Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Justice for the bottle thrower

They got him.

No, not Zach Eflin. Actually the Blue Jays got to the Phils' rookie making his Major League debut, but that's another story.

I'm talking about the guy who was the darling of social media last week. You know, the guy who threw the beer bottle at Phillies slugger Ryan Howard after he made the last out in a close game to kill off a Phils' rally during a game at Citizens Bank Park.

Howard grounded out and was headed back to the dugout when he noticed the bottle that had been heaved in his direction.

The usual online sleuthing ensued, complete with a picture of the suspected offender, who was wearing a gray Phillies T-shirt, a blue cap with the red brim, and a signature pair of salmon-color shorts.

I fielded a few questions after I re-posted that picture on social media, wondering on what basis I was publicly condemning this guy.

Actually, it's a very good point. These days it's very easy on social media to toss out allegations without much in the way of proof or even attributing that information to some authority.

I only indicated that the man in the photo was suspected of being the bottle thrower. I did that after hearing that a Phillies spokesperson had in fact indicated their belief that the man in the photo was in fact the bottle thrower.

Sidney Smith, 21, of Wilmington, turned himself in last Friday. He was cited for disorderly conduct in the June 4 incident and will enter a special court program. He also will pay a $200 fine. If he complete the program, his record will be expunged.

I should also note something else.

Smith is in fact from Wilmington, not from Delaware County.

That also was not lost on some readers who commented on a note on our sports pages wondering if the bottle guy would wind up being form Delco.

I also admitted that the thought crossed my mind. It does every time there is a big story. It's part of the job.

Delco can't be blamed for this one.

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