Braves announcers Brandon Gaudin and Peter Moylan made their frustrations known after fans got on the field and contacted Ronald Acuña Jr. Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports Aug 28, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; A fan charges at Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) as grounds crew detains another person in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

On the scoreboard, Monday’s game at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies went swimmingly for the Atlanta Braves, who won 14-4. Unfortunately, an incident involving their star, Ronald Acuña Jr., and two fans, left the Braves and their announcers understandably frustrated.

As the Braves were on the field, ready to start the bottom of the seventh inning, a fan ran onto the field. Ordinarily, that’s annoying. In this case, it was annoying and concerning, as the fan not only ran toward Acuña, but made contact with him. Two security guards quickly made their way to the outfield, but struggled to pull the fan off of Acuña. Shortly after a third guard arrived, security finally managed to get him off of the Braves star.

But just as it seemed the situation was finally getting calmed down, a second came sprinting in. Naturally, with three guards already on the scene and a fourth only seconds behind, there was minimal contact between Acuña and the second fan. Unfortunately, in the process of trying to get away from Fan No. 2 and the guards, Acuña tripped over the wrestling match going on between the other two security members and the first fan and fell to the ground.

Fortunately, Acuña did not seem to be at all hurt in the fall. The fans were taken off of the field, Acuña told the Braves that he was OK and the game continued. But while Acuña was fine, Brandon Gaudin and Peter Moylan, calling the game for the Braves on Bally Sports South, were quite upset.

And they spent the rest of the seventh inning making their feelings and frustrations known.

“Boy, that needs to be looked at,” Moylan said.

“What in the world?” Gaudin added later, which drew a quick response from Moylan.

“That’s what needs to be asked right now. We’re talking about one of the best players in Major League Baseball that was contacted, made contact with, by a fan in the middle of a game.”

Gaudin continued.

“It’s scary enough when one fan would get on the field and go after a player. But two and potentially three that time. That really becomes a scary situation…but I’m sure that’s one that Coors Field personnel will take a long look at and see how in the world it happened. Now, I will say that the guards that responded did as well as they could once they got out there…I’m just racking my brain. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that.

Gaudin then called the situation, “bizarre,” adding, “I don’t know how else to describe it.”

Moylan again had a quick response. “Unacceptable is what it is, Brandon. I don’t care where we are, who’s on the field, what player it is. The fact that that just happened has got me in some sort of fired up mood. I am absolutely ropeable right now.”

He continued.

“The fact that we’re out there, we’re trying to play a game, obviously we talk about player safety all the time. But I’ve never seen that. In all my years. I’ve never seen someone get that close. And when they do, they’re usually doing it in good fun and you’re not scared at all. That was something that should not ever happen. Obviously, it’s happened now. There’s nothing we can do. But there needs to be some serious, serious punishment for those three people and other people that didn’t see them coming out.”

“I will say Ronald handled it all extremely well and stayed very calm,” Gaudin said, just before Atlanta’s A.J. Minter struck out Colorado’s Ezequiel Tovar to retire the side.

It’s hard to dispute anything that was said. Fortunately in this case, the fans seemed to have peaceful intentions. The first fan simply hugged Acuña. The second one was coming in quickly. It’s hard to tell if he just wanted a hug or was potentially looking for a fight.

The third fan never got close enough to even speculate on what he (or she) wanted.

But even if these three fans were all peaceful and wanted nothing more than a hug with Acuña, nobody knows that at the time. We also don’t know what weapons a fan might have. Sure, there are security measures in place at all stadiums. But we’re also only days removed from a shooting that happened during a baseball game at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

And even taking for granted that they don’t have weapons, Acuña fell to the ground here. Yes, he came away fine but it’s not hard to imagine him twisting an ankle or possibly worse.

Gaudin and especially Moylan were right to be frustrated. And the security team at Coors Field, as well as MLB’s other 29 parks, needs to take steps to be sure that this is an isolated incident.

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