The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds have had a pretty intense rivalry since brawling late in the 2010 season, and Reds fans don't exactly roll out the red carpet when the Cardinals playing at Great American Ball Park, especially when a player crosses the line.
During Thursday's rubber game between the two teams, there was an unfortunate incident involving St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams and a Cincinnati fan named Chris Smith. Adams chased a ball into the stands, but the fan came up with the ball:
The ball was in the stands, so the fan had every right to the ball. In fact, that's what hometown fans should do.
After the play was over, Adams gave Smith a slight shove with his glove while getting up off the tarp. That move led to a not-so-friendly response from the Reds fans, which was caught on live television:
The Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans managed to catch up with the fan, who had a knee brace on and crutches with him:
He gave me a shove and I fell back. I'm pretty sensitive about my knee right now. I'm fresh out of surgery, it's nothing to joke around about.
I didn't reach over, I stayed where I was, I couldn't reach out if I tried, because I can't hit my knee on anything.
The fan apparently didn't take kindly to having to worry about his knee. Smith's gesture wasn't the classiest move, but it was his initial reaction to being shoved by an opponent.
No Reds fan can say that it was a violent shove by Adams. However, the Cardinals first baseman denied that it was an intentional shove, per Rosecrans:
I'm not that type of guy to go after anybody. I was just trying to stop from going into the stands and stop from falling in there.
I think so [when asked if he would have caught the ball], I was in line for it and then I hit the tarp. I heard it hit his glove and figured he caught it because I didn't feel it come into mine. I was just trying to stop from falling in there. They have some pretty good fans on that side — and then that other guy caught a hot shot right behind the dugout.
I heard the whole section was flipping me off, but I can't let that bother me.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also downplayed the situation, although Rosecrans isn't sure that the skipper had seen the incident:
Matt Adams, Mike Matheny say Adams was just trying not to go into the stands when he shoved fan. Tough to stand behind that w/ video, though— ctrent (@ctrent) April 4, 2014
I don't think Matheny actually had any idea there was contact. His story may change after he sees video — or he may just double down— ctrent (@ctrent) April 4, 2014
It was an unfortunate incident between the two heated rivals in the opening series of the season. All three games were decided by one run, so there was plenty of emotion throughout the stadium this week. The Cardinals won Thursday, 7-6, and won the season-opening series, 2-1.