Gamboa says sentencing sends 'poor message'

Updated: August 8, 2003, 2:29 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A man who along with his son attacked a Kansas City Royals coach during a game last fall was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months of probation.

William Ligue Jr. also was ordered to perform community service and remain in a substance abuse program. The judge said probation was an opportunity for Ligue to recover from his substance abuse problems and "become a useful person."

In May, Ligue pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery for leading his teenage son onto the field at a Chicago White Sox game in September and beating Tom Gamboa, who was coaching at first base.

Judge Leo Holt said Wednesday such fan misbehavior is so uncommon that deterrence wasn't an issue in sentencing.

Gamboa, in town for a series between the Royals and White Sox, said he was disappointed in the sentence. He said he has a permanent "stuffiness" in his ear as a result of the attack.

"I just think it's a poor message to get sent to the public. My fear is should this happen again to another player, coach or manager in any sport, that there's been a precedent set that I think is a bad one," he said.

Ligue's son was sentenced to five years' probation and 30 hours of community service but a judge has recommended he be sent to a prison boot camp following a probation violation.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press