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Yankees Fans Spit, Throw Beer at Cliff Lee's Wife Kristen Lee

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By Jason Beahm on October 27, 2010 6:46 AM

Cliff Lee has been nothing short of spectacular in the post season this year. The Texas Rangers traded for Lee in July. He is now 7-0 in eight starts with a 1.26 ERA, 67 strikeouts and three complete games.

There is already talk about Lee being the hottest pitcher on the market this offseason. Of course, first, there is the small matter of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants left to play.

So where does the hottest pitcher on the free agent market go most years? Why the Yankees, of course. But some are questioning whether Lee will be interested in doning the pinstripes after the treatment his wife, Kristen Lee, recently received from New York fans. It all stems from an alleged ugly incident that Kristen Lee says happened at Yankee Stadium when the Rangers played the Yankees in the ALCS.

Kristen Lee says that when she sat in the visiting section at Yankee Stadium, she faced ugly taunts, obscenities, cups of beer thrown and fans spitting from above. "The fans did not do good things in my heart ... When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it's hard not to take it personal," Kristen Lee said.

First off, I have to wonder: had this woman never been to a professional sporting event before? Nearly every professional baseball or football game has its share of leud, drunk, aggressive and abusive fans. Granted, that doesn't necessarily make her treatent right, or legal.

Assuming that the police could track down the people who threw objects and spit at Kristen Lee, police could conceivably bring criminal charges and Kristen Lee would have potential causes of action for assault and battery. Assault is the threat of bodily harm that would cause a reasonable person the fear of imminent harm. For example, swinging at bat at someone.

Battery on the other hand, is the uninvited offensive contact by another party. Examples of battery including touching someone in a painful, harmful, violent or offensive way. In this case, unless any of the items thrown were likely to create the fear of imminent harm, such as a beer bottle, assault would not be the charge. Spitting and pouring beer fall into the category of harmful, violent and offensive. Therefore, my friends, it looks like the chief cause of action for Cliff Lee's wife would be battery.

We'll see if her treatment will have any lasting effect when the Yankees make their big money pitch to the ace starter, though Lee's agent disputes that it will impact Lee's decision this off season.

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