Bochy surprised Giants fan’s attackers still free

Nearly seven weeks after a Giants fan was severely beaten at

Dodger Stadium on opening day, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy

can’t believe the culprits haven’t been caught.

Before the Giants opened a two-game series against Los Angeles

on Wednesday in the defending champions’ first visit to the

venerable stadium since the beating, Bochy shared the bewilderment

felt by both teams, most fans and even the police since the brutal

postgame attack on Bryan Stow in a parking lot.

”I am surprised, because there were a number of witnesses,”

Bochy said. ”In this time, with the video equipment and the

availability of telephones and cameras and the information that

you’d think we can get, I am very surprised that they haven’t

caught them.”

Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, transferred

Monday to a San Francisco hospital. He has opened his eyes after

coming out of a coma, but still faces a lengthy, uncertain

recovery.

Before their clubs’ brief series began in a half-empty stadium,

Bochy and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the beating has cast

an undeniable pall over the West Coast’s liveliest baseball

rivalry.

”It affected us, to have one of our fans have this happen to

him,” Bochy said. ”He’s a father with a family, and he comes out

to watch a ballgame. It’s tough to see that happen at a ballpark.

This is a game. I’m not going to lie. It bothered everybody, and

not just us.”

Los Angeles police have devoted extensive personnel and time to

finding the two men in Dodgers gear who jumped Stow on March 31,

with more than a dozen detectives working the case. They’ve pursued

hundreds of leads on the attackers and the woman who apparently

helped them escape the stadium, offering more than $200,000 in

rewards for information.

The Dodgers’ security presence was beefed up after the beating,

with former Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton hired to

assess security procedures. Dozens of police cars are parked

outside the stadium nightly, and police said they planned to

distribute sketches of the attackers to fans arriving for

Wednesday’s game.

But the police and security are watching a dwindling number of

fans, thanks to the Dodgers’ mediocre start to the season:

thousands of empty seats were visible in the cavernous stadium when

Clayton Kershaw threw the first pitch. Not even the Giants’

presence attracted a healthy crowd.

”I think all these guys enjoy the rivalry,” Mattingly said.

”We like playing in San Francisco, and I’m sure they like playing

us here. It’s nice when there’s energy in the stadium and you get a

little bit of that talking trash back and forth in the stands, but

there needs to be some perspective. I don’t care if you’re in L.A.

or San Francisco. I don’t think anybody thinks (too much animosity)

is all right.”

The Dodgers set up booths behind home plate and on several fan

pavilions to accept donations to the Bryan Stow Fund, also

soliciting for aid money on the scoreboard before the game.

The teams did much of their own healing in early April when the

Dodgers visited the Giants’ waterfront ballpark. Players from both

clubs spoke to San Francisco’s fans before the series opener about

tolerance and sportsmanship amid a similarly heightened police

presence.

For all the conciliatory talk, Bochy said there’s still an

uneasy vibe to the rivalry.

”You certainly think about it, and you think about your players

as they’re leaving the ballpark,” Bochy said. ”I know that after

the incident, security was tightened up, but there is that hanging

over you. When you leave the ballpark, you’ve got to be aware of

anything that could happen outside the ballpark.”