This morning we gave Troy Percival a bit of a pass because we were not certain that his antics following Sunday’s game were directed at a fan. However, several sources informed us that Percival was indeed directing his rant and obscenities at the fan.
To recap: With two outs in the ninth inning, Evan Longoria leaned into the stands to catch a foul ball that was ultimately caught by a fan sitting in the third row. While we understood Longoria’s frustration, we thought his reaction was a little over the top.
But what is absolutely inexcusable was the behavior of Percival. Several moments after the final out, Percival gestured toward the fan and yelled at least one obscenity in a fit of rage.
No matter what you feel is the proper etiquette of the fan in that situation, keep in mind that the fan did nothing illegal, and he did not intentionally interfere with the game. It may have been wrong, but it was at worst, an innocent mistake.
Under absolutely no circumstances is it acceptable for a major league baseball player to scream obscenities at a fan.
It is definitely unacceptable to scream obscenities at your own fans.
And it is downright unforgivable to scream obscenities at a fan who is standing with his young son.
While Longoria’s actions could be considered, “in the heat of the moment,” Percival’s came a couple of minutes later and were clearly premeditated.
If Percival is not suspended or at least fined by Major League Baseball or the Tampa Bay Rays it sends the wrong message to the fans and it will leave an ugly taste in our mouth.
And to Mr. Percival: You are an embarrassment. You haven’t done squat for this team in almost a year, so don’t think your hall-of-fame career has earned you any free passes with us. And last time we checked YOU have cost the Rays a hell of a lot more wins than that one fan.