BOSTON - Rare is the night where awful play is outdone by hideous fans. Where the Red Sox can play as badly as Little Leaguers, but some people watching the game actually prove to be trash.
The disgusting, racist behavior directed at Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was far and away the worst thing to happen in a 5-2 Red Sox loss Monday night at Fenway. Jones, per his own words to USA Today, was called racial epithets multiple times, and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him. A team source confirmed an incident with Jones took place.
MORE ON ADAM JONES INCIDENT
- Orioles' Jones says Fenway fans used racist terms, threw peanut bag at him
- Red Sox release statement apologizing
- Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker condemn incident
An ongoing conversation about race in Boston, specifically the treatment of African-Americans, is only going to grow from here. Jones’ night demands that conversation pick up, not a deaf ear and excuses. It demands action from the Red Sox, too.
There will also be more baseball played — three more games against these Orioles with Jones in center field the next three days — and the Sox looked Monday like the worst 13-12 team you can imagine.
It can't get any crazier at Fenway. Marco Hernandez's inability to field a ground ball doesn't compare to the damage of some sad idiots, but the scene Monday was a mess where ever you looked.
Hanley Ramirez and Andrew Benintendi practically shared second base at one point as base runners, the former unaware the latter was standing there.
They can’t hit. They can’t field. For the second time in three days, the Sox made four errors in a game.
At least amongst the fans and media, the team’s leadership is in question, and they’ve boxed themselves into a corner when it comes to this hit-by-pitch war with the Orioles. Mookie Betts takes one to the hip on Monday. The most any Red Sox player would say about it was related to the count in the at-bat when Dylan Bundy threw his two hardest pitches of the night way inside to Betts. One hit him.
“I have no comment on that,” Rick Porcello said when asked about intent. “I can’t tell you what they’re thinking or trying to do there. What was the count, 2-1? Who knows? I don’t know. Thankfully, he’s all right and [we’ll] kick their ass tomorrow.”
Well, look at that, a little bit of fire. Try to find it anywhere else, and all you'll see is Fenway's framework starting to smolder.
Manny Machado hit one to the moon off Porcello. He made several amazing defensive plays — just ran right over the Red Sox. He dismissed the Sox as fast the Sox dismissed the idea that they could publicly call out the Orioles, show some fight.
Yet the state of the team will be an afterthought for Red Sox ownership when they wake up Tuesday.
The greatest travesty was what was said and done in center field, not what hasn’t been said and done elsewhere. Sox ownership has to explain what happened to Jones, then explain what steps will be taken to ensure it won’t happen again.
People shouldn't write this off as just a one-time thing. Jones told USA Today it’s happened multiple times, but Monday night was particularly bad. We've heard David Price talk about this same topic before.
What a miserable day at the ballpark.