Some Yankees fans really read Joey Gallo’s exit interview, combed through the part about being harassed on the street, and went, “Pshh, that never really happened … but what if it did? We should make sure that, someday soon, it does.”
While tensions were rising in the streets and in the ballpark after MLB’s rainout masterclass Monday night that left thousands of fans stranded for hours waiting for a Game 5 battle that never came, that’s still no excuse for blowing off steam at a player in public who’s just trying to leave and go home.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been a lightning rod for Yankees fans all season, and the man himself is relatively blameless in the discourse. He entered his Yankee tenure as a .265-hitting singles machine and above-average defensive third baseman/below-average defensive shortstop. He’d be a solid utility player on any team, but isn’t starter-quality at short.
The Yankees opted not to pursue the top free agent shortstops in lieu of IKF. They also opted not to promote their top prospects in his place once they were both ready. They also lied about Kiner-Falefa’s defensive acumen repeatedly, despite numbers the entire baseball world could read and process. All of those things are infuriating! None of them are the player’s fault.
And certainly none of them are reason to harass Kiner-Falefa as he’s driving away from the stadium on Monday night, one day after he was effectively benched with the ALDS on the line. You want your reputation as a fan base to improve? You want to regain the karmic edge? Do not do this.
Yankees fans harassing Isiah Kiner-Falefa on wrong side of history
Kiner-Falefa’s performance in this series, and this season, is irrelevant in this situation. You think he doesn’t know he has to play better to survive on this roster? You think he isn’t aware of his shortcomings after being plucked off the field and disposed of at the end of Game 3?
The Yankees should’ve started Oswald Peraza every day since early August, at the very latest, and they didn’t. That’s no reason not to let Kiner-Falefa leave the ballpark in peace.
Portions of this fan base have lost the plot. Back in the day, Yankee fans used to get dinged for harassing opposing players past the breaking point. Now it’s your own players?!
Kiner-Falefa is absolutely the type of throwback ballplayer some portions of this fan base dream of, if only he had the defensive chops at short that he’s displayed at third in the past.
He’s also, apparently, the type of ballplayer who some fans believe doesn’t deserve to drive home safely.
There. He’s leaving the field. Isn’t that what you people wanted all along anyway?