I couldn’t believe what I saw after Alex Avila’s home run last night. If you were following the game online you no doubt saw it too, as video of it quickly went viral. A fan in the right field stands ripped the home run ball out of the hands of the woman who came up with it and threw it back on the field.
Amanda Rykoff captured it on Vine. Click to animate:
Thankfully, not long after it happened, word started to circulate that the fan was ejected from Fenway. Which, good. He’s lucky that he wasn’t arrested and charged with assault & battery. I mean, there’s no effective difference between him taking the ball from the woman’s hands and throwing it like that than taking her cell phone or something.
But it gets worse! Jeff Passan of Yahoo! spoke to fans in the section where this took place and reports that, before he was ejected, the fan taunted a black Tigers fan sitting nearby all game with racial slurs, including calling him “Trayvon Martin” and “Prince Fielder’s crackhead brother.” He also told another black Tigers fan to “go back to the ghetto.” This was confirmed by several fans sitting in that section.
Man, what an utter piece of garbage.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.