Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Boston fans make racist remarks, throw peanuts at Orioles’ Adam Jones

110 Comments

The Red Sox and Orioles have a bit of a rivalry brewing, especially after last week’s incident in which reliever Matt Barnes threw a fastball at Manny Machado‘s head. Barnes was immediately ejected from that game and later handed a four-game suspension for his actions. The Red Sox weren’t happy with Machado, who had slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base two games prior and injured him.

At the very least, last week’s series got the blood flowing and pumped interest into Monday’s series opener. The game itself was fine — the Orioles won 5-2. Machado homered and made a few nifty defensive plays.

Unfortunately, it’s some racist fans in Boston who are stealing the spotlight. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that some fans at Fenway Park directed racist remarks towards Jones and one even threw a bag of peanuts at him. Jones said, “A disrespectful fan threw a bag of peanuts at me. I was called the N-word a handful of times tonight. Thanks. Pretty awesome.”

Jones continued, saying, “It’s different. Very unfortunate. I heard there was 59 or 60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. It’s unfortunate that people need to [resort] to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m trying to make a living for myself and for my family.”

Regarding the fan who threw peanuts at him, Jones said, “It’s pathetic. It’s called a coward. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full. And if they don’t, take it out of their check. That’s how you hurt somebody. You suspend them from the stadium, what does that mean? It’s a slap on the wrist. That guy needs to be confronted, and he needs to pay for what he’s done. At the end of the day, when you throw an object onto the field of play, the player has no idea what it is. What if something hit me right in the eye and I can’t play baseball anymore. Then what? I just wear it? No. Things like that need to be handled a little more properly, in my opinion.”

Though the fans, of course, were acting on their own volition, the Red Sox will likely make a formal apology to Jones and the Orioles on Tuesday. Jones said that Monday wasn’t the first time he’d been the subject of racist remarks at Fenway Park, but he did say that it was one of the worst experiences he’s had during his 12 years in the majors.

Related: A Giants fan threw a banana at Jones in 2013, and Red Sox starter David Price said back in January that he heard racist taunts from Boston fans as well.

In the playoffs, the Yankees’ weakness has become their strength

Elsa/Getty Images
8 Comments

Two weeks ago, when the playoffs began, the idea of “bullpenning” once again surfaced, this time with the Yankees as a focus. Because their starting pitching was believed to be a weakness — they had no obvious ace like a Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber — and their bullpen was a major strength, the idea of chaining relievers together starting from the first inning gained traction. The likes of Luis Severino, who struggled mightily in the AL Wild Card game, or Masahiro Tanaka (4.79 regular season ERA) couldn’t be relied upon in the postseason, the thought went.

That idea is no longer necessary for the Yankees because the starting rotation has become the club’s greatest strength. Tanaka fired seven shutout innings to help push the Yankees ahead of the Astros in the ALCS, three games to two. They are now one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time since 2009.

It hasn’t just been Tanaka. Since Game 3 of the ALDS, Yankees pitchers have made eight starts spanning 46 1/3 innings. They have allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 25 hits and 12 walks with 45 strikeouts. That’s a 1.75 ERA with an 8.74 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9. In five of those eight starts, the starter went at least six innings, which has helped preserve the freshness and longevity of the bullpen.

Here’s the full list of performances for Yankee starters this postseason:

Game Starter IP H R ER BB SO HR
AL WC Luis Severino 1/3 4 3 3 1 0 2
ALDS 1 Sonny Gray 3 1/3 3 3 3 4 2 1
ALDS 2 CC Sabathia 5 1/3 3 4 2 3 5 0
ALDS 3 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 7 0
ALDS 4 Luis Severino 7 4 3 3 1 9 2
ALDS 5 CC Sabathia 4 1/3 5 2 2 0 9 0
ALCS 1 Masahiro Tanaka 6 4 2 2 1 3 0
ALCS 2 Luis Severino 4 2 1 1 2 0 1
ALCS 3 CC Sabathia 6 3 0 0 4 5 0
ALCS 4 Sonny Gray 5 1 2 1 2 4 0
ALCS 5 Masahiro Tanaka 7 3 0 0 1 8 0
TOTAL 55 1/3 35 20 17 20 52 6

In particular, if you hone in on the ALCS starts specifically, Yankee starters have pitched 28 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits and 10 walks with 20 strikeouts. That’s a 1.61 ERA.

While the Yankees’ biggest weakness has become a strength, the Astros’ biggest weakness — the bullpen — has become an even bigger weakness. This is why the Yankees, who won 10 fewer games than the Astros during the regular season, are one win away from reaching the World Series and the Astros are not.