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Yankees understand fans’ frustration, but ‘hated seeing’ field littered during ugly loss

NJ.com logo NJ.com 4/17/2021 Randy Miller, nj.com

Yankees fans filled Yankee Stadium to the pandemic limit 20% capacity again for Friday night’s homestand opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, and once again some of the 10,202 paying customers targeted the $29-million-a-year designated hitter. Before Giancarlo Stanton accounted for both Yankees runs in an ugly 8-2 loss, he was 0-for-2 with a fourth-inning strikeout that woke up the boobirds.

Yankees players don’t like it when the home crowd gets on them, but they all get it. What they couldn’t tolerate was the handful of fans who provided the biggest eyesore of the evening by reacting to the poor play by throwing objects onto the playing field.

“You hate seeing that,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Unfortunately, a handful of people end up doing it and it looks bad for everyone. It’s unfortunate that that happened.”

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Left fielder Clint Frazier was at the plate leading off the Yankees eighth with Tampa Bay up six runs when fans began throwing baseballs and other objects onto the field.

“That’s the first time I think I’ve experienced that,” Frazier said.

Pitcher Michael King, who had worked three shutout innings of relief, was caught off guard watching the ordeal from a clubhouse television.

“Originally, I was kind of confused as to what was going on,” King said. “But then when I heard … I’m sure (the lopsided score) frustrated fans, but just like us, they’ve got to keep their composure, too.”

Sitting in the Yankees dugout, Stanton feared the situation could worsen as baseballs sailed from the stands near Rays outfielders.

“Hopefully it was going to stop immediately and none of their players got hit,” Stanton said. “I was hoping it didn’t come to a point where they had to stop or call the game.”

The game only was delayed for a minute or so, then the Rays finished of a clobbering that left the Yankees with an 5-8 record after 13 games.

Boone knows fans are frustrated. He is, too. After the final out, he called a team meeting and chewed out his players.

“Sure, I understand,” Boone said. “We have as passionate a fan base with understandable high expectations, as does every guy in our room have those same expectations. We expect to play better. We also understand that adversity is going to hit us at some point. It’s certainly at our doorstep right now. We’ve got to answer it and we got to find out what kind of club we are when we’re going through a tough time.”

Stanton urged fans to be patient.

“It’s not time for panic button,” he said. “Obviously, it hasn’t looked pretty out there, but we’re still early and there’s plenty of time to turn it around and be where we need to be.”

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Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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