MLB notebook: Fan who fell to death knew Turner Field well
Lifetime Atlanta Braves fan Ronald Lee Homer Jr. knew the stadium where he fell to his death well. He attended three or four games a month at Turner Field and watched as many televised games as he could, his father said. He always had on a Braves hat.
On Monday night, Homer was waiting out a rain delay in a fourth-level smoking area with a 42-inch railing that would have come up to the 6-foot-6 fan's midsection. He'd told his mother during a phone conversation that the rain was letting up and he was about to head to his seat for the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Shortly afterward, he fell about 85 feet into a parking lot.
‘'He said ‘I love you mom, and I said ‘I love you too' and that was it,'' his mother, Connie Homer, said Tuesday morning.
While it's not clear exactly why he fell, police said the death about 8:30 p.m. appears to have been an accident and didn't involve foul play. At least four witnesses told police that no one else was standing near him when he fell.
A police report said Homer was unconscious and wasn't breathing when paramedics arrived. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Toxicology tests were pending, but the medical examiner said he died from injuries in the fall.
Uggla needs eye surgery
Braves second baseman Dan Uggla said he finally realized he could not wait any longer to have Lasik eye surgery and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Uggla, hitting only .186 with a National League-leading 146 strikeouts, has battled eye problems throughout the season.
Fielder's batting slump
Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter hinted on a radio show that teammate Prince Fielder's hitting slump might be caused by off-field issues. Talking Tuesday with station Detroit Sports 105.1, Hunter suggested that critics back off. Fielder was hitting just .219 with five homers and 27 RBI over his previous 50 games entering Tuesday night.
Rangers release Manny
Manny Ramirez was released from his minor league contract by the Rangers. The 41-year-old Ramirez hit .259 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 30 games for Triple-A Round Rock after agreeing to a deal early last month. He hit all of the homers in the first eight games.
Cruz heads to Dominican
Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz is heading home to the Dominican Republic, where he will work out before returning to Texas later this month. Cruz was suspended for the final 50 games of the regular season in Major League Baseball's investigation into a Florida clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Harrison out for season
Opening Day starter Matt Harrison won't pitch again this season for the Rangers, who a week earlier found out veteran Colby Lewis wouldn't be coming back either. Harrison made only two starts at the beginning of the season before two operations on a herniated disk in his lower back. He signed a $55 million, five-year contract last winter after winning 18 games.
Morneau put on waivers
The Twins placed first baseman Justin Morneau on revocable waivers. If the 2006 AL MVP is claimed before Wednesday's deadline, the Twins can work out a trade with the claiming team, let that team take his contract or pull him back and keep him in Minnesota. If he is not claimed, the Twins are free to negotiate with any team.
Jays' starter on DL
Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore forearm. Johnson is 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA in 16 starts.
Rays' RHP returning
Rays right-hander Alex Cobb is expected to pitch Thursday night for the first time in the majors since getting hit in the head by a ball in June.