A Blue Jays fan threw a beer can at Hyun Soo Kim during a fly ball catch attempt

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With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 2-2 ballgame during Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays, pinch-hitter Melvin Upton, Jr. appeared to hit an uninteresting inning-ending fly out to left field. Hyun Soo Kim camped under the ball and as the ball was secured in his glove, some small item appeared to land on the turf nearby. As slow motion replay would confirm shortly thereafter, a fan threw a beer can at Kim, attempting to interfere with his ability to make the catch.

Center fielder Adam Jones was livid. Standing next to Kim, he pointed and shouted at the fans (or perhaps the culprit specifically) for their behavior. Security at the Rogers Centre immediately made their way to the seats in left field to determine who threw the can. Meanwhile, Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out to discuss the issue with the umpires. Had Kim not made the catch, one wonders if Upton would have been called out anyway due to fan interference (rule 3.16).

A Cubs fan at Wrigley Field threw a cup of beer at Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino back in 2009. These incidents happen every so often. While it’s easy to castigate the entire Blue Jays fan base for this, every fan base has some percentage of petulant fans.

It’s unfortunate that this happened because Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game has been a good one. As of this writing, it’s still a 2-2 ballgame.

A’s players, staff support coach after gesture, no penalty

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Major League Baseball has been in touch with the Oakland Athletics about their bench coach making a gesture that appeared to be a Nazi salute following a win over the Texas Rangers.

No discipline has been announced against coach Ryan Christenson, who has apologized for the gesture.

“Ryan Christenson is fully supported by everybody in our clubhouse and they know who he is. So do I. Obviously it didn’t look great but that was not his intent at all. I know that for a fact,” manager Bob Melvin said Friday before a game against Houston.

“He’s just not that guy. I’d say he’s progressive, very progressive as a person. Everybody feels bad for him right now `cause they know who he is,” Melvin added.

A short team meeting was all that the A’s needed because Christenson had full support, Melvin said.

Christenson apologized late Thursday for raising his arm during the postgame celebration. He made the gesture while greeting closer Liam Hendriks following a 6-4 win over the Rangers.

Hendriks immediately pushed Christenson’s arm down. Cameras showed Christenson laughing and briefly raising his arm a second time.

Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media.

“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement issued through the team. “Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of COVID, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”

The A’s called the gesture “offensive” and apologized for it.

“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field.”

The 46-year-old Christenson played six years in the majors from 1998-2003. He later spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming bench coach for the A’s in 2018.