Lawrie’s bat shattered in the second inning and struck a woman sitting in the box seats located near the visitors’ on-deck circle. The woman, identified as Tonya Carpenter, bled heavily from her head while being stretchered out of the ballpark. Carpenter was in serious condition, according to a statement released by her family Saturday afternoon.
“Not like that,” Lawrie told reporters Friday night when asked if he’d ever witnessed such a scary fan incident. “I’ve seen stuff go into the stands. I’ve seen bats fly out of guys’ hands and into the stands and everyone’s OK. But when one breaks like that, there’s jagged edges on it and anything can happen.
“It’s one of those things. … yeah, one of those things.”
Friday’s game was delayed several minutes as a result of the incident. Both teams watched with concern as paramedics tended to Carpenter and quickly wheeled her out of Fenway Park. It was a horrible accident that undoubtedly will spark debate over the use of maple bats, like the one used by Lawrie, but the A’s third baseman also wonders whether netting improvements could help prevent future occurrences.
“You’ve got limited netting here in Boston so when you’re behind home plate and you’re along the third base side or first base side, you’ve really got to be heads up for foul balls or anything coming into the stands because it’s so close,” Lawrie said. “There’s really no time to react.”
“I really don’t feel like it’s necessary to change bats or anything like that,” Lawrie added. “It’s just one of those things that’s part of baseball and unfortunately, everything is so close behind there and there’s limited netting. Yeah, it’s really important to be heads up back there.”
Lawrie, among others, sent his well wishes to Carpenter, who was admitted to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. While one can debate bat use across Major League Baseball or certain ballpark specifications, it’s important for everyone to keep Carpenter and her family in their thoughts and prayers.
Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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