During the ninth inning of Sunday's game, with Boston on the ropes with 2 outs and trailing by 2 Evan Longoria chased a foul ball into the stands where he would've made the play and ended the game had a fan not reached out and caught the ball first, thus extending the game.
Longoria then proceeded to scream, and I mean scream, at the fan for interfering with the catch, which is unacceptable by any means, but more so in this particular situation considering he (the fan) was in the third row of seats, not reaching over the wall, and also that he (the fan) was watching the ball the whole way trying desperately to catch a souvenir for his 6 year old son who was standing right there with Dad when (quite possibly his hero) Longoria came crashing in to the stands and started screaming at them.
Heat of the moment? Maybe. I gave Evan more credit than he deserved because I figured that after the game ended he'd at least cast an apologetic glance in their general direction, or make a grand gesture by going over and signing the ball, but alas he did neither.
As we now know the play in question had no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the game, but just moments after the game Troy "I'm going home for the playoffs, cuz I'd rather work on my classic truck than support my team" Percival was seen screaming obscenities at the same fan. Seriously? At this point the game is over which means that instead of letting it go considering that it had no effect on the outcome Percy decided to harbor the anger and curse at one of the people who helps pay his salary. If Evan's behavior was unacceptable in the heat of the moment then there is absolutely no doubt that Fatty McFluffnuts' behavior was completely unacceptable. Period. You're a 97 year veteran, who's supposed to be in Tampa to represent a mature veteran presence, act that way.
So given how inappropriate Longoria and Percivals' behavior was, we (or most of us) just naturally assumed that Maddon would speak-out against such juvenile behavior and we'd all move past this. Wrong. Maddon instead exasperated the ordeal, compounding the damage by actually joining his cohorts in chastising this poor fan who was not only screamed at by the game's future best player, but also cursed at by a fat, redneck, future hall of famer. Unforgivable.
I'm thoroughly disappointed in all three of these characters, especially Papa Smurf and my personal favorite player, Longoria. This sort of behavior is the crap I'd expect out of other AL East foes not to be mentioned *cough* New York, Boston *cough* not out of the humble, fun-loving Rays. Don't let the stress of a rough start force you to forget what got you here. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, and for this openly ridiculous behavior you, Evan Longoria, Troy Percival, and Joe Maddon are all ON-NOTICE (see sidebar)!
*there's a nice post and debate about this over at Rays Index as well.
**In a related note; Gabe Kapler has been forgiven for being struck out by Nick Swisher, and has been subsequently removed from the "on-notice" list.