Man upset with Cuba trip runs onto field, throws beer into Rays dugout
The Rays came face to face with political fallout from their trip to Cuba during Saturday's game at Bradenton's McKechnie Field when an fan ran onto the field and threw two beverage containers into their dugout.
The fan, who was of Cuban descent, was arrested and charged with trespassing, causing affray and assault (for throwing a can of beer), according to Bradenton police Lt. John Affolter. They did not release his name. Rays players said he threw two items, a beer and a soda.
"It was a Cuba thing,'' Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi said. "I don't speak Spanish too well. ... I think it was a Cuban person, frustrated about the politics of it, I guess. He threw two beer cans. Nobody got hit. Nobody did anything. Maybe some guys got wet. It was a Cuba thing.''
The man, who appeared to be in his 60s, hopped a low wall at the far end of the dugout during the seventh inning, ran in front of the dugout, yelled in Spanish and threw the containers.
"I think he just missed a couple of the guys,'' INF/OF Taylor Motter said. "I know it hit the back
wall and exploded. .. We just tried to duck and weave as best we could.''
Rays 3B coach Charlie Montoyo grabbed the man and put him in a bear hug until police came from the other side of the field.
"I just saw him throwing stuff to the dugout and then I realized his age so I was just holding him and I was telling him, I realized he speaks Spanish, telling him to relax,'' Montoyo said. "I didn't hear what he was yelling, I just saw the two things and then I was holding him. He smelled like beer or rum or something. ... To me it was an old person drunk so I felt bad for him.''
Other officers said the same man was seen hollering at the Rays bus when it arrived.
Motter said the dugout incident was unsettling.
"It just scares me,'' he said. "If it was or wasn't related to Cuba or it was or wasn't related to MLB, I still feel like security should have been there a little more knowing that we're on the map a little bit. But they did a good job coming to get him as quickly as possible.''