The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
 
Lou Piniella Killed in Drive-By Beanballing as Red Sox-Devil Rays Feud Escalates
Originally posted 5/2/2005

Lou Piniella, 1943-2005
LAS VEGAS - In a tragic escalation of feud that has been brewing for a number of years, Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella was killed in a hail of beanballs late Saturday night on the Las Vegas strip. Piniella was in Las Vegas serving a three-game suspension for his actions in last Sunday's game against the Boston Red Sox, a game in which the two teams engaged in yet another round of hit batsmen and bench-clearing fisticuffs.

"The Tampa Bay Devil Rays wish to extend the deepest sympathies to the Piniella family," said Devil Rays owner Vince Naimoli. "We will also commit ourselves to working closely with the authorities to bring Lou Piniella's beanball killers to justice."

Though no arrests had been made as of press time, accounts at the scene described a car pulling up approximately 60 feet behind Piniella's on the Las Vegas strip late Saturday night, followed by several men in Red Sox jerseys pummeling Piniella with baseballs. Witness descriptions of the perpetrators included a young white man with cornrows, a big fat dude, an old guy who threw the ball with his knuckles and a large, incredibly talkative individual on crutches wearing a bloody sock.

Red Sox pitchers Bronson Arroyo, David Wells, Tim Wakefield and Curt Schilling all expressed sadness at Piniella's beanball killing. "Even though he was an idiot who forgot how the game was played," said Schilling, "I think it's a shame that Lou Piniella was beanballed to death, and I really hope they find out who did it. Because I certainly didn't, and neither did any of my teammates. We weren't even in Vegas this weekend, and we've seen to it that you can't prove we were."

"I'm not saying we're planning to retaliate," said Devil Rays outfielder Carl Crawford, "but, if I were [Red Sox manager] Terry Francona, I don't think I'd leave the house without a batting helmet on any time soon."

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