Girardi asks fans to throw home run balls away from players
Gardner hit by errant toss after Bautista's fourth-inning homer
By Grace Raynor
NEW YORK -- After Jose Bautista blasted a solo homer over the left-field wall in the fourth inning of the Yankees' eventual 2-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday, one of the fans at Yankee Stadium retrieved the ball and threw it back on the field.
It's been a tradition of sorts for Yankees fans to throw balls from other teams' homers back on the field. But, in this case, the throw nailed Brett Gardner in the head. Gardner said his head was fine and that he does have a little bump, but no headache or any soreness.
"I don't know how far the ball got thrown back in, but it wasn't like it was coming from the second row," said Gardner. "So whoever threw it and hit me, I probably couldn't have heard them if they had tried to say anything anyway -- because it was a long ways away. It is what it is."
After the game, manager Joe Girardi had a request for the fans.
"That's kinda disappointing," said Girardi. "I know it's kinda tradition to throw it back. But at least aim away from the players if you're gonna do it. Please."
Mark Teixeira echoed that sentiment, but added his own creative flare to it.
"We need to tell the fans that you can insult, but you cannot assault," Teixeira told a group of laughing reporters. "We know you're upset. We lost three in a row. We're sorry. But just keep it to insults, not assaults."
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.