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Thursday, August 13, 2009
Updated: August 14, 11:50 AM ET
Victorino: Fan needs to be accountable

ESPN.com news services

CHICAGO -- Police charged a 21-year-old man with two misdemeanor counts Thursday in connection with a beer-throwing incident that showered Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino.

John Macchione of Bartlett, Ill., was charged with one count of battery and one count of illegal conduct within a sports facility, according to police. They did not know if Macchione had an attorney. A man who answered the phone at a listing for a John Macchione in Bartlett hung up on a reporter seeking comment.

Victorino was hit by a cup of beer thrown from the bleachers while trying to catch a fly ball in the Phillies' 12-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

The All-Star outfielder managed to make the grab, and Cubs chairman Crane Kenney apologized to him in person before Thursday's game.

"It's part of the game. It's one of those things that happens and I just want to make sure that guy gets what's due," Victorino said before the Phillies' 6-1 win.

"I think he needs to be held accountable. But for the most part, I just see it as the guy thought it was fun. It is what it is. It didn't cost me in any way and it didn't hurt me in any way. It's part of the ballgame," he said.

Victorino filed the police report Thursday. Shortly afterward that day, police said Macchione, 21, turned himself in.

"It was a big mistake. I'd like to apologize to Shane Victorino," Macchione told the Chicago-area media as he left the police station. "It really is nothing against him. It was a mistake like I said ... It was just an impulse.

"Chicago Cubs, I'm sorry I disgraced you," Macchione added.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Macchione had gone to the game with a friend who is a cousin of the man initially blamed for the incident, Dan DeLaPaz.

DeLaPaz, 30, told the Sun-Times that he was dragged from his seat and locked downstairs in the ballpark's security area. He was finally released when instant replay showed he clearly was not the beer-tosser, according to the Sun-Times. In the meantime, Macchione returned to his seat and watched the rest of the game.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella and general manager Jim Hendry also apologized to Victorino.

"I said, 'Listen, sorry,' " Kenney said after talking to Victorino near the Phillies' dugout.

"It shouldn't have happened here. It's not a good reflection on our city or organization," Kenney said. "We're going to do whatever we can to make sure that things are made right here. And he said, 'I know you are and I appreciate your help.' "

Victorino was on the warning track and in front of the ivy-covered wall, set to catch a sacrifice fly by Jake Fox in the fifth inning, when the cup of beer came flying out of the bleachers and went all over him.

According to local media reports, security personnel questioned a man who was taunting Victorino while the fan who actually threw the beer got away.

"I just think that, not so much that I want to press charges or file anything against him. I just think he's probably sitting at home thinking he got away with it. I hope that he gets the understanding that you can't be doing things like that," Victorino said.

"I don't think he'd be walking too far if something like that happened in the streets. It's just not something that you do."

Kenney called the incident "an assault."

"The obvious one is he threw some beer on him. But let's say the beer was in his eyes and he got hit in the head. Then, what's the next thing that gets thrown from the stands?" Kenney said.

"It just can't happen for safety reasons and it's just not right."

One of baseball's most-known beer showers also came in Chicago. In the 1959 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, White Sox outfielder Al Smith was at the wall trying to track a home run when a fan's beer sprayed in his face.

The picture of Smith getting doused -- the beer spilled when the fan tried to catch the ball -- remains one of baseball's most famous photos.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.