Future textbooks will include a video component just to show students this clip of Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo pulling out of the players’ parking lot on Monday night, the literal definition of f***ing around and finding out.
Though the seven-second clip is extremely short and only shows “Part II” of an interaction that occurred with many hours sandwiched in between the introduction and conclusion, Rizzo is spotted leaving Yankee Stadium with only one thing on his mind: telling someone who disrespected him to back off before he goes.
There’s something inherently disruptive about seeking autographs outside the gateways between a player’s personal life and his “show persona” on the field. Whether it’s gathering at the team hotel or lurking in front of cars, no player “owes you” that time; any generosity they show is entirely at their discretion.
It becomes clear, quite early in this video, that Rizzo spotted an autograph seeker flipping the bird in his direction earlier in the afternoon, and needed to make sure the kid knew that he saw everything before he pulled out.
Was the middle finger intended for Rizzo as he drove past the throng earlier in the day? Was it intended for a family member, as one Twitter theory posited? Does it really matter? Rizzo perceived clear disrespect, and he wasn’t about to sign for the responsible parties (a kid and, yes, obviously the adult behind him) in the aftermath.
Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo taught fan outside players’ entrance a lesson
Pair this with the viral autographed ball that Pirates top prospect Henry Davis signed for a kid who was sent out as bait by an adult autograph seeker, and it’s clear players are taking a stand against such fraudulent behavior.
The internet isn’t new to this. Now, when a Barstool personality tweets a video of Mike Trout “ignoring kids” at the hotel, most responders know those kids come with parents lurking, and that trying Trout at the stadium is a more appropriate move regardless.
There’s usually “more” to the story.
In this case, the story’s quite simple, though. A fan disrespected Anthony Rizzo’s time, and never expected to get caught. He still expected to “take” from Rizzo, hours later.
Rizzo noticed, and wouldn’t stand for it.