How people were trolled into believing Cards fans launched racial slurs at Jason Heyward


The other day the New York Daily New ran with some allegations from some Twitter users that Cards fans at Busch Stadium could be heard directing racial slurs at Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward on the audio feed of the game. In response, ESPN and other media outlets said they were reviewing the audio. Upon that review, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and us here at HardballTalk, among other media outlets, reported that the allegations existed and that the review was taking place. Soon after, it was revealed that the allegations were false. No racial slurs were heard.

The entire episode was a combustible mix of many different factors which have been invoked in sports coverage and, specifically, coverage of the Cardinals and their fans in recent years. Racial allegations ALWAYS play, of course, and will almost always be picked up if allegations are made, even thin ones. The real fuel to the fire here, however, was the particular place Cardinals fans occupy in the current baseball landscape.

For a lot of reasons — including the fact that they constantly sell out their stadium and support an excellent baseball team — Cards have fans developed a reputation over the years as being a savvier and more devoted bunch than fans in other cities. Given the tribalism of all sports fandom this created a backlash and then a backlash to a backlash and the comically over-the-top parodies and then a certain understandable defensiveness of Cards fans to it all. The net result of it is that anything having to do with Cards fandom is something of a hot button issue now. Phillies fans from 2007-2011 or so will recall a similar dynamic. It’s all just . . . complicated.

Into that stew of complications came these allegations, which have now been shown as false. But where did they come from and how did it spread? For that, you can go read this excellent post about it all from the Double Birds blog, which tracks the whole story to its genesis and showed how it unfolded.

In the past two days I’ve spoken with Chase from Double Birds on Twitter about it, and with a lot of other Cardinals fans. I still believe there are some fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of the coverage and what motivated it on the part of some Cardinals fans. Other than the debunked tweets and the Daily News story, I didn’t see any media outlet actually claim that the tweets were credible or use them as a basis to dredge up old stories about Cardinals fans and their alleged nature. At the same time, I personally received all sorts of reflexive blowback from Cards fans on Twitter claiming that that was exactly what happened and that the media was “seizing” on this, twirling their mustaches and laughing with evil glee because they, once again, had a chance to stick it to those horrible Cards fans and blame them all for the actions of a few. That’s nonsense and I believe its evidence of defensive, bunker mentality on the part of some people in Cards Nation that has skewed the way THEY view the way they’re viewed by others.

Still, there are a lot of truths here too. Truths about how Cardinals fans have been stereotyped by others. Truths about how the acts of some are easily generalized as the acts of all. Assumptions about how the media may cover a story and what people may be inclined to believe via their own predispositions. Truths, also, about how fandom can be virulently subjective.

All worth chewing on.

Schumaker gets first win, Marlins top Mets 2-1 behind Chisholm

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI – After Skip Schumaker got his first win as a major league manager, Miami Marlins players put him in a cart, rolled him into the shower area of their clubhouse and doused him with whatever liquids they had on hand to celebrate.

“They thought of some kind of beer shower,” Schumaker said after changing out of his drenched clothes, “protein shake in my ear and whatever else they put in my head.”

Behind five shutout innings from Jesús Luzardo and home runs by Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jorge Soler, the Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 2-1 on Friday night.

Schumaker, an 11-year-big league veteran, got his first managing job last October when he was hired to replace Don Mattingly. The 43-year-old spent last season as the St. Louis bench coach.

“I know it goes on my record, but they won that game,” Schumaker said. “Players win games, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Luzardo (1-0) struck out five and allowed two hits while walking four in his first start this season. The 25-year-old left-hander had a 3.32 ERA with a 30% strikeout rate in 100 1/3 innings last season.

“The next step is being consistent,” Luzardo said. “I feel towards the end of last year I was able to do that. Just come out and no matter who we’re facing, no matter the situation, I feel it has to be 100% on the attack.”

Soler, in his first game in right field for the Marlins, made a leaping grab against the wall on Pete Alonso’s sharp fly ball to right center in the second. He followed with a leadoff shot in the bottom half off David Peterson (0-1).

“It was a great play out in the outfield and I took that feeling back to the plate,” said Soler, the designated hitter in the opener. “The pitcher was throwing fastballs, and I had to be aggressive. If he threw one down the middle, I was going to go for it.”

Soler also ran in for a diving catch that robbed Starling Marte for the final out in the eighth. That stranded Daniel Vogelbach, who had pinch hit and doubled off Dylan Floro.

Chisholm doubled the lead with an eighth-inning homer off John Curtiss, who made his Mets debut. That proved to be key when Alonso homered in the ninth off A.J. Puk for his first hit this season.

Puk then struck out Mark Canha and got Jeff McNeil to ground out for the save, ending a game that took 2 hours, 9 minutes.

New York, which had won Thursday’s opener, loaded the bases in the sixth after Brandon Nimmo walked and took third on a single by Marte, who then stole second, Francisco Lindor walked, and reliever JT Chargois retired Alonso on a lineout to Chisholm in center.

Marte had two of New York’s four hits. Peterson gave up eight hits, struck out five and walked one in five innings.

“I like the fact that he only had one walk,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s probably why he was able to survive.”

Garrett Cooper singled twice and had a triple in the first. Miami went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Miami’s Nick Fortes was called for a pitch clock violation when he wasn’t ready in time to face Tommy Hunter with two outs in the sixth. Fortes swung and missed at the next pitch, falling into an 0-2 count, then grounded out.


Chisholm, known for his flashy celebrations, Euro-stepped to home plate for the first time this season after his homer. He had 14 home runs last season.


The Marlins debuted the teal uniforms that they will wear on Fridays this season to commemorate the club’s 30th anniversary.


McNeil made an alert play in the fifth when Cooper’s sharp two-out grounder deflected off Alonso’s glove. McNeil grabbed the ball with a dive on the right field grass, popped up and made a one-hop throw to the plate, where Tomás Nido tagged a sliding Jon Berti, who had tried to score from second.

“That was a sick play,” Alonso said. “I mean, the ball tips off my glove. If that ball squirts away in the outfield, then that’s another run, so for him to have the baseball instincts and pick the ball up and make that play, that’s excellent.”


Miami RHP Edward Cabrera will start Saturday against New York RHP Tylor Megill, who fills the slot that opened when Justin Verlander was placed on the injured list because of a strained upper back muscle.