Matt Diaz does Philly fan a favor with safe, but effective trip

Atlanta Braves left fielder Matt Diaz(notes) may have looked like a cold-blooded UFC champ when he expertly swept the leg of this trespassing Philadelphia Phillies fan on Monday night.

But Diaz said he actually had the best interests of the generic Spider-man in mind when doing the only stopping by a Brave in the seventh inning of a key 3-1 loss to the Phillies.

From the Associated Press:

"I saw this idiot coming right at me," Diaz said. "I figured he'd be better off getting tripped than Tased."

It sounds like the reputation of Citizens Bank Ballpark security may have preceded itself with Diaz. There was the highly publicized Taser incident with a young fan earlier this season and then that dude in the funny pants who was apprehended a day or so later.

It's worth noting that this romp probably wouldn't have gone high-voltage now that it's the sole responsibility of ballpark security — and not the packing Philadelphia police — to catch wayward fans and then hand them over.

But given that security looked like the Eagles defense, it's a good thing that Diaz decided to intervene. Otherwise Red-Man might've run on and on like that one Orioles fan.

"He'll be telling me about that all winter," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Diaz, his neighbor in Florida. "He took him down pretty quick, didn't he? He might have gotten a flag in football, though."

Speaking of penalties, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the masked man was actually a 17-year-old male and has been charged with "misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, defiant trespass and disrupting a meeting." He might be in even bigger trouble at home, because his parents have yet to pick him up from a youth detention center.

And to continue with the football terms, let's go to the tape before we head to the locker room. Here are two views of the incident. My favorite part is the roar that goes up from Phillies fans when Diaz trips the intruder:

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