Photo by Lauren Mitchell

Photo by Lauren Mitchell

Adam Jones had a big old Sunday, capping a 4 RBI day with a 3 run shot in the ninth inning against the Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco. He probably trotted out to the outfield in the bottom of the ninth feeling pretty alright with the world, knowing that his team is in the playoff hunt, and beating the utter crap out of horrible teams like the San Francisco Giants 10-2 is what you have to do to take care of business and make the playoffs.

Unfortunately, as we learned after the game, somebody threw a banana at Jones in the ninth inning while he was manning center field. Alarmingly, we never even would have known about this if Jones himself hadn’t tweeted about it after the game:

I love Adam Jones – he never walks, he hits a lot of home runs, he plays awesome defense, and he coins words like ‘Slapdick”. Seriously, I love him.

Some background on this: for those that don’t know, throwing bananas at black players is a pastime of the sick, racist, ignorant fuckers who frequent Eastern European soccer matches. It happens a lot in Italy, too. It’s gotten so bad that AC Milan has walked off the pitch in the middle of a game twice this year because of bananas being thrown and monkey chants being directed at players. I have never heard of it happening in American sports, though, which is why I found it pretty surprising and disheartening.

To add to this serious display of class, much of the trolls that roam the Twittersphere (I threw up in my mouth a little bit when I wrote that word) defended the man’s actions, with a certain Eagles fan (first of all, why is he commenting on this, and second of all, of course it’s an Eagles fan) claiming “[Maybe] he happened to have a banana and throw it. Doesn’t mean it’s racist”, “You can’t just assume it’s racist”, and, the best of all, “It’s ignorant to think that that’s racist”.

Where did this banana come from, you ask? I wanted a snack at the ballgame that was high in potassium! The Giants are losing, you say? Guess I’ll throw it at the opposing center fielder! Stay classy, America.

Fast forward to Monday, when said banana throwing Giants fan came clean to the San Jose Mercury News, saying that he didn’t mean it as a racist gesture – he was just upset at how the game had gone! Apparently when you’re a grown 42 year old adult and your awful, last place team is getting savagely beaten by a team that actually knows how to play baseball, the correct reaction is not to go home and drink yourself to sleep; it is to innocently throw vitamin rich, starchy fruits in the general direction of the opposing All Star center fielder. So that’s where I’ve been getting it wrong my entire life!

There’s a lot to take from this, and none of it is good for the Giants. Either this dude is lying through his teeth and he actually meant it to be racist, which I really don’t believe (otherwise, why would he turn himself in); or he’s just a complete idiot. The latter is way more likely in my mind, but ohhhhh boy, put another feather in the cap of the Defending World Series Champions. Another great part of the story? He stole the banana off a concession cart. Banana thief!

I think the general reaction to this by the parties that be, including the Giants, has been spot on. You have to assume the worst here and respond with absolute outrage, as this has a huge and nasty historical precedent. My coworker asked me “Would it have been different if it was an orange?” Of course it would have been! They are completely different fruits with completely different underlying symbolism! Throw an orange towards Adam Jones, you are a weirdo chucking citrus fruit who needs to go home and take a cold shower. Throw a banana, you are channeling right wing European extremist racist psychos. It might sound funny, but it’s totally true.

In any case, of course this would happen at a Giants game. What makes it a relief, and what makes it funny, is that it doesn’t seem like it was intentionally racist. And that, my friends, is what could only be achieved by a Giants fan – being unintentionally horribly racist.

Actually, now that I think about it, a Mets or Cubs fan could definitely strive to achieve that goal.