I heard that there was some serious Red Sox fan bashing happening over this past weekend. Baltimore radio announcer Joe Angel was really offended by all the Red Sox fans in the stands at Camden Yards, and that some people referred to the beautiful ballpark in Baltimore as "Fenway South." He in turn called Fenway Park on the air "a toilet."
As thoughtless, and as stupid a remark as that is, Gary Matthews of the Los Angeles Angels absolutely went Angel one better. He gave an interview to a reporter about Red Sox fans, and it left me just shaking my head. Here is some highlights, courtesy of The Boston Globe.
"They're loud, they're drunk, they're obnoxious," Matthews told a cluster of reporters, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
"They're one of the few places you'll hear racial comments . . . it's just different."
Matthews, who actually said he enjoyed playing in Boston and was smiling through much of his riff, was responding to a question about why the Angels have fared so poorly on their visits here. Since May 18, 2003, the Angels are 4-15 at Fenway.
"It's different from New York," said Matthews. "Yankee fans are passionate about their teams, but they're a little more couth. They have a little more class than Boston fans. At least in New York they appreciate guys who play the game hard and play the game right and they let you know it.
"In Boston, they just smack you for three straight days. They're just dogging you there the whole time. It's a different place."
This interview makes me wonder if Matthews was drunk when he gave it. Matthews is entitled to his opinion, but this was truly strange. And the part about the comparison of Red Sox and Yankee fans was so totally off-base I had to re-read it. Many times I have read the exact opposite when it comes to a comparison of the fan bases. Red Sox fans are the ones more knowledgeable, and who appreciate good play even from the opposition team. Every team has their louts (and the Sox have theirs), but in my experience at both parks, it's Yankee fans that have less couth than Red Sox fans. By far.
And "Yankee fans are more passionate (and classier) than Red Sox fans?" Who the hell is Matthews trying to kid? That statement is so lame it is beyond ridiculous. Red Sox fans are by far the most passionate fans in all of baseball, and Yankee fans aren't even close.
I can only imagine Matthews has had some bad experience at Fenway in the past, and hasn't let it go. And I really wonder why he picked now to give such an interview. The Angels come to Fenway this weekend, and if he thought Red Sox fans were rude and uncouth, he's now in for a weekend at the park he probably will never forget. The fans aren't going to let Matthews forget those steroid rumors that surrounded him earlier this year.
He may want to invest in a pair of earplugs. He's probably going to need them.