to naming Franklin Francisco, who was captured on television throwing the chair that struck her, Jennie Bueno's suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, names as defendants fellow pitchers Doug Brocail and Carlos Almanzar, Texas Rangers management and Staff Pro, a Huntington Beach company hired by the coliseum to provide security at A's games.

Bueno's lawyer, J. Gary Gwilliam, said at a news conference in his office today he believes the incident at the A's-Rangers game "was entirely the players' fault.''
I think the also sued the security company just so they can seem "impartial" even though they blame the whole incident on the Rangers Bullpen. I wonder how this case is going to unfold. Francico has already pleaded innocent to the criminal charges of misdemeanor assault so would an out-of-court settlement be out of the question?
Gwilliam admitted that Bueno's husband, Hayward fire Battalion Chief Craig Bueno, a longtime A's season ticket holder, heckled Rangers players from his seat near the Rangers' bullpen, where relief pitchers warm up.

But Gwilliam said Bueno didn't swear at the players or say anything inappropriate to spark what the lawsuit alleges was "a riot'' at the game.
So Bueno's husband claims that he didn't say anything out of hand. I tend to believe that because I have an eyewitness account, OK he's also an A's fan, but I have no reason to question the truthfulness of this claim:
The fans in that area were actually extremely subdued. Shouse was warming up and we were saying things like, "Hey, tie your Shouse" or "Hey your Shouse untied", very innocent stuff. The A's were up by one and Mecir was "attempting " to close out the game. Still nothing odd or weird was happening.

Then, Soriano tied the game with a moon shot off of Mecir and the crowd went silent. No odd ridiculing or anything. That is when people started saying that Chavez was going to rain on Cordero's parade, and how he was going to be the next guy to blow a lead. Out of nowhere it seemed Cordero addressed a guy to my left and said something that I could not hear. To which the guy replied, "Oh, you're going Old School on me, I see". I actually thought it was a fun tete a tete sort of thing. The guy smiled and sat down, then out of nowhere Brocail came screaming from the pen,"You M'er F'ing F***T, come on down here, I'll kick your F**T A*" and the guy retorted with a "I'm not coming down there, if you want me, then you come up here", An invitation which a ranting swearing Brocail and his whole team accepted.
A big reason why I accept this claim is simple, when I saw the videos of the Sheffield incident, the fans in Fenway seemed to taunt Sheffield and tried to escalate the confrontation. I honestly believe from watching the video from the A's game the the fans weren't trying to escalate the confrontation. They were either defending themselves or shocked that this was happening. The images from that night will be burned into my brain, even if I forget the incident, it would only take a little for me to recall those memories.

I know many people have this pre-conception of what Oakland is and what Oakland fans are all about; Oakland is ghetto and Oakland fans are a bunch of thugs. Well, they're not true. You can sit in the stands at the Coliseum for an A's game for nine innings and not hear anybody drop an f-bomb. A "goddammit" or a "Jesus H. Christ?" Yeah, but f-bombs? No. We're not a bunch of thugs at A's games. Raider games? That's a different story, I've seen some crazy things happen at Raider games. Not that I have any disrespect towards Raider Nation.

UPDATE [4/29/05 1:10 AM]: It appears that chair-thrower Frank Francisco will be out for the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery, karma sure is a bee-yotch ain't it?


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