x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Rivals Giants and Dodgers take on fan violence jointly

Players make it clear there should be no repeat of the assault on Giants fan Bryan Stow during their season opener that left him in a medically-induced coma.

SAN FRANCISCO // The Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt and Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Jamey Carroll came together for a joint message on behalf of their teams: This rivalry must stay on the field, without violence and hatred.

Players from both clubs gathered on the pitcher's mound before their series opener at AT&T Park last night to make clear there should be no repeat of the events following their season opener March 31 in which longtime Giants fan Bryan Stow was assaulted outside Dodger Stadium and left in a medically induced coma.

With heightened security at the waterfront ballpark, the teams took the field for a game dedicated to the 42-year-old Stow, a paramedic from nearby Santa Cruz and father of two.

"There's no room in this game for hatred and violence. It is about respect," Carroll told the sellout crowd, which applauded his remarks. "This is America's national pastime and let's keep it that way."

A photo of Stow showed on the main center-field scoreboard along with his two children as both teams removed their caps in a quiet moment of reflection.

Affeldt thanked fans for their generous financial and emotional support to help Stow and his family - then he spoke of the need for respect on both sides. The team and Stow's employer, American Medical Response, collected money outside and inside the ballpark for a fund set up to help pay his medical bills.

"I don't have to tell you about the Dodgers-Giants, it's one of the most storied rivalries in the history of the game but in honoring that rivalry and honoring the Stow family, you have to remember when these two teams get on the field and play, we're competitive," Affeldt said. "But when the last out is made, that rivalry ends on the field, so please respect that."

The Giants presented former infielder Juan Uribe - now wearing the rival Dodger Blue - with his World Series ring from last year in a presentation on the field, two days after San Francisco's players received theirs. Uribe waved his cap when called out of the visitor's dugout to a standing ovation, then received hugs and handshakes from his former teammates before being handed his ring by managing general partner Bill Neukom.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy hoped that gesture would provide a positive sign to fans about sportsmanship.

"We're playing each other and we're competitive and rivals but let's leave it at that," Bochy said. "Our thoughts are with Bryan Stow. This shouldn't happen. We're hoping to send a message tonight so it doesn't become a bigger problem."

The Giants dedicated Monday's game to Stow. The Dodgers also tossed four baseballs to fans as they came off the field from batting practice - not a regular practice of the visiting team.

Monday's game marked the first meeting of the year played in San Francisco since Stow was severely beaten by two men in Dodgers gear in a stadium parking lot.

Stow has been in critical condition in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Hospital since the attack. No arrests have been made despite a $150,000 reward.

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp expressed sadness about what happened to Stow.

"That's a terrible thing what happened to that man," Kemp said. "It's a rivalry but it's not so serious to almost take somebody's life. This guy is never going to be same again over wearing the wrong jersey."