Chili Davis got a slap on the wrist for poking a fan in the cheek. Davis, who stuck his finger in the face of a heckler Sunday in Milwaukee’s County Stadium, was fined $5,000 by the American League Thursday--roughly .13% of his $3.8-million salary--but was not suspended.
The Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department charged Davis with disorderly conduct, which carries a $287 fine, and that’s not all: The Brewers will be sending Davis a bill for the clubhouse storage cabinet he tore up after his first-inning strikeout Sunday.
Davis was in the on-deck circle during the fourth inning of the Brewer-Angel game when, fed up with the verbal harassment of a fan, he poked Andy Johannsen, 26, in the side of the face.
“It’s over and done, and it will never happen again,” said Davis, who was directed to contribute the fine to the Child Abuse Prevention Fund in Milwaukee. “It should have never gotten to that point.”
Johannsen said he has contacted an attorney but would not pursue legal action if Davis issued a public apology. Davis’ response?
“You’ll have to get the rest from the statement,” Davis said.
In a release prepared by the team, Davis said he “accepts the decision and sincerely regrets that I allowed my emotions to supersede my better judgment.”
A.L. President Gene Budig, who apologized to the fans of Milwaukee, said Davis “sent an unfortunate message to baseball fans everywhere. That message undercut the massive efforts of Major League Baseball to restore trust among the citizenry.”
The Angels sold another 175 season tickets Thursday, bringing to 1,044 the number sold since last Friday, the day after the Jim Abbott trade. But the return of the left-handed pitcher isn’t the only reason for the recent run on tickets. Fans have until Aug. 15 to purchase season tickets that will guarantee them seats for playoff and World Series games in Anaheim Stadium.
The success of the Angels--particularly their young players--should make for an interesting off-season. Jim Edmonds, J.T. Snow, Garret Anderson and Troy Percival, who all make $200,000 or less this season, are having outstanding years and are in line for big raises.
“I was talking about that with [General Manager] Bill Bavasi,” said Mark Rosenthal, Angel legal counsel. “If everyone keeps it up, they’re going to break the bank next year. But it’s been tons of fun. It’s been like a dream world.”