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Hernandez claims he was baited into confrontation


Oct 24, 2002
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ESPN Story

Saturday, February 15

Pitcher claims he was baited into confrontation

Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Livan Hernandez says an elderly warehouse owner baited him into a confrontation last month in Miami, where the San Francisco pitcher is accused of swinging a golf club at the man.

Hernandez, participating in the Giants' first spring training workout Saturday, faces felony charges of aggravated assault, and battery on the elderly.

"I was mad, but I did nothing to the guy," said Hernandez, who has admitted to taking a golf club out of his trunk but not swinging it. "I think the guy's looking for something, like money. ... The guy has money. He's looking for more."

Hernandez believes he was set up because, he said, police, television crews and other media arrived within a few minutes of the altercation.

Hernandez, the 1997 NLCS and World Series MVP, said the man was using racial slurs, and spoke disparagingly of people in the pitcher's native Cuba who cut sugarcane. Those things caused him to lose his temper, he said, but not enough to hit the man.

Police said that on Jan. 8, Hernandez pushed Francisco Martinez, 65, to the ground during an argument outside a warehouse he rents from the man. The dispute escalated and police said Hernandez grabbed some golf clubs from the trunk of his car and tried to hit Martinez.

"The guy is old, he's 65 years old, but he's strong," Hernandez said. "And the guy, he threw the first punch. I never hit that guy. I take my golf club and that's it. The guy was over there, more than 10 feet (away). He said I'm swinging at the guy. If I swing at the guy, trust me, I would never miss."

The argument apparently started with Martinez telling the pitcher he needed a permit to run a car-accessories business in the warehouse space.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 in a Miami-Dade County court, but Hernandez said he doesn't expect to appear. Calls to Hernandez's Miami attorney were not immediately returned Saturday.

Martinez received a minor cut on the back of his head when he fell to the ground, witnesses told police.

Each charge against Hernandez carries up to five years in prison.

"It's hard for baseball players and sports guys or movie stars," Hernandez said. "It's hard because one person can come out one day and say something that's not true and you're in trouble."


Sep 6, 2002
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umm....I dont know if he is telling the truth or not but I think he is because I dont think he'll do that for no good reason.

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