Adam Jones says he and fellow Baltimore Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim were the targets of racial slurs after a fan threw a can of beer at Kim during Tuesday’s American League wild-card game against the Blue Jays, according to USA Today.
There were also racial slurs hurled towards Kim and Jones,— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 5, 2016
Adam Jones said
“I’ve heard that so much playing baseball, call me what you want, I don’t care,” Jones told media after the game. “You hear everything, we can hear everything, people cussing you, flipping you off, that’s fine, but to go out of character, put us in harm’s way … we’re here to play baseball, nothing more, nothing less and put us in harm’s way, that’s not part of the game, not part of any sport.”
With the game tied 2-2 late in the seventh inning, Toronto’s Melvin Upton Jr. hit a long fly ball to left field and just as Kim neared to catch it, a fan threw a drink onto the field in the outfielder’s direction.
Kim showed remarkable focus and caught the ball despite the distraction to make the third out of the inning and preserve the tie. Irate at the fan, Jones ran over and began shouting toward the outfield stands. A Blue Jays club official said security was reviewing video footage, and Toronto police say they are looking into the incident.
“That’s as pathetic as it gets,” Jones said.
Toronto police officers were seen walking through the section from which the can was thrown.
Umpires ran out to calm Jones, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter sprinted out to join the conversation.
“People have a different way of handling their emotions. I don’t like it. Nobody likes it. I’m sure the Toronto Blue Jays don’t like it. It’s tough when you have that many people in the ballpark and one person does something that reflects poorly on all of them,” said Showalter. “Well, it seemed like it would be pretty easy to identify who it was. It came out of the first deck there. There’s a lot of – I just wanted to feel comfortable they were going to identify it first and get them out of there. We’re fortunate and lucky that somebody didn’t get hit.”
Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS
A flood of Jays fans reacted to the beer tossing on social media during the game, condemning the fan and calling for the person to be removed – or even banned – from the Rogers Centre.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, who was at the Blue Jays extra-innings wild card win Tuesday night, says he hopes the fan who threw a full beer can at a Baltimore outfielder turns himself in, or that witnesses identify him to police.
“I hope that won’t be repeated in future games that we have here at home at the Rogers Centre,” Mr. Tory told reporters Wednesday. “I’m sure it won’t, because I think it’s just the behavior that was exhibited by one person, who I described as a loon-ball.”
Mr. Tory also said that while he did not hear any fans hurling racial slurs, as was reported on Twitter, he would be “deeply disturbed” if they did and condemned the behavior: “Both are not typical of how Torontonians behave, and are not acceptable conduct.”
It was reminiscent of the last year’s postseason when emotional Blue Jays fans peppered the field with beers in Game 5 of their series with the Texas Rangers, causing a lengthy and unsettling delay.
Not sure what was shown on TV but the scene here at the Rogers Centre is madness and people are yelling racial slurs at Kim and Jones.— Avi Miller (@AviMiIIer) October 5, 2016
That wasn’t the first time a beer was tossed at the opposition inside the Rogers Centre. Back in 2013, a Jays fan flung a beer onto the turf at another Orioles outfielder – Nate McLouth – after he made a sensational catch that had him diving right into the stands. That brought Showalter running out onto the field too.
With a report from Jeff Gray
MORE FROM THE 2016 AL WILD CARD GAME