In all of the 12 months most Rays fans have followed the team, they’ve had very little adversity. Losing a World Series was tough, but it really brought them together as a series of suburbs masquerading as a city. So the current controversy over Troy Percival is uncharted waters for Tampa Bay.
Bad manners, bad judgement and bad language on the part of the Rays closer has turned the fans against each other. Let’s take a look at what caused the fooferaw, and what the sides have to say.
Late in last week’s game, Evan Longoria reached into the stands for a foul pop, and claimed a fan interfered, even though said fan was in the third row. But the play didn’t affect the outcome, and all was fine until Troy Percival closed out the game. For whatever reason, after the game ended, Percival decided to verbally berate the fan, using not so family-friendly words, in front of the fan’s six-year-old son.
Over at the RAYS INDEX, mustered outrage is the emotion of the week, as they call for Percival to be suspended.
No matter what you feel is the proper etiquette of the fan in that situation, keep in mind that the fan did nothing illegal, and he did not intentionally interfere with the game. It may have been wrong, but it was at worst, an innocent mistake.
Under absolutely no circumstances is it acceptable for a major league baseball player to scream obscenities at a fan.
It is definitely unacceptable to scream obscenities at your own fans.
And it is downright unforgivable to scream obscenities at a fan who is standing with his young son.
At BUGS & CRANKS, all the blame is put on the fan instead:
I could not disagree more. While, as far as I know, I haven’t been dumb enough to procreate yet, I do have a six-year-old niece who I love dearly. I would have absolutely no problem with Troy Percival cursing at me in front of her if I took the final out away from the Devil Rays. Hell if my niece got in Longoria’s way, he could curse at her too.
I mean how difficult it is it to explain to a six-year-old Daddy or Uncle Day-Day made a horrible, horrible mistake and that’s why the nice Hall-Of-Famer is calling him a Fucktard or Braindead Cunt or whatever other colorful terms Mr. Percival might have felt like saying.
Buying a ticket is a contract, and part of that contract should be understood as if you nearly cost the home team the game, the home team can call you a Fucktwat irregardless of how young the children are that you brought with you. This isn’t fucking Lebanon. You’re not allowed to use small children as human shields to help you avoid having to take responsibility for your fucktwat actions.
But while mommy and daddy yell, nothing could make the Rays feel any worse than RAYS THE STAKES. They’re very disappointed in you.
So given how inappropriate Longoria and Percivals’ behavior was, we (or most of us) just naturally assumed that [Joe] Maddon would speak-out against such juvenile behavior and we’d all move past this. Wrong. Maddon instead exasperated the ordeal, compounding the damage by actually joining his cohorts in chastising this poor fan who was not only screamed at by the game’s future best player, but also cursed at by a fat, redneck, future hall of famer. Unforgivable.
I’m thoroughly disappointed in all three of these characters, especially Papa Smurf and my personal favorite player, Longoria. This sort of behavior is the crap I’d expect out of other AL East foes not to be mentioned *cough* New York, Boston *cough* not out of the humble, fun-loving Rays. Don’t let the stress of a rough start force you to forget what got you here. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, and for this openly ridiculous behavior you, Evan Longoria, Troy Percival, and Joe Maddon are all ON-NOTICE.
I have a feeling this whole thing will blow over, once Bay Area residents realize it’s 90 degrees down there today, and they never really liked baseball in the first place.