A walk-off win for the New York Yankees was overshadowed by an ugly scene created shortly after by their fans.
Following Gleyber Torres' RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning that give the Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Guardians, fans in center field began throwing beer cans, bottles and other debris at Guardians outfielders.
As right fielder Oscar Mercado approached the wall to confront fans, items continued to get tossed onto the field, with Mercado at one point catching a beer can that nearly struck him in the face.
"You can celebrate and chirp all you want during the game, but don't try to get people hurt, that's not how things work," Mercado told reporters after the game. "Honestly, we are human beings as well, I personally am not going to just sit there and allow them throw stuff at me and take it like it's nothing."
Moments earlier, Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan was injured after colliding with the wall while trying to make the catch on a game-tying double by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Guardians centerfielder Myles Straw said as Kwan was being tended to, fans were making inappropriate comments. Straw then scaled the fence in center field to confront a fan.
"Some of the things that were said to him, just for me, weren't gonna fly," Straw said. "So my emotions got to me a little bit. But at that point, I feel like as a Yankees fan, you gotta be excited for your team. You should be cheering. A guy went head first into a hard wall. There's no business for saying what those guys said to him. It got to me a little bit. I said what I said. If I were to do it again, I probably would have said the same thing. That's my guy. At that point, just cheer. Be happy your team tied the game up and be a normal baseball fan and just enjoy what's going on."
Umpires and security went to the outfield and instructed the Guardians to leave the field. Members of the Yankees also came out to attempt to stop fans from throwing items onto the field, which Mercado said he appreciated and respected. Fans, he said, must be held accountable for their behavior.
"You can root for your team all you want, I'm not denying that, and honestly I think it's good for the game when people are die hard fans, but do it the right way," Mercado said. "There's a right way of doing things. It's easy for them standing outside of the field to be able to do and say whatever they want, but we're the ones that are out there busting our butts day in and day out, and the last thing we need is people cheering for us to get hurt or people trying to get us hurt by throwing things on the field."
Yankees manager Aaron Boone agreed.
“Obviously there’s no place for throwing stuff on the field,” Boone told reporters. “Obviously, we certainly don’t want to put anybody in danger. Love the intensity, but can’t be throwing stuff out on the field.”