Anybody who expected some foolish fan behavior at Tuesday's Yankees game would not have been disappointed. But it did upset Orioles outfielder Adam Jones to the point of suggesting that when spectators storm the field during play, players should "have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes.''
"Why not?'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter asked before Wednesday night's game. "Anybody agree with that?''
Jones, who was 2-for-5 in the Orioles' 5-4 victory last night after being greeted with a smattering of boos for his first at bat, said that his "phone was blowing up" over the support he was getting from fellow players who endorsed his sentiment. And, while Showalter made it clear that neither he nor Jones actually was advocating retaliation against fans, both stressed the mindlessness of such fan action.
"It's stupid,'' Jones said. "I remember my first beer, too. So what? It doesn't make you want to go on the field.''
Tuesday's incident happened during the bottom of the eighth, when two customers emerged from the stands near the leftfield foul pole and raced to the infield, where one fan hid behind shortstop Ryan Flaherty and the other approached second baseman Steve Lombardozzi.
Security guards appeared immediately, tackled both men and marched them past Jones toward the tunnel behind centerfield. "They ran out there quick,'' Jones said. "I was laughing because a couple of security guys ran into each other.''
He was serious, though, in directing "a lot of choice words'' at the two fans. Wednesday night, he insisted that his anger was "all about the safety of the players. Players don't pay to watch the fans. The fans come to watch us. Cuss us out, badger us, just don't put our safety in jeopardy. The second you do that, you're going to get who the person was before he was a baseball player.''
Jones suggested a $20,000 fine and noted that his complaints after fan-on-the-field incidents in Baltimore two years ago were taken seriously by MLB.
"We now got a dude waiting in the dugout [in Baltimore] to tackle somebody,'' Jones said. "This is a $9 billion industry. You're not going to let some guy come on the field and damage your investment.''
Showalter wondered, "What would happen if everybody booed somebody running on the field? That's what hit me. They were all cheering.''
What players cheer, Showalter said, is the strong arm of security. He recalled past days at Yankee Stadium when players "would get ticked off if it happened when they were out in the field, and they didn't get to see bounced down the dugout steps and thrown down the tunnel.
"That was entertainment right there. For us. Not them.''