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It might be time for the Rays to give Grant Balfour an extended vacation on the disabled list with a sore left attitude.

During the 11th inning of Tuesday night’s loss to the Tigers, Balfour had one of his worst performances of a season full of horrible performances. He faced four batters, walking three. He threw 12 pitches with only two in the strike zone. One of those strikes was a triple and the other was a foul ball on a ball out of the strike zone.

Here is the final pitch to Victor Martinez. That’s not even close.

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While that was bad, Balfour wasn’t done. After that pitch to Martinez, Joe Maddon came out and pulled Balfour.

What happened next was not shown on the Rays’ broadcast.

As Balfour was walking off the field, boos could be heard from the fans. After Sun Sports went to commercial, Balfour appeared to sarcastically tip his cap to the fans.

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Coincidentally, this came on the same day that Maddon criticized Rays fans for booing Jake McGee, noting that “That kind of reaction should never happen at your ballpark.” Maddon called the booing by Rays fans “unconscionable.”

No matter what your stance is on booing* what players can’t do is react negatively to the fans who help pay their salaries. Players will never win that battle, even in Tampa Bay, and especially when the player is playing horribly.

Last week, Joe Nathan of the Tigers was forced to apologize after making a gesture towards fans who were booing him. And that was during a game the Tigers won and he recorded the final out.

But Balfour still wasn’t done.

Balfour went Mad Australian on a Gatorade cooler in the dugout (via @WorldofIsaac). These antics are fun when the player doing them is playing well. But when it happens after three walks in the 11th inning of a loss, it just looks childish and classless.

Joe Maddon cannot be happy.

The best reaction to that came from James Krueger on Twitter who remarked “Actually I’m impressed he even touched it.”

Impressed indeed.

* I personally don’t boo players and would prefer others don’t. But I am not going to rip paying customers for being emotional.

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13 Comments

  1. Paco says:

    I've said it before and i'll say it again: booing is something only idiots do. Should not exist if you're a "fan" of a team. These guys are trying hard and booing can't conceivably help the team in any way. Don't do it.

    That said, Balfour should know better. Guess that's what you get when you ride your emotions in order to be successful.

    When will this team start giving some young guys extended time? Seems like we're just about there.

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  2. Dave L says:

    To be fair Maddon clarified his remarks about what he was upset about booing on the Duemig show yesterday. He specifically said he was upset to hear fans at the Trop booing 2014's shining bright spot, McGee for brushing back Saint Jeter.

    Booing a epically, totally sucking overpaid closer such as Balfour in glorious meltdown can't-even-get-one-guy-out form would happen in virtually every ballpark in MLB in 2014..... even Busch stadium probably.

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  3. casey says:

    And to that point...I think the 20,000 Yankee fans were the ones booing Jake because I would be applauding a high and tight fastball.

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    • Andrew says:

      yep, I was applauding the high and tight fastball during that game when I went, sucked there was so many "yankee" fans there that game ugh.

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    • Rob says:

      Yes, I agree. I think Maddon misinterpreted the boos. They weren't coming from Rays fans defending Jeter - they were coming from Yankees fans who outnumbered the good guys by a wide margin.

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    • Joe Dunn says:

      When Yankee fans come into OUR stadium, and OUR pitcher throws over to first when they have a runner on, and they BOO, I want to bitch slap each and every one of them.

      WORST visiting fans in sports.

      And NO I dont boo our players.

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  4. Rob says:

    If Balfour wants the Rays fans to show more decorum, then he should be a gentleman and tear up his contract and tell the Rays organization they can keep the rest of what they owe him. After all, he is not giving the team a fair return on their investment, so it would be the civilized thing to do.

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  5. Gus says:

    Balfour is a dope who can't pitch anymore. He has single-handledly blown 10 + games and is THE reason the Rays are out of playoff contention. Damaged goods from the day we re-signed him, like any other tough guy out of the bullpen (Percival, Gagne, Bell) when "it" leaves them, the results are very, very ugly. To have him and Heath Bell on the same roster in 2014 is some kind of bad karma for Rays fans (and poor Joe Maddon, who presumably must pitch these jokers).

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  6. Lane Meyer says:

    I am certainly not defending Balfour's performance last night but that "triple" was either a 3 base error or a single with a 2 base error. Kiermaier is young but he needs to learn his limitations quickly or he'll continue to hurt the team like that.

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  7. edward williams says:

    I believe that the fans have every right to boo, i don't do it , never have to our own players, but having said that as long as you are not using foul language or getting personel , you paid for your ticket, so you should have that right. As for Balfour, i didn't like the move in the beginning of the year, especially when they had that big press conference , I don't remember him being all that special when he was here the first time, but as a fan i was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, i trust the front office. I don't thing Joe Maddon was to thrilled with the idea though, just my impression , I wonder how much say Joe has in players.For some reason i just can't picture him taking Molina or Balfour, i could be wrong and i probably am. Oh well GO RAYS

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  8. Ken H says:

    Twice now in the past few games Balfour has thrown his teammates under the bus after a poor performance. Now he's sarcastically gesturing to the fans. All the gibberish posted about DFA/trading him early or not is just that: gibberish. The O's, leading our division, and in desperate need of bullpen help during the offseason, passed on signing him. They saw something they didn't like. They were right. We were wrong not to be wary. Koko Eaton should offer to pay part of his salary. He gave him a clean bill of health.
    As for Kiermayer, he's a rookie. He's playing like one. What's been unfair since he came up is the savior role many have put on him. 3 weeks into his call up he gets the nickname "Outlaw". It take a lot of MLB players a few years to get "the name". He has holes in his defensive game. And now, holes in his swing. Both, with proper coaching are fixable. If anything, he's guilty of buying into the hype promulgated by the broadcasters and the fans. He's playing like he believes that if he doesn't do the spectacular we lose. That ain't right.

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    • Ted Sheckler says:

      KK gave himself the nickname while he was in the minors. He has a shaky story behind where the nickname came from, but it's pretty obvious he gave it to himself. Cole Figueroa was publicly busting his chops about it earlier. And KK has always played like a psycho. It has nothing to do with fans treating him like a savior. Still, I like the way he plays. He's cost the Rays a few runs, but he's saved more. He just needs to tone it down a notch.

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  9. Kenny says:

    Coming soon to HBO
    EASTBOUND AND DOWN UNDER

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