Jonny Gomes says he feels awful and bummed about accidentally punting a beer can into a fan’s head.
Last Friday night, the “spirited” Boston Red Sox were partying on the field after clinching the American League East with a 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. During the celebration, the Red Sox outfielder kicked one or more beer cans (Bud Light) into the crowd, one of which struck Greg Hanley, 74, above the eye. Hanley, a life-long member of Red Sox nation, received treatment for the injury at a local hospital.
Gomes is one of the free-agent journeymen that has contributed to the Red Sox stunning worst-to-first success in the 2013 MLB campaign. Although he is only batting.245 this season, Gomes has been a clutch hitter in key situations with men on base and also enjoys a solid reputation as a team leader.
Having locked up the AL East, the team still is on a quest for the best record in the American League which would guarantee them home field advantage for the entire 2013 playoffs. The American League winner — whoever that turns out to be — has already earned the home field for the World Series as a result of the 2013 All-Star Game outcome.
The visiting Red Sox defeated the Orioles last night 12-3.
Said Gomes, according to WEEI.com, last night about the ill-advised can-to-fan punt: “I’m definitely bummed out that it happened. I reached out and talked the guy, Greg, for a while. He was actually mad that it did hit him because he played third base in high school and he played on the grass and he really does have good hands. He doesn’t want people to think he has bad hands. He’s taking it hard. He was like, ‘ I used play third base. I used to play on the grass. I never played back.’ “
Added Gomes about the amiable fan: “I feel awful that it happened, but he reassured me that he’s actually bummed out he got hit because he’s got good hands. We’ve got him locked in. I told him if he comes to another game there might be another celebration. He said he would be ready.”
Gomes gave Hanley a Red Sox jersey signed by many of the players and also promised him playoff tickets.
[image credit: Keith Allison]