PHILADELPHIA - A video snippet from a Philadelphia Phillies broadcast shows a little boy in the stands appearing to take a swig from a beer bottle, creating a fresh headache for a ballclub whose fans have been drawing almost as much attention as its players.
The fuzzy video, which began making the rounds online and on TV on Monday, shows the child, who appears to be about 4, putting the bottle to his lips at Sunday's Phillies-Padres game at Citizens Bank Park.
No adults nearby appear to be paying attention to him when he does. It's not clear whether the bottle has anything in it, but the boy is seen easily hoisting it to his mouth with one hand, suggesting it could have been empty.
In April, a drunken fan at Citizens Bank Park intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl. In May, a police officer used a Taser on a teenager who ran onto the field.
Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said the team hasn't been able to identify the tot or the adults next to him. She said it appears to be "a very brief event, probably involving an empty bottle."
"Obviously, the Phillies, like everyone else, would not want a child to be permitted to consume any alcoholic beverage," she said. "We are confident that our employees and our fans would not allow this to happen if they were aware of it."
The video was posted on local and national blogs. Some thought the incident was overblown, while others called for charges against adults if the bottle contained beer.
"This is most likely not as it seems, but let's see how many national New York-based media outlets jump on this one. THESE ARE ISOLATED AND UNRELATED INCIDENTS! WE ARE NOT ALL LIKE THIS!" stated one person on The Philadelphia Inquirer's website.
Others joked that the recent slump of the Phillies was driving even toddlers to drink.
Neither the Philadelphia police nor the city's child-welfare agency said it was investigating.
"If there was a report of neglect, we would investigate it.
"We have not received a report," said Alicia Taylor, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Human Services.