Matt Adams, middle finger-waving Reds fan address ‘shoving’ incident (video)
By now you have likely seen the fantastic video from Thursday’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals at the Great American Ball Park where a Reds fan gives Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams the finger after the two jockeyed for a foul ball off the bat of Chris Heisey.
Adams leaped into the stands in an attempt to track down the foul ball, but the fan ended up on the winning side of this foul ball battle.
As Adams, halfway up into the seats in light of his effort, returned to the field of play, it appeared that he shoved, or more accurately, nudged the Reds fan with his glove.
The fan in question, Chris Smith, was reached for comment after the game.
Smith said he is three weeks removed from knee surgery and still is wearing a brace and using crutches. Because he was off-balance and still recovering, Adams’ nudge or push caused him to fall back into his seat.
This contact prompted Smith to flip the bird at Adams.
“He gave me a shove and I fell back,” Smith said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m pretty sensitive about my knee right now. I’m fresh out of surgery, it’s nothing to joke around about.”
A fan is allowed to attempt to catch a ball headed their way, so long as they don’t lean over into the field of play. Smith was in his rights to make a stab at snagging a souvenir.
“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,” he said.
Adams did defend himself after the game when asked about the incident, giving his side of the story.
When informed that he made contact with Smith with his glove, Adams denied any intent.
“I’m not that type of guy to go after anybody,” Adams said. “I was just trying to stop from going into the stands and stop from falling in there.”
Adams believes he would have made the catch had Smith not outreached him for the ball.
“I think so, I was in line for it and then I hit the tarp,” Adams said. “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.”
Insofar as Smith flipping him the bird is concerned, Adams didn’t seem overly worried over it.
“I heard the whole section was flipping me off,” Adams said, “but I can’t let that bother me.”
Let’s hope no lawsuits stem from this incident. It all seemed innocent enough, but you never know in this overly litigious era.