Saturday should have been a great day to be a New York Yankees fan. They came back in dramatic fashion to walk off the Cleveland Guardians by a score of 5-4. Unfortunately, disgraceful fan behavior tainted the victory. It began when Cleveland left fielder Steven Kwan was shaken up on a game-tying double by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Kwan was being mocked from the left-field seats, leading center fielder Myles Straw to leap to his defense, literally. Once Gleyber Torres won the game with a deep single, Yankees fans began throwing trash at Straw and Oscar Mercado in right field. Luckily, no one was hurt by the debris, but it was an ugly scene all around and a bad look for the fanbase.
Yankees Fans Throw Trash at Guardians
One heckler in particular, and another fan giving an obscene gesture, initially set off Straw. Straw scaled the fence in left field to get in their faces. It is unclear what exactly was said, but they were seemingly making fun of Kwan for getting hurt. Either that, or they were claiming he lacked toughness for being shaken up. In both scenarios, the fans are in the wrong. Kwan sold out his body and almost made a spectacular, game-ending catch. The possibility of injury should’ve generated sympathy, not mockery.
But sadly, that wasn’t even the worst fan behavior on display. Once the game was over, dozens of people in the right-field stands began chucking garbage over the fence and toward the Cleveland outfielders. The players stood their ground, and fortunately, no one was hurt, but they very easily could’ve been. It got to the point where Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton had to pause celebrating the win and come charging into the outfield to tell the fans to stop.
Bad Look for Bombers Fans
To hurl partly full water bottles and beer cans at opposing players takes things far past yelling questionable comments at them. At that point, you’re putting people in physical danger. Oscar Mercado caught a beer can right before it hit his face. The fact that this came from a different section, far away from the original incident, is mind-boggling. It would be bad enough if it was the same group of people heckling Kwan, but a completely different group of so-called “fans” saw fit to insert themselves into the situation for no apparent reason. If you’re mad at Straw and Mercado, save some heckles or boos for the next day. Putting anyone in harm’s way is inexcusable.
Furthermore, the Yankees had just won the game. Again, this behavior would be grotesque enough after a Cleveland win, but your team just came back in an improbable manner. This should be cause for celebration, not prolonging a conflict that never should’ve happened. Hopefully, anyone who threw a drink receives a long-term, if not permanent, ban from Yankee Stadium.
Another unfortunate aspect of the fallout from this incident is how it reflects on the fanbase as a whole. Clearly, based on Saturday’s events and prior incidents, there are more than a few Yankees fans who feel entitled to act moronically at games, and it goes past jawing at players. It wasn’t just one bad apple who thought it made sense to create a potentially dangerous situation. It was several. But still, this comprises a very small minority of the team’s fans. At least one would hope so. However, many people, upon seeing something like this, will likely extrapolate that type of behavior to most or all Yankees fans.
In fact, we’ve already seen it since the incident occurred. In his postgame interview on Saturday, Straw said the Yankees have the “worst fanbase on the planet.” Overall, that may or may not be true, but what happened on Saturday certainly lends credibility to that statement. And that in itself is an embarrassment.