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Major League Baseball asks USA Baseball to investigate alleged 'beaning' threat in Durham

Union Leader Correspondent

April 18. 2018 2:35PM
After an alleged “beaning” threat in Durham, ESPN is reporting Major League Baseball has asked the governing body for amateur baseball to investigate the claims. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

DURHAM – Major League Baseball has reached out to USA Baseball to look into allegations that a local coach threatened to have an 11-year-old girl "beaned" by another child if she ended up on his team, according to ESPN.

In a Tuesday report, ESPN’s Kavitha A. Davidson wrote that according to Tony Reagins, executive vice president of baseball and softball development for Major League Baseball, the league is trying to determine what happened. If the allegations are true, Reagins said there must be decisive action.

"If what is reported is factual, it’s just not acceptable, and I would go so far as to recommend that those coaches that were involved in this be removed," said the former manager of the Los Angeles Angels.

The "beaning" allegation by the girl’s father, Dan Klein, went viral last week after he emailed a complaint to a number of officials and national media picked up the story.

Klein submitted his complaint to Ben Genes, chairman of the ORYA board of directors, on April 7. It stated that during a March 21 majors draft meeting at Libby’s Bar and Grill on Main Street in Durham, coach Jeff Robar said if the girl was put on his team he would have another child "bean her right in the ear hole and she'll quit instantaneously."

The alleged threat followed a conversation by coaches about Klein, who claims they discussed what they are supposed to do when a parent of a team member has a restraining order and what to do if he files a police report.

"I must stress that I have never pursued any legal action against any of these men and I have always treated them with respect," Klein said in the complaint.

When reached by email Tuesday night, Klein said he is not participating in any interviews and does not have a comment.

"We’re just awaiting the results of the investigation," he said.

Messages left for Robar were not returned. Three other coaches present at the meeting have retained attorneys.

The ORYA is conducting an internal investigation, but no updates as to its status were available Monday or Tuesday.

Town administrator Todd Selig said Wednesday the town has yet to receive any new information regarding the investigation, but is withholding funding pending the outcome.

“Durham will not release $42,745 in funding for ORYA until we are satisfied with the outcome of an independently conducted investigation into the recent alleged incident involving the draft for baseball teams that took place at Libby’s Bar last month and any remedial steps that are deemed to be necessary,” he said. “If either Major League Baseball or USA Baseball undertakes such an investigation into these allegations and shares with us the results, I believe the Oyster River community would have a great deal of confidence in the findings.”

Selig said ORYA is an important partner in the community, imparting athletic instruction and teaching children sportsmanship.

“We want Durham kids, boys and girls, to grow up to have a love of the game, an interest in being physically active, and, just possibly, to aspire to play one day for the Boston Red Sox,” Selig said.

Children from Durham, Madbury and Lee participate in the ORYA.

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