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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boston Herald: Torii Hunter has heard hate at Fenway

Though the Red Sox have done a great deal to remake the image of Fenway Park in recent years, visiting players continue to voice concerns about fan conduct. The latest example came from Angels center fielder Torii Hunter.

Hunter told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., that until the last couple of years, he regularly heard racist taunts when visiting Fenway as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

“I’ve been called whatever they call me - a lot - since I was a kid,” Hunter told the newspaper. “My first five or six (years), I was ‘That N-word.’ Some people would chant that out, some people would throw beer or whatever . . . batteries.”

...He had, however, informed Red Sox slugger and close friend David Ortiz - with whom Hunter spent six seasons as a teammate in Minnesota - of the racist comments he’d encountered. Ortiz remains dismayed that such behavior occurred in his home ballpark.

“He told me those complaints before, but what can I do about it?” said Ortiz. “You know how it is. When you play for the other team, you’re going to hear some (stuff) like that - wherever you’re at. He’s aware of that.

“(But) he heard some stuff that I’m surprised at. One of the security guys told me it was true. They were screaming that kind of stuff at him. That’s not right.”

The Press-Enterprise article...

 

Repoz Posted: April 23, 2008 at 12:23 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, red sox

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   1. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:12 PM (#2755521)
“He told me those complaints before, but what can I do about it?” said Ortiz.


I guess nothing. If only the Red Sox clubhouse had a voice that the fan base respects.
   2. Mattbert Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:27 PM (#2755533)
I doubt that the people calling Torii Hunter a ###### are going to stop because David Ortiz asks them to.
   3. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2755539)
I was ‘That N-word.’ Some people would chant that out, some people would throw beer or whatever . . . batteries.”

I've got to call BS on this. I can see one or two idiots calling him that, but I can't imagine a group getting together and chanting this, and, if they had, I'm guessing it would have sparked a 1000 post thread here.
   4. The Original SJ Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2755540)
I doubt that the people calling Torii Hunter a ###### are going to stop because David Ortiz asks them to.

It certainly can't hurt.
   5. The Original SJ Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:34 PM (#2755543)
I've got to call BS on this. I can see one or two idiots calling him that, but I can't imagine a group getting together and chanting this, and, if they had, I'm guessing it would have sparked a 1000 post thread here.

One person can still chant. I think that is what he meant.
   6. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:36 PM (#2755546)
One person can still chant. I think that is what he meant.

Even then, I'm guessing a guy like that gets told to shut up pretty quickly. I hate defending Sawx fans--ewww, Sawx fans!--but they ain't this bad. I think Torii is being a drama queen.
   7. Mattbert Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:38 PM (#2755549)
Aw, shucks. Thanks, Shooty. Hugs all around!
   8. The Original SJ Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:39 PM (#2755550)
But a security guard confirmed it.

I will never underestimate a sports fans ability to be a complete and utter ass. This doesn't apply to just Boston, this is a worldwide thing. There are a lot of douches out there. A lot of them
   9. Mister High Standards Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:40 PM (#2755553)
One of the security guys told me it was true.


I certainly believe Hunter, and th security guy. But why in the name of god did the security guard allow it if he heard. The man should be shitcanned.
   10. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:45 PM (#2755558)
Aw, shucks. Thanks, Shooty. Hugs all around!

Aw, you know I'm just kidding. Baseball fans are all right with me no matter what their stage of evolution.

But a security guard confirmed it.

I stand corrected. I'd like to see this fan try that chant in Oakland. Only Too Short could get away with a chant like that in Oaktown.
   11. JoeHova Posted: April 23, 2008 at 01:53 PM (#2755568)
But why in the name of god did the security guard allow it if he heard. The man should be shitcanned.



Maybe he did stop it, Ortiz doesn't say. Or, perhaps he couldn't tell who it was. Calling for him to be fired seems a bit harsh in this instance.
   12. McCoy Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:08 PM (#2755577)
So is Gambling Rent going to hold a grudge against the Red Sox and their fans for the rest of his life because of this?
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:11 PM (#2755581)
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#2755582)
So is Gambling Rent going to hold a grudge against the Red Sox and their fans for the rest of his life because of this?


I'm pretty sure we were on GR's hit list long before this.
   15. Raines Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#2755595)
I've never heard the N-word uttered at a ballpark (and that includes Fenway) let alone chanted. I can't imagine anyone attempting to get away with that, no matter how much alcohol was involved.
Headed to a game tonight and I'll listen intently. Hunter might be full of it.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:41 PM (#2755596)
I can never understand what the people in the stands are chanting at sporting events. I'm actually impressed that Hunter has such good ears. People could be chanting anything at me, and I'd have no idea.
   17. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 23, 2008 at 02:51 PM (#2755603)
So the word "racism" has been completely replaced by the word "hate" now?
   18. The Original SJ Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2755625)
wouldn't racism be more like not getting a cab, but chanting the N word as the cab driver passed them by, wouldn't that be hate?
   19. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2755627)
So the word "racism" has been completely replaced by the word "hate" now?


Seems fair, since the word racism itself was a misnomer. Bigotry was a much better fit.

We abuse the language even more than we abuse our ballplayers.
   20. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#2755633)
I've never heard the N-word uttered at a ballpark (and that includes Fenway)

I haven't either. I've been to maybe 300 games at Fenway, sat in all parts of the park, and never heard that. The worst thing I ever heard was when some guy in the CF bleachers called Brett Butler "Butthole" for 3 or 4 innings before passing out.
   21. Clemenza Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2755642)
It seems to me that the odds of it happening are better than the odds of Hunter making it up. I mean, why would Hunter just fabricate a story like this? It's tough to gather from that quote how many people are "some" and how often "a lot" is. If I was Hunter I may characterize two people doing it twice as "some people doing it a lot". I can't imagine it's a fun experience.
   22. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:31 PM (#2755646)
I don't doubt Hunter. I'm just saying that it isn't something you can count on hearing when you go to the park.
   23. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:35 PM (#2755649)
If it did happen, and I don't think Hunter is lying here, I would imagine that the offending fan would be ejected from the park very quickly. Like Bivens I've been to countless games in the Fenway bleachers and have never heard this term shouted at a player, but I have heard many other offensive things. Almost without fail the fan is ejected. Security is very good at responding to complaints about offensive language.

Back in Sept '06 I brought a couple of friends to Fenway to see Ortiz break the Sox single-season HR record against the Twins. We had good seats down the LF line. We had the profound misfortune to be seated next to two drunken idiots who shouted "F*GGGOT" at every Twins player and at every opportunity. Security came along and booted them in the 4th inning after a complaint by a family sitting behind them.
   24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 23, 2008 at 03:36 PM (#2755653)
I've never heard the N-word uttered at a ballpark

you are clearly not a fan of Spanish Football
   25. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: April 23, 2008 at 04:26 PM (#2755731)
I agree with Joe and Joe. I've been to probably 200 games at Fenway, and a decent percentage of those have been in the bleachers, pretty consistently since the mid-80s. I've never heard such a thing from a fan anywhere at Fenway. I've heard some offensive stuff, but just in the "generally offensive to most people, but without any meaning behind it" sense, nothing at all like what Hunter is alleging. I'm sure it's happened, but I'm guessing that it happened for 3 pitches before a security guard or a fellow bleacher drunk attempted to break the chanter's jaw, and then he was thrown out of the park. It's certainly not an epidemic at Fenway.
   26. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 23, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2755760)
I've never heard the N-word uttered at a ballpark (and that includes Fenway)
I've heard it, but not often. When Ichiro's in town, you catch a few comments about his eyes coupled with the word "chink" from Angel crowd. Stuff like that doesn't get chanted by hundreds of people in unison, but they sure to get screamed by small handfuls of jerks in every ballpark. I think it's more a function of idiots trying to find the most hurtful thing to say to someone wearing the wrong uniform.
   27. covelli chris p Posted: April 23, 2008 at 05:00 PM (#2755784)
The worst thing I ever heard was when some guy in the CF bleachers called Brett Butler "Butthole" for 3 or 4 innings before passing out.

the worst i ever heard was when a couple drunks repeatedly mispronounced chone figgins' name in order to taunt him.
   28. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: April 23, 2008 at 05:11 PM (#2755801)

the worst i ever heard was when a couple drunks repeatedly mispronounced chone figgins' name in order to taunt him.


Those guys were ########.
   29. Answer Guy. Posted: April 23, 2008 at 05:15 PM (#2755803)
the worst i ever heard was when a couple drunks repeatedly mispronounced chone figgins' name in order to taunt him.


These are the things too many parents don't think about when they name their kids. I'd imagine that's a fairly common occurrence at opposing ballparks.

I was so disappointed the first time I heard that his name was just an unorthodox way to spell "Shawn." He was someone played a big role in winning a fantasy league (you hardly ever get that many steals from waiver-wire fodder) for me when he had his breakout year back in '04. Since I hadn't happened upon any Angels games until around the All-Star Break that year, I'd no clue how his name was pronounced.

I guess I could believe Hunter, but I imagine it was just one random drunk jerk rather than anything systemic. For one thing, Fenway's a lot less rough around the edges than it once was, both for better and for worse.
   30. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: April 23, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#2756141)
shocked I tell ya. Just shocked.
   31. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 23, 2008 at 10:20 PM (#2756148)
Those guys were ########.

Concur.

CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNE
   32. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: April 23, 2008 at 10:23 PM (#2756154)
You know Barry Bonds had similar comments.
as a matter of fact, he said he would never play for the Sox because of the racism, perceived or otherwise.
   33. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 23, 2008 at 10:31 PM (#2756161)
   34. Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: April 23, 2008 at 10:59 PM (#2756188)
The Eisenreich incident was awful. (He had Tourette's, I believe.)
   35. Answer Guy. Posted: April 23, 2008 at 11:04 PM (#2756196)
He did. I vaguely recall something like this occurring re: Eisenreich, though 1982 was a bit before my time. I'm, well I don't want to use the word "impressed" in this context, intrigued perhaps, that fans would know something like that about who was then an obscure player on another team that Red Sox fans wouldn't normally pay much attention to - and in 1982, a long time before the age of instant, widely available information about every player on every team.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 23, 2008 at 11:11 PM (#2756206)
The fans weren't the only ones to give Eisenreich a hard time. I remember hearing at one point about a controversy when a stadium announcer played the song "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On" right before one of his ABs.
   37. Lassus Posted: April 24, 2008 at 12:23 AM (#2756338)
He should have let's the tourette's take over in the press conference as a result:

"I hope these ####-for-brains products-of-cousins-and-siblings ####### ####### shitfaced piece of ugly ########## pighole #####-##### eat cat #### for dinner and vomit blood."

You know, or something like that.
   38. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: April 24, 2008 at 01:09 AM (#2756485)
The Eisenreich incident was an embarrassment to the team, the city, and the fans. But that doesn't mean there's organized racist chants going on in 2008. There simply aren't.
   39. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2008 at 01:20 AM (#2756520)
I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there would be an organized racist chant even against an opposing player (although to be honest I find it hard to believe that Eisenreich story, that is a new low in my opinion)

one time in St Louis the guy sitting near us, who was from Louisville would bark out the noise of a coon(at least that is what he claims they make, from my experience raccoons usually make the sound of a garbage can being knocked over or squashing sound) every time Willie McGee took his position. so I can believe one person or one small group acting like that, but more than that just seems unlikely.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2008 at 01:28 AM (#2756544)
this is disappointing.

although I may have yelled insensitive things at Josh Hamilton from the center field bleachers last weekend. but there is a distinction between drunken douchbag taunting and drunken douchbag race-intimidation taunting.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: April 24, 2008 at 01:35 AM (#2756567)
Ok the Eisenreich story isn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. I mean yes it's insensitive and all, but Eisenreich didn't even know he had Tourettes at the time, the thought was that it was psychological.
   42. Hecubot Posted: April 24, 2008 at 03:34 AM (#2756890)
I went to my first game at Fenway in 1986. I sat in the bleachers and was shocked to hear a nonstop torrent of racist abuse directed at their own leftfielder, Jim Rice.

It wasn't one guy. It wasn't a few drunken guys. It was very obviously what happened in the bleachers.

So people that can't imagine fans at Fenway exhibiting that kind of behavior aren't imagining hard enough. It happens.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: April 24, 2008 at 03:40 AM (#2756917)
Hecubot, were you in the left-field grandstand? because the LFer is mostly out of earshot from the bleachers.
   44. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: April 28, 2008 at 08:35 PM (#2761682)
I'm a few days late on this thread, but remember, Gary Matthews Jr last year also said that Fenway was one of the only places he'd hear racial insults. There is absolutely no reason to believe that he or Hunter or lying. Just because it isn't commonplace doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

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