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So aside from the regular game posts, I had to get up a bit
about this. I posted it on Twitter, and
tons of people seemed intrigued, so I figured I’d shoot up this story quick.
Here is what I witnessed.
All is fact, and anything that I cannot confirm will be noted as
something I’m guessing (or of the sort).
During the bottom of the 8th inning at Oriole
Park earlier tonight (April 7), Jose Valverde approached two fans and spit at
one of them, shooting his wad of gum at the pair.
It started in the middle of that frame when the two fans
walked up to the break in the bullpen walls at Camden Yards during the
Tigers/Orioles game and started shouting at the Tigers sitting on the bullpen
bench. My friend Tim heard one of them
(in an orange shirt, and though I can’t confirm it was an Orioles shirt, I saw
it as Orioles orange opposed to Tigers orange) shouting something about Joel
Zumaya. As we walked away to grab seats
at the end of the rows (hoping for a HR ball), we looked over from about 20
feet away, and Valverde approached the fans at the edge of the pen. Of course, my camera was in my bag a section
away. But, here is the vantage point of
the fans. I took this as the game ended
afterward, as you can see the Tigers pitchers walking away. But it shows where they were and where Jose
came to that front corner to stand close to them:
What we saw was Jose walking over to these shouting fans,
looking quite intimidating and a bit PO’d in my opinion. As he got there, said a few words, then
signaled with two fingers for the fan (or both) to come closer. Within 10 seconds, he followed that by
spitting at the fan (or both (again, I don’t know what they really said that
ticked him off or if it was just one of them or what)). It was a legit spitting motion at them, in
which he spit a huge wad of gum at them.
Here are two pictures I took of the gum on the ground of the bullpen
below (the space between the Tigers pen area and the seats, as in the ground of
the Orioles pen area). The first is a
close up of the wad. It was huge. Second is zoomed out but quite blurry.
Valverde, after the spit, turned around and walked back to
his seat. Fans around were shocked. The two guys saw the cop in the bullpen
coming into the Tigers pen, so they ran out of the row, up the stairs, and out
of the section (not sure why, unless they said something horrible, since Jose
spit at them, and just to note, nobody saw the guys spit at Jose or make any
physical motions towards him, so it seemed to be words that provoked him). The cop came all the way over to the same
spot Jose was standing during the incident, saw that they were gone, called
someone on his radio, and left. So who
knows what happened there.
Witnesses: I was with
my friends Tim and Ben for most of
the game, both of whom saw this. Another
friend, Matt (and his friend) were
nearby and talking with us when we saw Valverde approach them, and they both
saw it. The fans in the section who were
actually closest to the event all saw it, but had no new info as to what
happened when I asked besides what we saw.
So yeah. Who knows
what will come of this. If anything (Does
MLB suspend for such a thing? I mean, if it was at a player, there would be
suspension, so I don’t know why at a fan is any better or excusable. But again,
I do not know what was said, so I am just coming from the position of seeing
them what looked like heckling him and he did this. That’s it.). Just wanted to share.
Valverde had a stomach bug earlier in the week. Maybe about that?
And I got a few pics of him talking with Orioles pitcher
Mike Gonzalez during BP:
And I hope to get game posts for Wednesday and Thursday’s
games up tomorrow, as I will be at all 3 games this weekend against the