Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez was released by the Astros last month after putting up a disappointing .594 OPS across 85 games. He also played subpar defense, making a few plays one wouldn’t have expected from a former Gold Glove Award winner.
The Rangers were happy to snap him up two days after he was released and the change of scenery has been good for Gomez. He has a .789 OPS in 73 plate appearances with the Rangers with seemingly improved defense, having also made a couple of highlight reel plays.
The two clubs played the second game of a three-game series on Tuesday night. Gomez, playing center field, caught the final out of the game: a fly out to deep center by Jose Altuve. Gomez told the media, including MLB.com’s Ryan Posner, that an Astros fan at Minute Maid Park threw a lime at him while he was attempting to catch the last out of the game. Gomez then made a gesture to the crowd and another fan threw a baseball at him.
If one looks at the replay, which you can see starting at the 2:30 mark in this recap video from MLB.com, something does appear to go across the screen near Gomez. Gomez said, “You can say whatever you want, I don’t care. But when you try to injure me, or hurt me, that’s not funny.” He added that security personnel at Minute Maid Park were able to find the fan who threw the lime at him.
The Astros, who need to overcome five other teams in the American League Wild Card race, will likely be watching the playoffs from home this October. For the fans, that stings after getting a taste of success last season. To then also watch a star player who performed poorly for the Astros but then went to a division rival and thrived, that also stings. One can understand Astros fans’ discontent. But, needless to say, none of that justifies throwing objects at an opposing player.
It’s worth pointing out that this kind of behavior isn’t unique to Astros fans. Nor Phillies fans, as per their reputation. Every fan base has their malcontents, drunk and otherwise, who occasionally go over the line. This doesn’t reflect poorly on the Astros, but just on sports fans in general. Remember, at the end of the day, we’re all watching adults wearing pajamas chase a white sphere around a field of dirt and grass. It’s a game and it’s meant to be fun.