On Saturday night, just as the top of the sixth inning ended, the audible sound of gunfire could be heard through Nationals Park. After a few moments of confusion, fans in the stands began running for the concourse. Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr were seen exiting the visitor dugout and racing to the friends and family section to get the loved ones of players to safety, along with fans seated near them.
The question lingered in the air, was there a shooter in the park? As fans tried to find a safe place, they were directed to stand on the field, and eventually to leave the park entirely.
When all the confusion settled, we learned that three people were injured as gunfire was exchanged between two cars. There was no danger inside the stadium, however it was a terrifying moment for everyone involved.
- Mark Zuckerman recounts the experience from the press booth.
- Joseph Salvador collected many of the on-site tweets about the event.
- The Associated Press has a concise summary of the entire series of events.
The weekend had a few more concerning stories, though nothing to that level of scariness, by any means.
- During a Yankees/Red Sox game on Saturday, Alex Verdugo was struck by a baseball thrown at him by a fan. (Story by Max Goodman) Later in the weekend, MLB announced the fan who threw the ball has now been banned from attending baseball games at all 30 stadiums for life. (Story by Nick Selbe)
- Jen McCaffrey looks into the entire Alex Verdugo incident. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- In one last bit of bad baseball news, Starlin Castro has been placed on administrative leave following a potential domestic violence incident. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- In happier news, the Toronto Blue Jays will finally play a home game in Toronto for the first time since 2019, shares Keegan Matheson.
- Levi Weaver shares how the Rangers and Jays bid adieu to the Jays temporary home in Buffalo. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Speaking of the Jays, Jay Jaffe (oh, oops, that pun was unintentional....) writes about the incredible heights being reached by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- Clinton Yates reflects on the father-son experience of the All-Star Game for legends past and present.
- Joe Posnanski tries to figure out how we can make the All-Star Game as exciting as the stars in it. (The Athletic subscription required.)
Hahahahaha what is going on with the Mets in Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/Qc8MXy4WK6— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) July 18, 2021
- Justin Choi looks at the interesting first half of Adam Frazier.
- Good guy Shohei Ohtani donated all his proceeds from the Home Run Derby to Angels support staff, writes Jeff Fletcher.
- Will Laws has some pro-vs-con looks at a few potential trades that we might see before the deadline.
- R.J. Anderson similarly assessed 21 potential trade candidates and where they might end up.
- BCB’s Sara Sanchez has a great piece on Yoan Moncada’s incredible performance for the White Sox.
- In my own most recent piece for FanGraphs I went into the history of some incredible women pioneers in baseball leading up the the Oriole’s all-woman broadcast.
- Starting pitchers matter. Robert Arthur assesses how the presence of certain pitchers can boost attendance at games by up to 3,000 people. (Baseball Prospectus Premium required.)
- Alex Reyes has collected his 24th consecutive career save, shares Zachary Silver.
- Sonny Gray really wanted to get rid of this pine tar.
Sonny Gray had what is believed to be pine tar on his pants so he rubbed his butt on the mound to get it off— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) July 18, 2021
(via @PitchingNinja) pic.twitter.com/EGsZf3C4Ga
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.