Adam Jones walked up to the plate for his first at-bat on Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox as mix of cheers and boos battled it out in the bleachers. The cheers won handily, starting as a hearty round of applause and ending as a standing ovation.
The message to the Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder: the good among Boston fans outnumber the bad.
After Monday’s 5-2 victory over the Red Sox, Jones told the media he was taunted with racial slurs by Boston fans at Fenway Park. This ignited a firestorm among fans, media and observers of the American League East and baseball in general.
And that in itself took an already contentious rivalry to ugly levels.
The Red Sox organization issued apologies — they also reportedly ejected more than 30 fans on Monday — and met with Jones personally before Tuesday’s game.
Jones wound up striking out against Chris Sale in an amicable plate appearance.
But whatever goodwill was built up between the clubs during that at-bat evaporated on the very next pitch.
The beanball feud continued with Sale firing a heater behind the back of Manny Machado.
Chris Sale, "inside" 98mph Fastball to Machado. pic.twitter.com/zcDEWdlcuj
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 2, 2017
Both teams were warned immediately. That didn’t stop Orioles manager Buck Showalter from running out of the dugout to have a conversation with the umpires.
Sale ended up striking out the side. The game is far too young to make any grand statements but it’s safe to say this: whatever easing of tensions took place outside the lines will have no bearing on how the teams handle each other on the field.
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