The Baltimore Orioles were doubly unhappy on Tuesday night.
For one thing, they’d lost; they’d be heading home, while the Toronto Blue Jays are advancing in the AL Divison Series.
But a beer can thrown from the stands in Toronto’s Rogers Centre added insult to injury. The can, tossed late in the seventh inning, narrowly missed outfielder Hyun Soo Kim.
Kim made the catch despite the distraction.
His teammate Adam Jones was visibly enraged.
“That was about as pathetic as it gets,” the center fielder said, according to The Baltimore Sun.
“I don’t like it,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “Nobody likes it.”
From the fan perspective, SB Nation wrote that the act was offensive on several levels: “This doesn’t just shake up the beer, rendering it undrinkable, but it actually wastes the entire thing. Also, it’s assault, and it will get you arrested and possibly banned from baseball games for life.”
Police are investigating, The Associated Press reports, and a police spokesman said the fan responsible fled the stands before they could immediately nab him.
This isn’t the first time Blue Jays fans have behaved badly, the AP notes: “Blue Jays fans tossed bottles and debris on the field during game 5 against Texas last year, upset at the call that let [Rougned] Odor score from third after catcher Russell Martin’s throw back to the mound deflected off Shin Soo Choo’s bat.”
It’s not even the first time fans in Toronto have thrown a can at an Orioles outfielder. In 2013, a full can was chucked at Nate McClouth.
And, in an even more dramatic defiance of stereotypes of Canadian politeness, Blue Jays fans once “threw beer at a baby,” as Deadspin put it.
Some outlets are reporting that members of the crowd on Tuesday shouted racial slurs at Jones, who is black, and Kim, who is Korean. The Baltimore Sun reports that Kim said he wasn’t sure if he heard any slurs.
“But something like today should never happen again,” he said.
The Blue Jays won, 5-2, thanks to a three-run homer by Edwin Encarnacion in the 11th inning.