The Phillies really need to get to the All-Star break.
They began the day looking to reach the .500 mark and close a stellar road trip with a series win in Boston, but attention quickly turned to the team’s announcement that four players — Aaron Nola, Alec Bohm, Connor Brogdon, and Bailey Falter — were placed on the COVID-related IL.
Alec Bohm tested positive, according to Joe Girardi, which puts him out for at least 10 days. He was asymptotic as of last night, Girardi said. The other three players were contact traced.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) July 11, 2021
That news was soon followed by a video surfacing on Twitter showing Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez getting into it with a fan before boarding a team bus.
That Ball’s Outta Here writer Matt Rappa shared the video late Sunday morning.
This led up to it. pic.twitter.com/Dp35rcK3jx
— Matt Rappa (@mattrappasports) July 11, 2021
Rappa’s first tweet claims a fan called Velasquez “pathetic.” The second tweet shows video of a fan telling him “learn how to pitch.”
Velasquez didn’t appreciate the comments, telling the fan to “shut up” and “I want to see your fat ass go and do it.” He then realizes fans are recording the confrontation, which probably should not have come as a surprise because it’s 2021, people have phones, and those phone have cameras.
The exchange raises a question about fan/athlete interaction. Fans have the right to be unhappy when an athlete doesn’t perform, but do they have the right to straight up insult a player? Does the player have the right to fire back?
It looks like there is a pretty good debate going on in the comments of Rappa’s tweet. One side seems to be in the “it’s part of the job/he’s not built for Philly” or the “don’t like it, pitch better” camp. The other is happy to see Velasquez stick up for himself.
Generally speaking, if someone is going to go after a player who’s just minding their own business, I can’t really fault the player for responding — unless maybe it comes from a kid who doesn’t know any better.
I wasn’t there and I didn’t see the lead up to the incident. If what we see here is pretty much the full story, then I gotta say, I don’t hate it. I guess I’m more of the “don’t dish it if you can’t take it” belief.