Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios had some harsh words for a fan who chided him as he left a charity gala dinner Thursday night. The exchange, which referenced Rios' dreadful five-strikeout showing at the plate (platinum sombrero!), was predictably caught on video and posted to YouTube.
On Friday, it was Rios' turn to apologize for the embarrassing incident.
"I just want to apologize for the situation that happened yesterday at the gala," Rios said. "I just want to apologize to my fans, to the team, to my teammates, because it was something I should have never done. It was a bad reaction on my side."
"That's not the person that I am," he said. "You shouldn't act like that, even if there's sites like that or people following you, trying to make you say bad things, you shouldn't act like that."
Rios admitted that his poor performance affected him and contributed to the blowup.
"It was a long day," Rios said. "I kicked myself, I couldn't help the team win. It was just bad."
Of course, every apology is dependent on the actual offense in question. And so, let's take a look at the evidence:
Warning: The below video has explicit language and is not safe for work.
As Rios heads to the car, he appears to ignore a kid's request for an autograph. Not too pleased with Rios, a man yells at him: "The way you played today Alex, you should be lucky somebody wants your autograph!"
Rios replies with "Who gives a [expletive]!? Who gives a [expletive]!?" before unleashing one last F-bomb on the critic, who keeps egging him on with "You're a bum! You're a bum!" The man also later remarks: "You forget where you come from?" as the footage ends.
Rios, who matched a club record Thursday by striking out in seven consecutive at-bats, was clearly agitated from the moment the heckling began. The fan's behavior was out of line, but pretty commonplace in actual games. If a star like Rios is going to answer back, he has to be absolutely sure it's in an innocuous way ... and doesn't include profanities in front of children while someone is videotaping.
In Rios' defense, the Blue Jays were dealt a heartbreaking loss earlier and have plummeted from first to third in the AL East. It's not the first or last time emotions will overflow. Still, I have a feeling Toronto fans will remember this tirade for a while. Until he starts hitting a ton, of course, then all will be forgotten.
Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios apologized after his profane exchange with a heckler was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube. "That's not the person that I am," Rios said. Click through to see more Internet scandals from the sports world.
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