Sleeping Yankees fan suing ESPN, MLB after getting teased during broadcast
JUL 07, 2014 2:30p ET
A Yankees fan who snoozed through a portion of New York's April 13 home win over the Red Sox is suing the Yankees, MLB, ESPN and two announcers, accusing them of defaming him during the broadcast and afterward online.
As a result of announcers John Kruk and Dan Shulman's alleged "avalanche of disparaging words" and statements published on MLB.com, 26-year-old Andrew Rector seeks $10 million in damages, alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The disparaging words attributed to Kruk and Shulman and alleged to be concerning Rector include "stupor," "fatty," "unintelligent" and "stupid." In the available video showing Rector's nap (above), Kruk and Shulman do not use those words during the commentary.
Rector's complaint contains misspellings, bizarre phraseology and claims, and shows that the plaintiff is particularly upset about the purported allegations that Rector is not a die-hard Yankees fan.
Here's paragraph 11 of the complaint, unedited, courtesy of The Smoking Gun:
"The defendant Major league Baseball continually repeated these vituperative utterances against the plaintiff on the major league baseball web site the next day. These words and its insinuations presented the plaintiff as symbol of anything but failure.
"Anything but failure" would seem like a good thing, but let's continue with paragraph 12:
"The defendant MLB.Com continued the onslaught to a point of comparing the plaintiff to someone of a confused state of mind, disgusted disgruntled and unintelligent and probably intellectually bankrupt individual."
Now paragraph 14:
"John Kruck [sic] in his verbal attack insinuated that the plaintiff is an individual that know neither history nor understood the beauty or rivalry between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee."
Setting aside the merit of the allegations in the complaint, this ought to definitely prove that falling asleep at the ballpark is about as bad an idea as nodding off early in a fraternity house stocked with Sharpies and a lot of empty beer cans. For some more proof, we go to Yankee Stadium: