Report: Yankees fans taunted Zack Greinke about his mother, battles with anxiety and depression

Bill Baer

This postseason hasn’t been the best look for the Yankees or their fans. Astros outfielder Josh Reddick was upset after Yankees fans hurled bottles and souvenir baseballs onto the field following a replay review that didn’t go in the Yankees’ favor. Astros skipper A.J. Hinch warned that if that behavior was repeated, he would pull his players from the field until order is restored. The Yankees even had to remind fans, via a message and a video featuring manger Aaron Boone, not to throw objects on the field.

Despite the warnings, Yankees fans continued to act crudely. NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty reports that at least one Yankees fan was ejected from the stadium on Thursday night as fans hurled insults towards Game 4 starter Zack Greinke while he warmed up in the bullpen. Fans, Kuty notes, insulted Greinke’s mother was well as his well-publicized battles with social anxiety and depression. The behavior was not limited to those at the stadium as Yankees fans on Twitter were also encouraging others to use Greinke’s mental illness against him.

With the caveat that every team’s fan base has a subset of fans that have acted terribly and will act terribly in the future, this reflects poorly on Yankees fans. It has occurred on the second-biggest stage of the baseball season and despite pleading from both teams. A player’s mental illness is not to be weaponized against him, nor is his family.

This kind of behavior is not unique in the Bronx. During the 2010 postseason, Yankees fans threw beer and spat at Kristen Lee, the wife of then-Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee. Lee said, “There were some people that were spitting off the balcony on the family section and things like that, and that’s kind of weak, but what can you do?”

Apparently Jumbotron messages aren’t enough.