On Opening Day after the Dodgers-Giants game in Los Angeles, paramedic and Giants fan Bryan Stow (in a file photo with his children), was savagely beaten by men dressed in Dodgers gear. He sustained brain damage and was in a coma for months. As a result the Dodgers beefed up security at the stadium. Stow is slowly improving at a rehab facility and two suspects are in custody.
A federal jury spent almost four days deliberating in the Barry Bonds perjury trial, but in the end it reached agreement on only one of the four charges he faced — obstruction of justice. Three perjury counts were deadlocked. Theoretically, Bonds faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines recommend 15 to 21 months. On July 14 the judge declared a mistrial in the Roger Clemens perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds.
Wilson Ramos, the 24-year-old Venezuelan catcher for the Nationals, who had just finished his rookie season, was seized from his home in the town of Santa Ines by kidnappers on Nov. 9. Ramos was taken away in an SUV by four armed men from his home and rescued safely two days later. Police last year said that 618 kidnappings were reported in 2009, and the numbers have grown rapidly in recent years. In 1998, when President Hugo Chavez was elected, just 52 kidnappings were reported. Security experts say the real number of kidnappings today is much higher because many cases aren't reported to authorities.
On July 7 Texas Rangers fan Shannon Stone, 39, fell about 20 feet from the stands during the second inning of a game against the Oakland A's. Stone went into full cardiac arrest in an ambulance en route to the hospital and was pronounced dead an hour after the accident. Stone, who was a lieutenant with the Brownwood Fire Department, was trying to catch a baseball tossed his way by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Dodgers in disarray
On April 20 MLB seized financial and day-to-day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers. On June 27, the Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court. Owner Frank McCourt blamed the league for refusing to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal that he was counting on to keep the troubled franchise afloat. McCourt finally agreed in October to sell the team at auction, a process that is ongoing. MLB hopes to have a new owner in place by Opening Day 2012.