New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Guardians is restrained as fans throw debris on the field following Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees walk off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium on April 23, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

It was one of the more disturbing and bizarre scenes one could imagine at a baseball stadium. In the moments following the Yankees 6-5 walk-off victory over the Cleveland Guardians, Yankees fans started throwing garbage onto the field in the direction of the Guardians outfielders.

Both teams sprinted into the outfield to assist the Guardians players who were drawing the ire of Yankees fans. Even Yankees broadcaster John Sterling called the fans who threw garbage onto the field as “Hooligans,” and not “Yankees fans.”

Apparently the incident was precipitated earlier in the game after Isiah-Kiner Falefa tied the game on a double, Cleveland right fielder Oscar Mercado pointed at the stands and center fielder Myles Straw scaled the chain-link fence to confront a Yankees fan.

Straw later told reporters after the game that Yankees fans are the “classless…worst fanbase on the planet.”

This is not the first time that Yankees fans have behaved badly in the Bronx. Just last season a fan was banned for life after throwing a baseball at Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo.

And it isn’t just baseball where we have seen an influx of troubling player-fan interactions. The NBA has been littered with it. One can point to the infamous Malice at the Palace in Detroit all those years ago when Indiana Pacers’ Ron Artest ran into the stands to pulverize a Detroit Pistons fan who he thought threw a bottle at him.

Just last year when the NBA allowed fans back into arenas there were reports of fans throwing garbage at players. And just last week, Nets star Kyrie Irving flipped the middle finger at Boston fans during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

It is becoming disturbingly apparent that the lines between the players and fans are blurring.  The behavior on display by Yankees fans was reprehensible, and one that will stain a once proud fan base. Those who tossed garbage in the direction of the Cleveland Guardians should, and likely will face banishment from the ballpark.