SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Fans in San Francisco threw at least one baseball and a beer bottle onto the field Friday night in the direction of San Diego Padres outfielder Jurickson Profar, who called the crowd at Giants games “the worst in the league.”
Play was delayed briefly after Profar got into an exchange with fans before the bottom of the third inning. He was warming up in left field and faked as if he was going to throw a ball into the stands, then turned and tossed it into the seats along the third base line. Someone threw the ball back onto the field.
At the same time, another ball was thrown onto the field, prompting umpire crew chief Ted Barrett to walk over as Profar pointed into the stands. After a few moments, Barrett retrieved one ball and Profar grabbed the other as fans booed before play resumed.
“I tried to throw it to a Padres fan,” Profar explained. “I think he missed it and then some Giant fan caught it. When I turned around he threw it back and almost hit me. Then I threw it back and they started throwing more. The next time they threw a beer bottle.
“It’s very frustrating. You can talk whatever you want. You paid to watch the game. These guys are the worst in the league. They can talk but as soon as you try to throw stuff, that’s different.”
In the seventh, an aluminum beer bottle ended up on the field as Profar chased Luis Gonzalez’s double into the left-field corner. After the play, an angry Profar tossed the bottle aside and gestured repeatedly toward the stands.
“I was really mad. I’m a happy guy but when I get mad it’s different. That thing got me really mad,” Profar said after the game. “It’s very dangerous. I’m not watching. They can hit me in the back of the head. You can get a concussion or something.”
Profar said it was even more frustrating that at first it seemed nobody tried to curtail the fans’ behavior. Then teammate Manny Machado spoke to an umpire and a security guard.
“I think they did something after. I saw a lot of security,” Profar said.
Booed all night, Profar finished with three hits as San Diego won 8-7 in 10 innings.
“Pretty wild. It’s pretty hostile here,” Padres teammate Wil Myers said. “Every time you come play, the fans are very engaged in the game. I don’t agree with what they were doing tonight, but this is who they kind of are. Tough place to play, good environment.”
San Diego manager Bob Melvin said the fans’ behavior was “uncalled for.”
“Everybody knows that,” he said. “How you control that, I’m not sure, but for it to happen a second time wasn’t cool.”
Last month, some fans in the notoriously rowdy right-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium pelted Cleveland Guardians outfielders with bottles, cans and debris in a chaotic scene immediately after New York rallied for a walk-off win.
Yankees stars Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and other New York players rushed toward the wall in right-center field, trying to calm the crowd. Security personnel joined the effort to quell the disturbance.
Earlier in the game, Guardians outfielder Myles Straw had climbed the chain-link fence in left to confront face-to-face at least one fan, while another fan nearby made a derogatory gesture.
Straw called Yankee Universe the “worst fan base on the planet,” and the next day the Yankees said they increased security in the stands.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports