Few walk-off wins in MLB end with the victors pleading with their fans to stop misbehaving, but that was the Yankee Stadium experience on Saturday.
The New York Yankees walked off the Cleveland Guardians 5-4 on Saturday via a pinch-hit RBI single from Gleyber Torres. As Frank Sinatra's theme from "New York, New York" played and the celebrating Yankees mobbed Torres in the infield, fans in the outfield unleashed a hail of trash at Guardians right fielder Oscar Mercado.
Undeterred, Mercado confronted the fans until being led away by his teammates. Several Yankees players led by Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who had just scored the game's winning run, soon ran to the outfield to plead for some kind of sanity.
Overall, not the best look for a group of fans that have never been known for good behavior.
Fans at Yankee Stadium throw things at Guardians players after the game ends. pic.twitter.com/1LIv66LfBW
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 23, 2022
As Mercado told reporters after the game, he was turning to run back to the dugout when two cans were thrown his way, causing him to lose his cool:
"I tried to go for the ball, and then I'm making a left turn to head back to the dugout and that's when I felt [the beer can] fly right by me. So I turned around and then I saw another one coming at me and that's when I reacted the way I did. Probably should have handled it better."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone denounced the fans' behavior after the game, saying “There’s no place for throwing stuff on the field,” per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
Guardians say bad blood began when Yankees fans taunted injured rookie
One batter earlier, there had been a confrontation between Guardians center fielder Myles Straw and a fan. Rookie outfielder Steven Kwan, one of the game's most impressive players early in the season, had just been attended to by trainers after crashing hard into the outfield wall while trying to make a catch.
Straw appeared to react to something a Yankees fan said by mounting the wall to confront him to face-to-face
Verdugo getting all sorts of ideas pic.twitter.com/ki4Q7hdUZs
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) April 23, 2022
Straw told reporters he was confronting a fan over something that had been said about Kwan, whom Straw said had a "messed up" chin and forehead:
Kwan is the nicest guy on the planet. That's my teammate, that's my brother. Some of the things that were said to him, for me, wasn't going to fly. My emotions got to me a little bit, but at that point, I feel as a Yankees fan, you've gotta be excited for your team, you should be cheering. You should never prey on someone — guy went head first into a hard wall. There's no business for saying the things those guys said to him. It got to me a little bit and I said what I said. If I were to do it again, I probably would have said the same thing.
On the ending of the game, Straw said "I've never seen anything like this anywhere else." Per The Athletic, he called the Yankees fans "classless" and "the worst fanbase on the planet."
Mercado said as much about the Kwan comment as well:
"There was a specific Yankee fan in left field that was celebrating Kwan getting hurt. It's just acts of violence. You can't say stuff like that, especially when someone gets hurt. So I just let him know, I was like 'Listen man, you chirp all you want, but don't celebrate someone getting hurt.' That's classless. That shouldn't be a thing."
The Yankees and Guardians have one game remaining in their series, scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. You can probably guess what kind of reception the Guardians outfield will receive.