For a second straight game, Cody Bellinger on Monday was the target of a fan who rushed onto the field intent on hugging the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder. And frankly, he thinks “it could be dangerous.”
Because of social media traffic and additional attention attracted by the first hug, which occurred during Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies in Dodger Stadium, Bellinger had worried about a repeat performance, preferring to be a Dodger and not a dodger.
“I mean, I’m just trying to play a game,” he said (via the Los Angeles Times). “So I don’t think I should have to worry about who’s going to come on the field and whatnot. . . . I think it could be dangerous. I know it’s innocent right now, but it could be dangerous.”
On Sunday, a female fan managed to hug Bellinger before security tackled her and removed her from the field. On Monday, the Dodgers were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix when a fan made a beeline for Bellinger in right field and was quickly removed.
Bellinger, who leads the majors in batting average, is second in on-base and slugging percentages and third in home runs, said the second woman asked for a hug before security intervened, adding that he feared neither woman because each was carrying a cellphone.
"I had a feeling it was definitely a possibility, just because it kind of blew up on social media,” Bellinger said of a repeat performance. Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said there was “talk of increasing security” around the 23-year-old, the 2017 NL rookie of the year.
“It kind of gains momentum, and then it’s kind of something that attracts more people,” Roberts said (via the Times). “You just worry about Cody in the sense of something harmful gets in people’s heads, so we really got to be mindful of that and it’s unfortunate that he’s now got to worry about people coming on the field.”
Bellinger reacted to neither incident on the field; the Dodgers won Sunday and lost Monday. He was 0 for 3 Sunday and 2 for 3 Monday, driving in one run, scoring another and drawing two walks. The series with the Diamondbacks continues Tuesday night.
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