The American League Division Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox has cast a spotlight on the Rays' rookie right fielder, Wil Myers. The Boston fans seem to have selective memory in how they have chosen to handle the situation.
Myers is one of the hottest young names in baseball. A "can't miss" prospect who was traded to the Rays by the Kansas City Royals, Myers has found himself in the middle of the postseason in Tampa. His bat is a thing of beauty, and for the most part, his defensive work is fairly sound. He has seldom failed to impress those watching his work on the field.
As the division series opened between the Red Sox and the Rays, Myers found himself at the scrutiny of all watching when a routine fly ball off the bat of David Ortiz would turn into a ground-rule double when the youngster inexplicably gave up on the catch. The video from MLB.com.
Announcers assumed that foul play may have been involved from the Red Sox bullpen as there was no reason for Myers to suddenly pull forward and let the ball drop in. Myers was quick to dispute that report, as Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com pointed out in her wrap-up:
"I saw [center fielder Desmond Jennings] out of the corner of my eye; [the] center fielder has priority," said Myers, who didn't lose his tracking on the ball but thought that perhaps Jennings had said something to signal he had it.
"It was totally my fault. I messed it up."
An honest mistake from a young outfielder that eventually led to a big inning for the opposition. Harmless as it may have been at the time, Red Sox fans enjoyed showing their appreciation for the young man's miscue by greeting him with loud cheers as he was announced prior to the second game of the series.
Noted: #Rays Wil Myers got mock cheer from Fenway fans during intros; still went over & signed some autographs before heading back to dugout— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 5, 2013
The crowd would once again rise to their feet in a mock ovation as Myers caught a routine fly ball later in that same game. A Red Sox crowd, no doubt fueled by the resurgence of the team this year, found reason to repeatedly taunt the young outfielder for his gaffe the night before.
Myers handled himself with class, finding reason to laugh at the reaction of the crowd and allow himself a moment to enjoy the moment around him despite the uncomfortable nature. Most surprising is that the Red Sox fans felt the need to ridicule the opposing player in this instance.
Because Red Sox fans have no idea how traumatic a defensive miscue in the postseason can be, right?
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