PHILADELPHIA – Atlanta left fielder Matt Diaz helped tackle a costumed fan who ran onto the field and briefly eluded security guards during the Braves-Phillies game Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, where a teenager was subdued with a stun gun this season.
The fan, wearing a red spandex suit with a red mask, jogged onto the field in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was chased by security guards for several seconds. After a guard slipped for the second time, Diaz coolly banged his knee into the back of the fan's knee, knocking him down. The guards then apprehended the fan.
Diaz got an ovation from the crowd and received high-fives from teammates in the dugout.
"I saw this idiot coming right at me," Diaz said. "I figured he'd be better off getting tripped than Tased."
In May, a police officer chased a 17-year-old fan for about 30 seconds before firing a stun gun at him, sending the boy crumpling to the outfield turf at Philadelphia's 7-year-old ballpark.
A few days later, the Phillies announced that team security guards would be responsible for apprehending those who run onto the field, then handing them over to police.
"He'll be telling me about that all winter," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Diaz, his neighbor in Florida. "He took him down pretty quickly. He might get a flag in football if he did that."