Sheff to Sox Fans: Keep Your Hands Off My Balls

Michael Kay, who I actually don’t mind, ought to be ashamed of himself, defending Sheffield’s actions.  Someone ought to check out what Kay said regarding the Pacers in Detroit, conceptually speaking, about players’ interactions with fans.  Any defense of Sheffield is a non-starter – the fan did NOT, as replays show, "take a swing" at Sheffield – his eyes were on the ball, and not the player, despite what Kay and his fellow idiots in the booth were saying.   Sheff ought to be served with a league-mandated mid-April vacation.  And Michael Kay ought to rethink his comments.

43 comments… add one
  • Sheff responds off the Monsta–take that!!!
    I’m still not sure what went on out there in that corner. More replays, please!!!

    YF April 14, 2005, 10:08 pm
  • PS: Spare us the sanctimony, SF; we all know The Idiots are in the Sox dugout!

    YF April 14, 2005, 10:10 pm
  • Multiple replays (and Tivo) show what I think to be the following: a fan tries to reach down, quite incompetently, for a ball in the corner. He misses and nicks Sheffield’s cheek. Sheffield takes a swipe at the fan, not overly violently but also with intent.
    This isn’t sanctimony – in no way is it ok for a player to shove a fan, regardless of the level of violence. It’s simply unacceptable, and YF knows this. That it was Sheffield is actually irrelevant. It would be wrong for Trot Nixon to do the same. The standard is the same, for the Sox or the Yanks.
    And Michael Kay and his cohorts in the booth are just wrong. And this comes from someone who actually likes Kay’s work, for the most part.

    SF April 14, 2005, 10:14 pm
  • We’re not defending Sheff. You shouldn’t be defending “Kay and his fellow idiots.”

    YF April 14, 2005, 10:19 pm
  • ???

    SF April 14, 2005, 10:21 pm
  • Well, that sucked. I saw some fans try to swing at Varitek after he caught that popup…..
    Well, time for the media to blow this out of proportion!

    JeremyM April 14, 2005, 10:24 pm
  • …anyone notice that Sheff swung at the fan BEFORE throwing the ball back to the infield?

    Jesse April 14, 2005, 10:27 pm
  • He SHOVED him, not swung. Big difference. But yeah, he should’ve tossed the ball in before doing something stupid. But, watching the replays, that guy was not going for the ball- if he was, he did a horrible job of it.
    Good to see this will overshadow the return of baseball in Washington.

    JeremyM April 14, 2005, 10:37 pm
  • Why does this shit always seem to go down at Fenway

    Clay April 14, 2005, 10:42 pm
  • If I were bent down fielding a ball and felt a someone hit my face, I can’t say I would have been able to react any differently than Sheffield did, though I do wish he hadn’t shoved the fan.

    Clay April 14, 2005, 10:45 pm
  • Wow. Watching the YES postgame show was amazing. Johnny Cochran may be dead, but his spirit lives on in the form of Michael Kay, Jim Kaat, and Bobby Murcer, what with their defense of Sheffield. Michael Kay had the gall to compare the incident to this week’s Champions League fiasco where a fan threw a lit flare and hit Internazionale’s goalkeeper, causing the match to be halted. This comes down to a very simple situation: a fan nicked Sheffield in the course of a ball in play in the corner next to a low wall. It’s absolutely impossible to tell whether it was intentional, though it looks like an accident. Sheffield takes a swing at the guy, throws the ball back in, then goes BACK AT THE FAN. Why is this acceptable to the guys in the booth, in any way? Let’s forget that it’s the Yankees and the Sox, just for a brief moment, if we can. Like in Detroit, where the Pacers players went absolutely nuts, the fans bear some responsibility. In this case, you aren’t supposed to interfere with play, even if you are just trying to grab a souvenir – I find that action of the fan unacceptable. In this case, the fan was ejected, the right move. But it ends there: players just CANNOT go at fans, particularly when the circumstances are so active and utterly ambiguous – a ball rolls in the corner at Fenway and players MUST know that there are fans leaning over the wall. I don’t see what the debate is about here – the only issue should be for how long Sheffield gets suspended.
    As for a fan who clearly threw a beer at Sheff – he or she should have been tossed from the stadium immediately and even fined (if that’s possible), and if they have season tickets they should be revoked, for good.

    SF April 14, 2005, 10:46 pm
  • This site just writes itself sometimes, doesn’t it? Thank God for the Yanks and Sox…

    SF April 14, 2005, 10:53 pm
  • Hallelujah.

    YF April 14, 2005, 11:00 pm
  • “Let’s forget that it’s the Yankees and the Sox, just for a brief moment, if we can.”
    Yeah, that’s likely. I’m imagining a similar rant coming from you if the situation was reversed and Trot NIxon mixed it up with some yanks fans. Here it is:

    Nick April 14, 2005, 11:04 pm
  • Nick: read several comments above, as I posted earlier:
    “That it was Sheffield is actually irrelevant. It would be wrong for Trot Nixon to do the same. The standard is the same, for the Sox or the Yanks.”

    SF April 14, 2005, 11:19 pm
  • there’s no crying in basebrawl!!!

    sweetjetes April 14, 2005, 11:29 pm
  • Here’s what would have happened: YF would be leading the thread much like you are right now. He would make qualifying statements such as the one you refer to about how wrong it would be for even a yankee to do such as thing, and you would be playing the role that YF is playing now: humorous foil. All I’m pointing out is that it’s no coincidence that you’re the one ranting about standards of conduct on the baseball field while YF sits quietly on the side. In any case, this is going to be really annoying for the next two days, listening to sports pundits moralize, contradict themselves, ESPN talk about the death of society, etc.

    Nick April 14, 2005, 11:30 pm
  • what’s most interesting to me about the whole thing is that, in the end, NOTHING HAPPENED. no brawl. no injury. no effect on the rest of the game. i’m baffled how everyone from the yes network announcers to the sportscenter crew to torre can claim without any doubt that the fan “took a swing” at sheffield, ’cause i’ve seen the replay about 700 times by now and it’s absolutely not clear from any angle. there’s just no way of telling, not yet anyway. as for sheffield, he acted like a normal human for a split second, then he held himself back, which is about as much as you can ask of a guy. to me, the incident was an example of what’s good about baseball. what could’ve turned into an ugly incident — in, say, a basketball arena — turned into, basically nothing.

    the dwight evans preservation society April 14, 2005, 11:44 pm
  • Where is the humor in this situation, honestly? I don’t think YF is “playing” the “humorous foil” at the moment, since I know that he agrees with me on this one, and I’m not locating his humorous posts that you seem to refer to.
    It’s very simple: fans shouldn’t interfere with players (in fact, that’s announced before every game explicitly), and players should absolutely positively not hit fans (though they don’t announce that). What’s more to discuss? Again, it’s not about the Yankees and Red Sox, but the fact that it was just makes it useful to this site. Doubt my sincerity all you want, feel free, but this is not a rivalry-specific issue.

    SF April 14, 2005, 11:44 pm
  • Just saw this in super slo-mo and I’m still not sure what to think. That guy in the stands didn’t appear to be going for the ball.

    YF April 14, 2005, 11:44 pm
  • I dunno, DEPS. That the fan wasn’t injured is a happy outcome. But what if the guy was leaning in instead of back? What if Sheff made good contact? If the guy had a bruised jaw would it still be ok, since at least it wasn’t a broken jaw? This was no Pistons/Pacers, for sure, but we’re talking about a concept here: a player going after a fan following a totally ambiguous physical interaction, one that admittedly should not occur and which is against the field rules. There have to be some standards here, and unless the guy stands up and says he intended to hit Sheffield then there’s not much of a debate – the fan gets ejected, possibly has his seats revoked, and Sheffield (or any other player who goes after a fan like that) gets penalized, either financially or, more appropriately, via suspension.

    SF April 14, 2005, 11:49 pm

    Anonymous April 14, 2005, 11:59 pm
  • sheffield didn’t swing at the guy. he shoved. big difference. he shoved and then (after, ya know, throwing the ball toward his cut-off man) stopped and thought better of doing anything else. i guess he could’ve bruised the fan, sure, but he didn’t do anything that was going to break anyone’s jaw, not without a freak chain of events. maybe he should’ve been tossed from the game, but i’m not sure he’s deserving of anything more than that. he acted, perhaps stupidly, in the heat of the moment. and then he followed up by righting himself. and that’s the moment that matters most — the moment where it could’ve turned ugly and he made the choice not to go there.

    the dwight evans preservation society April 15, 2005, 12:01 am
  • I watched the game on NESN. What the NESN announcers narrated on the bazillion replays, which matches up pretty well with what I saw:
    1. Fan swings at and apparently hits Sheffield
    2. Sheffield shoves the fan
    3. Sheffield throws the ball
    4. Sheffield turns around and starts to advance on the fan, then stops himself
    5. A security guard jumps between Sheffield and the fan
    Note this was not Michael Kay. This was Boston’s home announcers.
    I’d rather have seen Sheff turn the other cheek, but his actions did not seem unreasonable to me.

    Maniakes April 15, 2005, 12:24 am
  • “Why does this sh** always seem to go down at Fenway”
    That’s funny, I seem to remember some kind of riot gear incident during the playoffs.
    Pot, Kettle, Black.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t say the fan “took a swing” at Sheff in the sense of a punch; he wasn’t looking at Sheff and I would describe it as more of a wave. Regardless, fans should be able to restrain themselves from reaching into the field of play for any reason. A fan to the left of the women in the scene (in a GAP hoody) did throw his beer on Sheffield (ESPN highlighted him in a replay on SportsCenter). All that said, I do feel Sheffield overreacted, though the restraint he did show after he swung/shoved is commendable; this could have been much worse.
    Finally, major props to the security guy who literally jumped in there right away. He seemed to cool things down and prevent The Artest Show Part Deux from occurring.

    JTP (SF) April 15, 2005, 12:49 am
  • Oh, and one last note: I do agree that Sheffield carries the most blame and that the fan wasn’t attempting to hit him (come on, he’s not even looking at Sheff). This definitely is worth more than a two-game suspension.

    JTP (SF) April 15, 2005, 1:03 am
  • Based on what Maniakes states that he saw on NESN, I have to believe that the fan most certainly hit Sheff. Why else would Sheff have reacted that way. And then to have the beer thrown in his face…… I think Sheff behaved admirably. I don’t believe that fans have unlimited rights to hit players with no consequence other than being ejected. And while Sheff may have had a momentary lack of judgement in pushing the fan who hit him, I don’t think he behaved all that badly. I don’t believe any suspension or fine would be appropriate. It seems to me it is the Sox fans who are to blame. They are out of control. It seems they have been for a couple of years now. I have never seen anything like it in Yankee Stadium. Fortunately the Bleecher Creechers are not that close to the field…..

    bronxborn April 15, 2005, 2:06 am
  • Come one, everyone – let’s take the Sox and Yankee out of this. Let’s recap:
    1. A fan leans into the field of play, and makes contact with a player. It cannot be reasonably determined whether or not the fan was reaching for a ball sloppily or actually trying to strike the player.
    2. A player in the course of action feels himself hit by a fan, but in that course of action he determines it was malicious, and before throwing the ball back into the infield actually moves violently towards that fan and hits/shoves that fan.
    3. Said player throws ball back into infield, then turns to re-confront said fan. Restrains himself.
    Not sure how the player comes out as “admirable” in this situation. If, after 600 views of the replay it cannot be determined whether there was malicious intent by the fan, how could the player, while trying to field a ball in a corner where fans come notoriously close to players, make that snap judgment, ALL WHILE FIELDING A BANG BANG PLAY!? It’s patently absurd to suggest that somehow, since the player didn’t ruin the fan’s physical appearance, he acted “admirably”.
    Again, distill the situation to it’s basics, eliminate the player’s name and uniform from the event, and it’s clear that a couple of things need to happen. First, fans need to stop reaching onto the field. Second, fans need to stop drinking heavily at games (the beer thrower for one, the fan who nicked Sheffield for two – he appears at the very least buzzed). Third, a player needs to be suspended, at the very least to dictate that it’s not ok to physically attack a fan, whatever the magnitude of that “attack”.
    P.S. And just to be clear, I am talking about situations like last night’s very ambiguous interaction, not physically violent and bizarre cases like with Monica Seles. That’s a whole different thing – I am pretty sure if the guy tried to knife the right fielder we’d all be in agreement).

    SF April 15, 2005, 7:25 am
  • The usually classy Joe Torre, with the most hyperbolic comment of the night:
    “These people shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets much less come to a ballgame,” the manager said.
    What does Joe think of the fans in other parks that shall remain nameless that throw D-cell batteries at rival outfielders? Should they be allowed to walk the streets, much less come to a ballgame? What about the fans that don’t chuck batteries at players but instead physically intimidate rival fans by violating their personal space even though they are sitting peacefully in a paid-for seat? Is that any better? Should we start a detention camp for “those people” too?
    Hey, we fans overreact and say silly things on blogs, but we’re supposed to. Great, thoughtful managers aren’t supposed to spew crap like this. Bad moment for Joe.

    SF April 15, 2005, 7:34 am
  • humorous foil moment: “Sheff responds off the Monsta–take that!!!” Granted it’s not laugh-out-loud funny but still, I think YF was kind of joking with the “take that!!!” I also heard the NESN announcers, and Remy, dear Remy, thought the fan was clearly in the wrong and that Sheff was restrained considering the situation. SF, my good friend, a sox fan, who now resides in Berkeley, wrote me this morning saying that he thought Sheff was classy, and that SOx fans came out horrible! I haven’t looked at the clip a lot (like you) but I would argue that the first shove was understandable, and when Sheff came back at him after the throw that was poor judgement, but it seems to me you like ESPN and the national press are overreacting (although, maybe the national press is not overreacting and it’s just you because I haven’t dared to turn on ESPN today).

    Nick April 15, 2005, 8:20 am
  • Joe’s bad moment was letting Woe-mack bat in the 8th.
    Now everyone needs to just cool down. And next year do we need to open with 12 against the same pair of teams? This scheduling blows.

    YF April 15, 2005, 9:09 am
  • Let’s just say that it was Damon or NIxon and this had happeened in Yankee Stadium, what would SF and the other SOx “Idiots” be saying then? I have no respect for hypocrites.

    Joe (YF) April 15, 2005, 9:16 am
  • Then stop visiting this site – don’t waste our bandwidth. Nothing I’ve typed is unreasonable, nor biased to the Sox. This to me is a conceptual discussion about the wall, metaphorical, between fans and players. Where’s the beef? Obviously you think that players should be able to take a swipe at fans if they are too close to the field or make contact with the player, regardless of intention. I don’t think that’s the case. We disagree. Move on, perhaps to another site if you don’t like the way we do things here.

    SF April 15, 2005, 9:27 am
  • TEMPERS!!!!
    SF: you can’t throw flames–“Kay and his fellow idiots”–and then go crying wolf when the discussion gets a little fiesty. Buck up.
    JoeYF: For what it’s worth, SF seems sincere on this point, and certainly you’ve got to respect the man’s opinion, whether you think it’s colored by his Sox love or not. You’re welcome to comment all you wish
    Everyone: a nice debate is fine, but enough with the ad hominem attacks. Don’t make me call Sheff….

    YF April 15, 2005, 10:00 am
  • I to watched it on NESN. And I do not agree that he was going for the ball. The ball was not bouncing it was rollng around the base of the wall. The fan barely bent over. I believe he was clearly swiping at Sheff. His arm was not even close to the ball. And anyone that thinks he was going for the ball should go and have there eyes checked with the Umping crew that umped that game last night. I do not condon what Shef did but not one person posting here can honestly say how they would react in that situation. I believe he reacted to the situation in the heat of the momement. And there are players on both sides that say they would have reacted the same. I agree lets not make this SF (AGGHHHH) You don’t know how much that hurts to say. But lets not let one Idiot in the stands make this into a Redsox Fan VS Yankees fan. We are not all like those idiots I would not interfear in the game as many others would not.

    Bob April 15, 2005, 10:14 am
  • The more I watch the replay the more I see that this is so incredibly over-hyped. Just like everything else in Yankee/Red Sox land.

    Clay April 15, 2005, 10:36 am
  • I don’t think there is any doubt that despite the fact the media loves this kind of crap so they can spew it all over the TV and papers for the next week they still have no idea what they are talking about.
    Bottom line; some of the writers in the NY papers actually wrote that the fat idiot with the mutt for a wife next to the “swiper” “inadvertently spilled beer on Sheff”. If you can’t see how obvious that “spill” (more like a toss) was in replays you are hopeless and are probably legally blind so I would go to a doctor and have that checked out.
    And SF, spare us all your sanctimonious garbage about how fans and players should react and don’t cry and tell people to leave the site when you are called out on it. If the situation was reversed and someone dared touch Damon’s precocious locks in the outfield you would be requesting a DA to open a criminal investigation and defending any Red Sox action to the hilt.
    Your own players are have admitted they probably would have reacted the same way as Sheff so save us your fan/player etiquette which is clearly biased towards the rest of the idiots in Boston.
    But you know what, I am just glad the Yanks don’t have to see the Sox again until Memorial Day. Both teams look shaky, both have sub par records and I am already tired of comparing every player on the Yanks roster to how they did against the Sox. There are other teams in baseball and I look forward to seeing them. As far as I am concerned the Yanks should see the Sox in October, the rest is just tired, overdone filler.
    And for the record; after dealing with the loud mouthed morons who show up to our great stadium in the Bronx wearing their sad and pathetic Red Sox gear, and then get upset when their obnoxious antics as a visitor to someone else’s ball park nets them a bloody nose and a quick exit, I am not surprised this idiot took a swipe at Sheff. In fact being a classless moron seems to go right along with being a Sox fan.
    You may not win another championship for 86 years but at least you can rest assured that the rest of the country is now seeing you as the unbearable loud mouths that Yankee fans always knew you were. Enjoy.

    Hamster April 15, 2005, 2:28 pm
  • Seriously, not all Yankee fans are like Hamster.
    I promise, really.

    Clay April 15, 2005, 4:37 pm
  • And thankfully we are not all spineless balls of jelly like Clay who like to play the politically correct game and fence sit. If a group of people act a certain way have the guts to call them out on it.

    Hamster April 15, 2005, 4:43 pm
  • Baahahaha. You’re a riot.

    Clay April 15, 2005, 4:44 pm
  • Thanks Clay, coming from you that means……well nothing.

    Hamster April 15, 2005, 4:54 pm
  • Yankee fan in-fighting! We like to watch…

    SF April 15, 2005, 4:57 pm
  • Sox Fan – as others have pointed out, NESN announcers also agreed that the fan looked to have swiped Sheffield intentionally. It’s not just Yankee fans or announcers that think this.

    yankeegirl April 15, 2005, 4:58 pm

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