Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Above the law: How come baseball players who fight on the field are not arrested?

Most baseball brawls start when a batter is hit by a ball thrown by a pitcher. The batter might charge the mound and assault the pitcher, and then all players and coaches from both teams dive into the fray. There's usually lots of pushing, shoving, and grabbing, and punches are thrown, but they don't always land on their intended targets. Once in a while a player is badly injured, as what happened recently with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Grienke.

A question I have is, how come players who fight on the field are not arrested and charged, as they would be if a fight occurred off the field? Do baseball players, and other professional athletes, have some sort of immunity on the field?  A lawyer out there has to answer this question for me.  If two employees of a company have a fistfight in the office, the police are called, and someone might get arrested. How come baseball players can't be arrested? The field is their "office." It's still a public place. There's lots of witnesses.

Personally, I think guys who charge the mound after getting hit by a pitch are babies. Maybe if Carlos Quentin didn't stand so close to the plate he would not have led the National League in 2012 and the American League in 2011 in the "Hit By Pitch" category with 17 and 23, respectively. Batters who crowd the plate thinking that gives them and edge should be prepared to be moved away by a pitcher who is going to throw inside.

In any case perhaps the legal types out there can advise as to why pro athletes who fight on the field are never arrested.

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