, as reported by the Bleacher Report and other sources, told USA Today that she was taunted by Yankees fans who shouted obscenities, spit on and threw beer at her and other family members of the Texas Rangers.
Of course this story is getting major play because although it hasn't been formally announced yet, the Yankees are going to pursue Cliff Lee to join their ranks once he officially becomes a free-agent. The media have jumped all over this criticizing fans, even going as far as referring to them as "thugs" and blaming them if Lee doesn't take the Yankees up on what will certainly be a lucrative offer (see Spitgate).
Yesterday morning, adding more fuel to the fire was Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg who spoke about the incident on 103.3 KESN radio's Ben and Skin Show. Here's what ol' Chuck had to say:
"I think our fans have been great. I think particularly in Game 3 of the World Series they just blew away anything I've seen in any venue during the postseason. I thought Yankee fans, frankly, were awful. They were either violent or apathetic, neither of which is good. So I thought Yankee fans were by far the worst of any I've seen in the postseason. I thought they were an embarrassment."
So to recap, we're awful, violent, apathetic, the worst of any in the postseason and embarassing.
What makes this statement by Greenberg so irreconcilable is that it attacks an entire fan base. I could understand him referring his rants to whatever fans actually did this because let's be real, Yankees fans are extremely passionate about their team and you know it when you come to the stadium; they don't hide it. So yeah, this incident probably did happen. But maybe what Greenberg should have said was :
"I thought those Yankee fans who did this, frankly, were awful. The fans in question were in my opinion either violent or apathetic in their actions, neither of which is good. So I thought the actions of Yankee fans guilty of this were by far the worst of any I've seen in the postseason. I thought their actions were an embarrassment."
We know that Greenberg is a rookie owner. For this reason, maybe some of the Bomber faithful can give him a small pass on his comments, which clearly violates an unwritten rule amongst owners: you do not attack a fan base. If you feel obligated to make comments on a particular incident, you speak specifically to the incident. Better yet, just say "no comment." Negative generalizations towards fans, cities, etc., will get you a swift kick in the you-know-where.
Greenberg soon learned this after receiving an immediate call from MLB commish, Bud Selig. That call lead to another call from Greenberg to Yankees President Randy Levine and co-owner Hal Steinbrenner. And that conversation lead to this statement:
“Earlier today, in the course of praising the extraordinary support and enthusiasm of Texas Rangers fans, I unfairly and inaccurately disparaged fans of the New York Yankees. Those remarks were inappropriate. Yankees fans are among the most passionate and supportive in all of baseball. I have spoken directly to Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine to apologize for my intemperate comments. I would like to express again how proud we are of our fans and how remarkably they have supported the Rangers throughout lean times and now during this magical season.”
Hmmm. Maybe what he should have said was:
“Earlier today, in the course of being an idiot and praising the extraordinary support and enthusiasm of Texas Rangers fans, I unfairly, inaccurately and stupidly disparaged fans of the New York Yankees. Those remarks were inappropriate and typical of someone like me who doesn't know what he's doing, obviously. Yankees fans are the most passionate and supportive in all of baseball. I have spoken directly to Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine to apologize for my intemperate comments because I should have known better than to mess with the big boys and their fans. I would like to express again how proud we are of our fans and how remarkably they have supported the Rangers throughout lean times and now during this magical season.”
I would now like to address Chuckie and anyone who supports him by saying that I am a proud and honorable Yankees fanatic. I live for the pinstripes and bear no shame in letting supporters of the opposition know firsthand my dedication when they come to the stadium. I in no way condone the actions of those who may be guilty of this incident, but I also will not condone being labeled as a violent, awful, embarrassing thug. And apathetic? To suggest indifference toward the Bomber faithful is probably the biggest insult of all. You, Mr. Greenberg, clearly don't know who we are. We are passionate, enthusiastic, and attentive fans to our team, always. We are the gatekeepers for the greatest franchise in the history of all sports: The New York Yankees. Recognize.
It's been reported that the Yankees organization chose not to immediately comment on Greenberg's statement out of respect for Selig and the World Series. But with the San Francisco Giants winning it all last night, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Yankees PR machine isn't already in motion to dispatch a respectful acceptance of the Texas owner's pathetic apology, laced with a subliminal warning. It would behoove Chuckie to pay close attention.
And to the fan base, fret not. The best revenge may be yet to come. These words will surely haunt Greenberg if and when the Yankees sign Cliff Lee.
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper
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