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.