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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dustin Fowler sues White Sox over injury at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Dustin Fowler’s lawsuit, filed Friday, claims that the Sox and the [state] agency were negligent in not securing the unpadded electrical box he collided with along the right field line during the June 29 game.

Fowler, then playing for the New York Yankees, crashed into the right field wall while chasing down a fly ball in foul territory. Fowler hit the low side of the wall at full speed, causing him to flip over. When he tried to stand up, he fell to the ground, prompting a gasp from the crowd.

The top-100 prospect, playing his first major league game, was sidelined for the rest of the season after emergency surgery at Rush University Medical Center.

In this crummy replay, you can distinctly see his knee collide with the metal box at 1:37.

Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 16, 2017 at 12:18 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chicago white sox, dustin fowler, injury, knees, lawsuit, new york yankees, oakland athletics

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   1. The Duke Posted: December 17, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5593969)
I would think Fowler will do incredibly well here. And insurance premiums for all the teams/stadiums just went through the roof. Mickey mantle should have sued too. He would have been a pretty good ball player if not for his injury.
   2. Batman Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:28 AM (#5594257)
At first I thought I'd missed a Dexter Fowler trade to the Yankees, but now I remember this. Dustin Fowler was making his MLB debut and was injured in the bottom of the first. He would have led off in the top of the second. I hope he makes it back so we don't have to have a Field of Dreams sequel.
   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM (#5594270)
I hope he makes it back so we don't have to have a Field of Dreams sequel.


Adam Greenberg has that one wrapped up.
   4. RJ in TO Posted: December 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5594284)
Rob Ducey ended up suing the SkyDome years ago, after injuring his knee while in the field during batting practice. I think he was originally asking for $1 million, but apparently settled for $700K. I'm definitely not an expert on this sort of thing, but I'd think Fowler would have a reasonable chance of winning his suit.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:04 AM (#5594295)
Adam Greenberg has that one wrapped up.

But Greenberg did later get to have an at-bat with the Marlins, which is arguably closer to the major leagues than an Iowa cornfield.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5594296)
Also not a lawyer but I feel the opposite of RJ. My limited understanding of assumption of risk makes me think it’s a big hill to climb. Also I would think that the White Sox will point out that this happening once in the 28 or so years the park has been operating shows that this is a fluke rather than a meaningful risk.

It is a curious case to watch though. My two safety hobby horses are on deck hitters and in play bullpens. This seems like something that could potentially help us get rid of the latter.
   7. BDC Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:09 AM (#5594300)
The box seems to be not on the field of play but behind a railing. Not that it's not a hazard (obviously), but so is the railing itself. At some point, if you are pushing a play to edge of the field or beyond, you are always going to run into something unyielding.

Is my seat-of-the-pants view, I'm less of a lawyer than anybody :)
   8. Batman Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:10 AM (#5594302)
Long-time major leaguer Adam Greenberg had TWO major league plate appearances.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5594312)
How were the Yankees able to include him in a trade? I thought players on the DL couldn’t be traded. That he’s filing this suit makes me think his injury is worse than realized and he thinks he’s done.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:35 AM (#5594330)
How were the Yankees able to include him in a trade? I thought players on the DL couldn’t be traded. That he’s filing this suit makes me think his injury is worse than realized and he thinks he’s done.


Apparently, you can trade players on the disabled list, provided they don't need to do the trade assignment waivers thing. So if you're hurt, and it's not yet August, you can be traded. If it's August, and you're hurt, you can still be traded, but you need to be eligible and healthy enough to come off the DL immediately after the trade is complete.

As for thinking he's done, it could be a matter of that, or it could just be a matter of him thinking the injury and the resulting delay it could cause him in returning to the field could reduce his future earnings. So possibly done, or possibly just recognizing he's lost (or losing) a year of development time in a field with short careers.
   11. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5594352)
But Greenberg did later get to have an at-bat with the Marlins,


Huh. I did not know that.
   12. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5594357)
I recently read Susan Slusser or someone note in passing that Fowler is the frontrunner to be the A's starting CF.... which implies he will be recovered from his injury but I have not heard anything specific about his progress/status. Anyone?
   13. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5594359)
Long-time major leaguer Adam Greenberg had TWO major league plate appearances.


Well, obviously I did not know about his cup o cafe Cubano with the Fish, but in his first PA, he was hit on the first pitch. He never had an opportunity to swing the bat either.
   14. Russ Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5594382)

As for thinking he's done, it could be a matter of that, or it could just be a matter of him thinking the injury and the resulting delay it could cause him in returning to the field could reduce his future earnings. So possibly done, or possibly just recognizing he's lost (or losing) a year of development time in a field with short careers.


Is the union supporting Fowler's suit? This is the kind of thing they union would try to encourage (IMO, justifiably so) as a way to protect future players, regardless of what Fowler's future looks like.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5594394)
So, Greenberg got me thinking. He was knocked unconscious in his first PA, and as a HBP is a dead ball, there was no issue in having a PR head to first for him. But what if a batter-runner is knocked out in a live ball situation before he reaches a base? Is the defense allowed to retrieve the ball and tag out the limp body? Has this ever happened? Has it ever negated a run, as in runner on third, 2 out, batter hits a grounder to third, the throw hits him in the head and caroms into RF, the runner is knocked out, and the defense retrieves the ball and tags him out?
   16. dlf Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5594398)
#15 - I don't know about unconscious, but there have been players who've blown out knees, etc. and been tagged out while lying there.
   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5594407)
Right, I'm aware of that. Somehow a runner incapacitated by a defensive action seems different, but perhaps not, unless it's determined to be obstruction.
   18. Styles P. Deadball Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:44 PM (#5594408)
So, Greenberg got me thinking. He was knocked unconscious in his first PA, and as a HBP is a dead ball, there was no issue in having a PR head to first for him. But what if a batter-runner is knocked out in a live ball situation before he reaches a base? Is the defense allowed to retrieve the ball and tag out the limp body? Has this ever happened? Has it ever negated a run, as in runner on third, 2 out, batter hits a grounder to third, the throw hits him in the head and caroms into RF, the runner is knocked out, and the defense retrieves the ball and tags him out?


If they tag him out, then the run wouldn't be negated. It would only be negated if it was a force play.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5594421)
I don't know about the law here, but if I were in charge of padding the fence, I'd feel like vomiting if I knew I had a chance to cover that metal box and did not do so.
   20. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5594426)
If they tag him out, then the run wouldn't be negated. It would only be negated if it was a force play.


It's always a force play until the batter reaches first, no matter how long it takes.
   21. Batman Posted: December 18, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5594428)
If you knock out the lead runner with a throw and the ball is still live, the other runners would have to hold up so they don't pass him, no matter how long it took Hanley Ramirez to jog out to get the ball.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:02 PM (#5594435)
Has it ever negated a run, as in runner on third, 2 out, batter hits a grounder to third, the throw hits him in the head and caroms into RF, the runner is knocked out, and the defense retrieves the ball and tags him out?


Seems wrong to allow the defense to profit from that situation.
   23. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5594441)
Very long and detailed thread on this on Soxtalk, with some Zabruder esque film analysis to.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5594448)
Very long and detailed thread on this on Soxtalk, with some Zabruder esque film analysis to.

I clicked on that and the comments made me wonder if I was crazy. Multiple posters asserting that he clearly didn't hit the box. But I see him hitting the box at 1:37 in the video linked at the top. I mean, it's as clear as crystal.
   25. RJ in TO Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5594518)
I clicked on that and the comments made me wonder if I was crazy. Multiple posters asserting that he clearly didn't hit the box. But I see him hitting the box at 1:37 in the video linked at the top. I mean, it's as clear as crystal.


Welcome to the Internet, where people can (and will, loudly) disagreed about anything, no matter how obvious.
   26. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 18, 2017 at 02:24 PM (#5594525)
I've watched all the video numerous times and I personally cannot tell what exactly he hit. His tendon basically snapped in half, so whatever he hit it was solid and had some sort of edge. Just a really bad injury and probably won't every play in MLB again. Feel awful for the kid. Not a lawyer and cannot comment on anything related to the suit.
   27. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:06 PM (#5594576)
I recently read Susan Slusser or someone note in passing that Fowler is the frontrunner to be the A's starting CF.... which implies he will be recovered from his injury but I have not heard anything specific about his progress/status. Anyone?

Just a really bad injury and probably won't every play in MLB again. Feel awful for the kid.

So who is right on this one?
   28. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: December 18, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5594620)
So who is right on this one?


Well I just googled for about 20 minutes and wasn't really able to find anything more than what ptac provided on the Soxtalk.com thread. I did read something about a "4-6" month timetable (which is absurd) and that the As "hope he'll be ready for spring training".

The injury is a ruptured patella tendon and one that was sliced in half, not ripped from the patella like in most cases. This adds additional difficulty in the recovery.

I don't his particular rupture has any precedent in modern NA sports. In the NFL Victor Cruz and Jimmy Graham came back (and with Cruz it effectively ended his career as anything but a bit player; Graham has recovered well, and has remained effective). In MLB, Garret Richards was able to come back and pitch but then promptly blew out his elbow, possibly because of the weakness in his leg.

But none of these guys actually had the tendon torn in half in the middle like Fowler.

We'll see how it goes. I think I was wrong in that he will probably play in a MLB game again, maybe even a couple hundred. But I'd put the over under on career WAR around 8. I don't think he's going to be productive and he surely isn't going to be ready to go 100% in late February. Late July maybe.

Interesintlyg, I did find an article about the injury from right after and he said basically he thinks it was bad luck and didn't blame the box, in fact he said "if it wasn't there I could have torn an ACL, it was just unfortunate".

Not sure how that will affect the lawsuit. On the surface, it seems fairly easy to link his recent change in thinking with the realization that perhaps he won't make a full recovery.

In my experience this injury sucks. Building the power back up after it takes 6+ months itself. And you can't even start that process until the six month mark. Even with PRT and all the other stuff he'll have the advantage of receiving.
   29. jmurph Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5594632)
Thanks p-srn, interesting. I wish the guy well.
   30. A triple short of the cycle Posted: December 18, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5594680)
Thanks too... though that sounds scary. But the A's knew the extent of the injury when they traded for him so they must think he can recover. Odd there are no reports about his rehab. No news is bad news I fret.
   31. Sunday silence Posted: December 18, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5594709)
My limited understanding of assumption of risk makes me think it’s a big hill to climb. Also I would think that the White Sox will point out that this happening once in the 28 or so years the park has been operating shows that this is a fluke rather than a meaningful risk.


the second sentence argues against the first. When you assume the risk, its because something is foreseeable. If its not foreseeable how can you have assumed that risk?

Which doesnt mean Fowler's case is a slam dunk, but simply that I think you have to pick one theory or the other. Assumption of risk varies state by state and Im not sure if even all states have it. So thats a complicating factor.

The fact that something happens only rarely doesnt mean the defendants get to walk scot free either. There's more to it than that. For example I guess lightening striking is also pretty rare but since youre risking fatalities it would be madness to keep playing in lightening even if a lightening strike is rare.

Given the state of the art, and how these stadiums put padding in most places one would probably have to look closely at where the box was and whether players are likely to come in contact with it and such.
   32. Zach Posted: December 18, 2017 at 06:44 PM (#5594743)
The fact that something happens only rarely doesnt mean the defendants get to walk scot free either.

Yes, I imagine there are parts of the field where you could bury a land mine and it would be a few years before anybody stepped on that exact place, but that doesn't mean that it's safe to put hazardous items at field level.

I don't think you can define a rule that applies in all cases here. I think Fowler has a fair expectation (maybe not legally, but in the colloquial sense of the term) that the team will remove hazardous objects from the field or else take actions like adding padding that will reduce the hazard. Especially since it's well known that players will be sprinting around the field with their eyes on the ball.
   33. Tin Angel Posted: December 18, 2017 at 09:27 PM (#5594799)
I don't his particular rupture has any precedent in modern NA sports.


The only thing I can think of is in the NBA, but as you said those are ripped from the patella, not ruptured. Greg Oden I think? Particularly gruesome, basically your kneecap looks like it is six inches below where it should be, at the top of your ankle.

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