The Baltimore Orioles' Adam Jones claims a fan at AT&T Park in San Francisco threw a banana in his direction during his team's 10-2 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon.
UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 12, at 7:12 p.m. ET
Jones responded to the fan who confessed to throwing the banana, via Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun:
Adam Jones: "It’s unfortunate that things happen like that, but it ain’t gonna stop me, myself and the #Orioles. We have games to win. ..."— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) August 12, 2013
Jones: "...Its mid-August. Ive got a bigger concern on my head than someone’s ignorance or act of whatever. You know what I mean?" #Orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) August 12, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 12, at 5:19 p.m. ET
From Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News:
Longtime fan Alexander Poulides claims to have thrown banana on field and says he is embarrassed and shocked by outcry .... #SFGiants— Daniel Brown (@mercbrownie) August 12, 2013
... Poulides says he threw banana in disgust at #SFGiants and said was not racially motivated toss at Adam Jones. He apologizes profusely.— Daniel Brown (@mercbrownie) August 12, 2013
Brown later wrote an article on the incident with more details:
"Oh, my god,'' Poulides said. "I threw a banana on my way out."
Poulides, 42, said he grabbed a banana off a catering cart and hurled it toward the field in disgust at the Giants near the end of a 10-2 loss at AT&T Park on Sunday. The banana apparently sailed toward Jones, who tweeted about the incident after the game.
As the Giants launched an investigation, Poulides reached The Mercury News via e-mail and subsequent phone call to claim credit for what he called "an indiscretion."
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, Aug. 12, at 1:40 p.m. ET
The San Francisco Giants released a statement regarding the banana being thrown at Jones:
We were extremely disappointed to learn about the incident involving Adam Jones at AT&T Park yesterday. The Giants have a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior, which results in immediate ejection from the ballpark. While we have been investigating the matter since we learned of the situation, unfortunately we have been unable to identify the person responsible. We would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Adam and the entire Orioles organization for this unfortunate incident. The inappropriate actions of this individual in no way reflect the values of our organization and our fans.
---End of update---
Jones took to Twitter to call out the fan, per ESPN:
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had plenty to be pleased about following Baltimore's 10-2 road victory over the Giants, but a possible racially motivated incident forced the All-Star to take to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
"I want to thank whatever slapd*** threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jacka**," Jones tweeted to his more than 129,000 followers.
Jones, who is black, went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs Sunday.
Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun first reported the Giants are going to look into the situation:
Giants senior director of media relations Jim Moorehead said Sunday night that the Giants received no reports of any incident of anyone throwing an object onto the field in the bottom of the ninth inning, but added that the club will follow up Monday by reviewing the stadium's security cameras.
Jones also went on the offensive against the fans who are supposedly defending the individual responsible:
I love how some ppl are defending the actions by someone today. Shows how u really are also. All good wit me. I just #StayHungry— Adam Jones (@SimplyAJ10) August 12, 2013
Soccer fans are no strangers to these kinds of incidents and stories, as black players have been the target of countless racially charged incidents involving overt racist chants, taunts and actions—often involving banana peels and monkey noises—all across European stadiums the past few decades.
Though the sport has done a commendable job combating such heinous acts, it is an act that continues to periodically rear its ugly head, with AC Milan's Mario Balotelli often a victim of the most virulent hatred.
However, this is not the kind of act you'd associate with American fans (at least, anytime in the last three or four decades).
Given the amount of photographers, television cameras and fans with smartphones present in an average ballgame, the fan will be identified and punished accordingly. It goes without saying, acts like these have no place in the game. There's a fine line between heckling a player and outright racism.
This is not the kind of news baseball will want to see in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal. It's not as if MLB could have done anything to prevent this—it's just more negative press to pile on top of what had already been a black cloud hovering around the game.