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Published: 4/17/2013

Indianapolis player suspended after incident with fan at Fifth Third Field

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The area around the Indianapolis dugout was quiet on Wednesday when the Indians faced the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.

That was a change from Tuesday, when a near-brawl broke out between Indianapolis players and a fan sitting near their dugout.

According to eyewitness reports, an unidentified fan was throwing peanuts at Brandon Inge, who spent much of his career with Detroit and also has spent time with the Mud Hens.

Before the fifth inning began, the fan came to the railing on the right side of the dugout and was verbal toward the players. One player, Jerry Sands, jumped over the railing but was restrained from following the fan, who was escorted out of the ballpark.

Before Wednesday’s game the International League suspended Sands for one game for his part in the incident. The Mud Hens front office met with Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor.

“They came down and had a good discussion,” Treanor said before the game. “We talked about [Tuesday night] ... We have been reassured that everything will be OK.”

Inge said he harbored no ill will toward the Mud Hens.

“I think the Mud Hens handled it professionally,” he said. “I thought we handled it as professionally as we could.

“It was an agitated fan who took it just a little too far. It happens.”

While Tuesday’s incident may be unusual, Inge said unruly and abusive fan behavior is more prevalent than you might expect.

“There’s always going to be a couple of idiots at every game, and you just try to handle it as well as you can,” he said. “To be honest with you, there’s so many times that a player won’t even acknowledge the stuff that’s going on — and a normal person would want to fight. I’d say, when you’re on the road, roughly 80 percent of the people sitting pretty close, where you’re going to be, are not there to applaud you.”



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