A fan in the left-field stands threw a beer can toward left fielder Hyun Soo Kim during the wild-card game last night. (Baltimore Sun video)
Toronto Police have identified the person suspected of throwing a full beer can onto the turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto on Tuesday night, barely missing the head of unsuspecting Orioles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim. But the man pictured in an image released by police says he's innocent.
A man identified as a copy editor for Canadian news publications told The Toronto Sun — one of the publications his employer produces — that he is the man pictured in the police photo. But he says he wasn't drinking from a can at all.
"I was drinking out of a cup," Ken Pagan said, according to The Toronto Sun. "I'd love to tell you what happened and my story ... but I can't say anything."
Videos posted online Wednesday pushed a theory that a woman with blonde hair threw the can.
Toronto police spokeswoman Jennifer Sidhu would not say whether police suspect Pagan to be the man pictured.
"For right now, we will not confirm any report," she said. "However, we are confident that we have made a positive identification."
She said the suspect will be publicly identified when police file charges, and an update is expected later Tuesday.
The incident prompted an outpouring of appologies from Toronto residents and Canadian baseball fans, while The Toronto Sun and a Baltimore restaurant have offered rewards for the apprehension of the suspect.
The fan's ill-conceived throw has prompted apologies from Canadians and a statement of "extreme disappointment" from the Blue Jays, pleas from police, a call for banning cans in the Rogers Centre seats from Major League Baseball, and angst from Orioles players and fans in the hours after the Orioles' 5-2, extra-inning loss in the single-elimination wild-card game.
Kim was in deep left field, on the warning track before the wall, and lined up underneath a fly ball from Melvin Upton Jr., when the projectile landed at his feet, nearly missing his head, while the ball landed cleanly in his glove for the third out of the seventh inning.
An enhanced image of the object revealed it was a silver-and-blue can with a Blue Jays logo.
Center fielder Adam Jones ran over, shouting up at the fans in the sections elevated above the outfield wall.
"That's a full beer that's being thrown and that's just not part of the sport, man," Jones said after the game. "Like I said, call us what you want ... to put us in harm's way, man, all we're trying to do is focus on the game and that's not part of baseball."
Buck Showalter ran out of the dugout into left field to see if Kim was OK.
"I don't like it. Nobody likes it. I'm sure the Toronto Blue Jays don't like it," Showalter said.
It wasn't immediately clear if a fan was ejected.
Emails to The Baltimore Sun newsroom Wednesday morning from people identifying themselves as Blue Jays fans or Canadian residents were apologetic toward the Orioles organization and fans.
Baltimore: Don't let one beer-throwing knucklehead reflect poorly on all Canadians.
One fan wrote: "Out of 50,000 fans it only took one to ruin the mood and enjoyment of this great game. No player should have to be concerned with objects being thrown at them while engaged in playing any sport. This was a no-class gesture and it reflects badly on an otherwise great city with passionate fans."
The Toronto Sun was offering a $1,000 reward for "information that leads to the arrest of the witless woman who appears to be responsible."
The Toronto paper referred to the thrower as "a beer-tossing boob."
"We'd be very interested in talking to anyone who can identify the 'loon ball,' as our Mayor suggests, who chucked a beer can onto the ball field and gave our city a nasty black eye," said The Sun's editorial vice president James Wallace.
"We are working very hard to locate the individual involved," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told the Associated Press. "I think from a deterrent perspective, it's important to follow up and make sure that he's prosecuted to the extent available."
Manfred is also leading the charge on banning cans from Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays said they will "enact heightened security measures and alcohol policies that will ensure the fan experience and safety of everybody involved."
"I don't think there is another ballpark where beer is served in cans," Manfred said. "We've worked really hard to make sure that alcohol is served and consumed in a responsible way in all of our ballparks. I think that one of the reasons last night attracted so much attention is it's an unusual — rare may be a better word — event in one of our ballparks."