Sleepy New York baseball fan sues over nap time jibes

Reuters

By Bernard Vaughan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York man says television announcers who teased him on air for falling asleep at a New York Yankees game should let sleeping fans lie.

Andrew Rector contends that he was subjected to an "unending verbal crusade" from ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk when cameras caught him sleeping at an April 13 game against the Boston Red Sox, according to a defamation lawsuit filed last week in New York state court.

The lawsuit claimed the announcers called Rector "fatty, unintelligent, stupid," and seeks $10 million in damages. Rector brought his lawsuit against ESPN, the Yankees, the announcers and Major League Baseball Advanced Media. He accused the defendants of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"These unmitigated verbal onslaughts crossed the line between reporting on sport and abuse against the plaintiff," according to the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for ESPN said in a statement, "The comments attributed to ESPN and our announcers were clearly not said in our telecast. The claims presented here are wholly without merit."

During the telecast, Kruk and Shulman voiced surprise that Rector could fall asleep in only the fourth inning, when the Yankees held a 2-1 lead in a game they eventually won 3-2. They also wonder if an alert man eating chicken next to Rector is his "buddy" who likes Rector better when he sleeps.

"I'll tell you what, though, how comfortable is that," Kruk said. "He probably won't have any neck problems tomorrow."

The lawsuit notes that "millions of people all over the world turn out or tune in" to watch the famous Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

Representatives for Major League Baseball and the Yankees were not immediately available for comment. Rector and his lawyer could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Bernard Vaughan; Editing by Will Dunham)

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Ex-IF Marte dies in other Dom Rep crash

      Ex-IF Marte dies in other Dom Rep crash

      Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former major leaguer Andy Marte died in separate traffic accidents early Sunday in their native Dominican Republic. Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the … More »

      AP - Sports - 35 minutes ago
    • Royals pitcher Ventura killed in car crash

      Royals pitcher Ventura killed in car crash

      (Reuters) - Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic, the Major League Baseball team said on Sunday. "It is with a heavy and broken heart that we confirm the passing of Yordano Ventura," … More »

      Reuters - 4 hours ago
    • Royals P Ventura killed in car crash

      Royals P Ventura killed in car crash

      Yordano Ventura quit school as a teenager so he could begin working a construction job to help his family make ends meet, laboring day after day in the hot sun of the Dominican Republic. It was a chance tryout with the Kansas City Royals that … More »

      AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
    • Some notable deaths of active pro baseball players

      Some notable deaths of active pro baseball players

      - Jan. 22, 2017: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, 25, was killed in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic. - Jan. 22, 2017: Andy Marte, 33, died in a separate car crash in his native Dominican Republic. Marte played in the majors from … More »

      AP - Sports - 7 hours ago
    • Baseball world mourning another tragic loss

      Baseball world mourning another tragic loss

      Major League Baseball and its fans are in mourning Sunday after the deaths of Kansas City Royals star pitcher Yordano Ventura and former player Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in car accidents in the Dominican Republic. Their deaths are the … More »

      Yahoo Sports Videos - 7 hours ago