Bronx, NY- Isah Kiner-Falefa had an RBI double off the left field wall at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon and what followed was not the Yankees heroics of a come from behind 9th inning rally and Gleyber Torres’ walk-off single.
What followed. was the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton rushing to the outfield and yelling at their fans to halt from throwing beers and debris from the right field bleachers.
Not the walk-off celebration that the Yankees are accustomed to doing often in the Bronx. Instead, the Cleveland Guardians are angry. and Yankees faithful that abide by good fan behavior are also angered.
And In case you were out late Saturday afternoon, this is something that should never occur again at Yankee Stadium or at any public sporting event that can be described as disgusting and nonsense.
Guardians; rookie left fielder Steven Kwan ran into the wall to try and preserve his team a win and was shaken up on the play sustaining cuts on his face. Nearby, Cleveland outfielder Oscar Mercado witnessed a fan celebrating his teammate getting hurt.
Mercado pointed to the stands and had words with fans before the walk-off hit. More bottles and cans were thrown from the stands and Mercado was hit in the face, prompting center fielder Myles Straw to climb the chain linked fence in left and confronting a fan face-to-face.
This was not the home team celebrating a come from behind win. This was not a majority of the home crowd focusing on how Falefa and a struggling Torres propelled the Yankees to a 5-4 win in the Bronx.
Mercado and his team have every reason to be angry and frustrated. As play continued and concluded, derbis continued to strike the outfielders and fortunately there were no serious injuries.
But it was a nasty and ugly scene in the Bronx and it was totally uncalled for. The Yankees have one of the better security details among all Major League ballparks and immediately intervened.
To see Stanton, Judge, and other Yankees in the outfield reprimanding their unruly fans, also protecting other members of the Guardians, took away the traditional walk-off celebration of a home team win.
“It’s almost like, it’s act of violence,” Mercado said. “You can’t say stuff like that especially when someone gets hurt.I just let him know (the fan) ‘Listen man, you can chirp all you want but don’t celebrate someone getting hurt.’ That’s classless and that shouldn’t be a thing.”
Mercado, though, should have also shown some restraint and avoided to irritate fans and made the situation hostile. Players for the most part ignore taunts from fans, but apparently this was personal because a teammate got injured in his attempts to preserve a win.
Though cameras are stationed in every area of Yankee Stadium, the initial instigator will likely be identified as an investigation continues hours later.
More so ballplayers in harm’s way should never be in a compromising position of going after unruly fans. Instead, as seen in incidents over the years, when fans throw objects or level threats at players, the visiting team has left the field of play as umpires and security took control.
And this situation saw Straw take it to another level confronting fans, climbing the chain fence, and that opened and led to more of this ugly and disturbing scene in the Bronx.
“Emotions got a little out of control.” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “I think Myles was sticking up for his teammate. The kid’s out there bleeding and we’re checking him for a concussion and I think emotions probably got a little out of control.”
Mercado said he caught a beer can that came close to his face. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “putting players in danger is unacceptable. “
“I love the intensity,” said Boone about Yankkes fans. “But you can’t be throwing stuff out on the field.”
Added Mercado: “They need to be held accountable.and I think there should be rules set up for that because that’s ridiculous and that should not happen. Say whatever you want to say and do whatever you want to do, but at the end of the day there’s got to be consequences for behavior like that.”
“I usually laugh and fans will laugh back. But bringing violence and throwing stuff on the field and cheering when someone else gets hurt, that’s not OK and that’s when I draw the line.”
Shaw, also should have refrained from taking his anger to another level. Though he was coming to the defense of his teammates that were in harm’s way, ballplayers also need to refrain from escalating an already bad situation.
He said later about Yankees fans, “Brutal. Worse fan base on the planet.”
And those comments will certainly carry over Sunday afternoon when the Yankees and Guardians conclude their three game series in the Bronx.
Though a majority of fans go by the rules. It’s those few that make the good look bad. The consequences will probably lead to added security and larger fences in the outfield areas at Yankee Stadium that separate fans from players and that also takes away from the experience of enjoying a day or night at the ballpark.
Regardless, ugly and disgusting this was. And fans need to remember purchasing a ticket does not lead to them becoming the headline and causing altercations with those who get paid to play this great game of baseball.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer for Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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