Two weeks ago Adam Jones, the starting centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles who also fancies himself a free spirit, world social media maven and loose-lipped athlete, repeatedly told our local fans to come back to the ballpark in 2011 and “knock the s**t outta Yankees fans” when they bring their money to Camden Yards.
Being the only real journalist left in Baltimore with a free voice (and, conversely, no Orioles press pass), I wrote a scathing blog here about this very public pronouncement made by Jones on video at www.baltimoresun.com that cost me a local sponsorship and got me roundly slammed by the morons, apes and trolls on various “hangout” message boards and web blogs for “being too negative” about the Orioles.
Well, it turns out, a couple of Los Angeles Dodgers fans took the “advice” of Adam Jones and now a 42-year old paramedic named Bryan Stow – same age as me, by the way – is in a coma in a Los Angeles hospital and his two children might never have a father again.
Think I was a little too hard on Jones now?
Or were the other local “media” members, afraid for their jobs and press passes and encouraged by their bosses to “just pretend Jones never said anything that dumb,” a bunch of cowards in not writing the truth about Jones’ overt and brazen stupidity in recommending that our fans get violent with Yankees fans in Baltimore?
This has been the biggest sports story on the West Coast this week, with Giants and Dodgers fans speaking out about the violence and the senseless pain of this not-so-random attack.
Today, perhaps I come to you as a blogger or entrepreneur or social media critic or washed up sports talk show host, but just know one thing: I’m a REAL fan. I’d be willing to bet you any amount of money that I have sat with visiting team gear on in the upper decks of more out-of-town ballparks and arenas than you have in my 42 years on the planet – 27 of them covering sports as a journalist and fan.
And I’ve seen it all. I’ve had dog bones thrown at me in the upper deck in Cleveland. I’ve been punched in the back of the head in New York while standing at a urinal. I’ve been cursed and MF’ed in Philadelphia. I even somehow managed to find a**holes in Green Bay and Nashville, who made it thoroughly unenjoyable to watch a football game in their “hospitable” stadiums with purple gear on in the stands.
As recently as four days ago in my home ballpark with the same black and orange jersey on as the home team I was accosted by a fan, who crossed the line between passion and abuse.
On Sunday afternoon in the bucolic and mostly empty confines of Camden Yards, as I was exiting the stadium in Sect. 32 with my Baltimore jersey on, holding hands with my wife and walking next to my son and his girlfriend – in seats amidst Orioles wives, families, etc. in a stadium where you can literally hear a pin drop most of the time – I was accosted by an angry Orioles fan who stood up, pointed at me from five feet away and screamed in his loudest voice, “Nestor you’re a F**KING JERK!”
As I wrote two weeks ago when the largest media conglomerate in the country (if not the world) had one of its pathetic, in-over-her-head employees sue me and two of my employees for