A fan was ejected after he reached his hand out into the field of play to touch Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson during a game last night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
During the eighth inning, Granderson caught a fly ball in the right field corner and was about to throw the ball back into the infield before he felt a hand on his shoulder. Clearly startled, he had a brief confrontation with the fan before play resumed. You can watch the video here.
Granderson told Marc Carig of New York Newsday that he had a simple message for the fan:
“He touched me,” Granderson said. “Then I turned around and he’s like, ‘I didn’t mean to.’ I said, ‘Hey, just don’t touch me.’ So that was it. Say whatever you want to say, boo, cheer, clap, cheer for your team, cheer for the other team. But just don’t physically touch players.”
This is what happens when people forget that baseball players are actual human beings who, much like you and me, don’t like having their personal space violated. Fortunately this didn’t escalate into a more serious situation.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.