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Chad Qualls is not enamored with San Francisco Giants fans. And the feeling is mutual.

Jul 7, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Chad Qualls

On Tuesday night, Padres pitcher Chad Qualls irked some Giants players and some fans when he spiked the baseball and yelled after tagging Andres Torres out at the plate.  We can argue whether the Giants — who have a number of players who are demonstrative, flashy and just plain silly — have any standing to take issue with Qualls, but justified or not, there is some tension there.  Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that San Francisco talk radio was buzzing with serious Qualls hate all day yesterday.

Don’t expect that tension to be reduced any after Jenkins’ story, however, because Qualls — while speaking pretty truthfully based on what my San Francisco correspondents have told me — added some fuel to the fire, at least with the fans, when he had this to say about playing in beautiful AT&T Park:

“Playing in San Francisco, you gotta understand, when you’re warming up two feet from the fans, they’re not telling you how good you are or telling you how glad they are that you’re warming up. They’re calling you every name in the book, every cuss word in the book. To shut them down on an inning where we’re ahead, it’s kinda putting it to the city and the fans, because they’re just wearing you out on a consistent basis as you’re warming up, spitting on you, calling you anything they want. The later the game, the more drunk they are, the more harsh the words.”

Like I always say in such situations, Chad: don’t go halfway with this. Make it a full heel-turn.  Feed on their anger and take it as over-the-top as you can.  It may make road trips to San Francisco hard in the short term, but in 20 years you’ll be asked to come up for speaking engagements and dinners and conventions and all kinds of good stuff because everyone loves a villain.

  1. cshearing - Jul 7, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    Don’t want an opponent to celebrate and “embarrass” you? Don’t lose to them. Simple solutions are the best. Anything else is whining.

    • kopy - Jul 7, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      Exactly. And like Craig alluded too, I can think of a certain Giants relief pitcher that is pretty flashy and celebratory in his own right. Just play to win.

      • kopy - Jul 7, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        I’m also not a fan of where the Giants’ 3rd base coach was standing on the play, which I saw from this picture on gaslampball.com

        http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/654469/flannery_out_of_the_box_medium.JPG

      • kopy - Jul 7, 2011 at 9:16 AM

        Not the same play, but the first inning of the same game. I tried to click the edit button but it didn’t work.

      • thomas2727 - Jul 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Heath Bell overacts to meaningless saves more than any closer I have ever seen.

        Great job on that save Heath. It improved your record to 39-57.
        You would think every save this guy gets is the 7th game of the World Series with his fist pumping antics.

        Too bad for him he has never saved a game that really means anything.

    • sbostwick49 - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      There are SO many unwritten rules in Major League baseball. Many are not even known to some of the more avid fans. What Chad Qualls did is one of the more obvious unwritten rules you do not violate. I like what he had to say though. I’m from the Bay Area and have been to a lot of parks around the nation. AT&T Park’s bullpens, like he says, are SO close to the fans and I can only imagine the junk that was coming out of fans mouths. So, I take no offense to what he said and actually don’t think that it adds any fuel.

      Having lived in San Diego for more than ten years, I find it funny that the “fan base”, and I use those words loosely, think that Giants fans are whining. Had the roles been reversed the town, or I should say the small collection of folks who actually pay attention to one of the most insignificant clubs in the league, would be up in arms to say the least. Not to mention their broadcast team on both TV and radio who are the most nonobjective commentators since the Braves crew of the early 80′s. They are horrible and are on the lookout to hate a player of another team and have been desperately searching for someone to hate since Bonds “retired”. This mentality screams NO CHAMPIONSHIPS from any team in San Diego. They are such a bitter and fair weather fan base which makes them interesting from a psychological perspective.

      Back to the incident. In most sports, what Qualls did would result in a technical foul, personal foul penalty, etc. That’s what happens when a player “shows up” another player and as a result the entire team. Qualls is in a great position to do so since he’ll never step in to the batter’s box. If he did, dude’s getting plunked. Am I wrong? There is a failure to see the other side of this and that is why now the Giants and their fans are “whiners”.

  2. mornelithe - Jul 7, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Personally, I don’t care what a fans reasoning is. Have we learned nothing from the LA incident? Fans need to grow up a little bit, I think. You can not like a player, you can not like a team, but acting like a child, spitting, throwing things, spewing a constant stream of vitriol at an opposing team. I forgot, we’re all adults, right? We learned..in like middle school, how to act responsibly, correct?

    We saw fans acting like complete scumbags in the NBA last year, we’ve already seen signs of MLB fans acting the same part this year. When are we going to wake up, and start holding fans accountable? Personally, if I were a player, and a fan was doing this, I’d have security remove him. And make up anything I wanted, just to that end. ‘He said he was going to kill me’. That’ll work just fine.

    You wanna lob threats, and filth at players? Do so from your own home. You can cheer your own team, without sinking to child-like levels when rooting against the opponent.

    • youravgjoe42 - Jul 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      You had me until you said the athletes should make up stuff. The fans should grow up. Particularly abusive fans should be removed. But athletes don’t need to exaggerate or lie to protect themselves.

      • mornelithe - Jul 7, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        @ Youravgjoe42: If it takes the players making things up, in order for fans to be held accountable, so be it. It’s like, they literally have to point a gun at a player in order to see some reaction. That’s not the case in Basketball, I’ve seen players be removed for things that MLB, or Stadium Officials simply turn a blind eye too.

        It’d be _really_ nice, and I’d be much much more in favor of it being taken care of without having to resort to such things. But, the reality is, we’ll wait until someone gets beaten nearly to death before addressing it. And even then, the actual issue of fan treatment of players, really isn’t the issue. It’s that someone committed assault/battery/attempted homicide of an individual.

        Players are pretty protected on the field, I’ve no actual concerns for their safety. Simply, the fans shouldn’t be exhibiting such behavior, it shouldn’t be condoned, nor should a blind eye be turned to it. If people can man up, grow up, and tone it down. Make examples out of them, BEFORE, it becomes a beating in a parking lot, and before players start taking matters into their own hands.

      • mornelithe - Jul 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        3rd sentence, 9th word should read ‘fans’ not ‘players’

    • sbostwick49 - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      fans heckling players, even throwing objects like syringes at players, is and always has been part of the game. The players can either tune it out like some can or use it as motivation like Qualls did. Fans DO need to consider who is around and know their audience. Drunken obscenities can be funny but not everyone has the same sense of humor. I cringe at the stupid things that came out of my mouth in my early twenties.

      • mornelithe - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        And…that makes it right? I see, so people have always been scumbags, why try to correct an issue that’s only getting worse? Your logic is infallible.

    • hlang - Jul 7, 2011 at 5:20 PM

      This player did make things up. So I guess you got your way. He made up being spat at. He made up the story that he was subjected to torrents of filth. I can pretty much guarantee that today he is likely to hear stuff he’s never heard before as people try to live up to his tall tale. But they’ll have to do so within the constraints of reality at AT&T: security is vigorous, many people (especially those in expensive seats) complain at the drop of a single f-bomb, and people are removed for drunkenness, swearing, and doing anything that affects the field of play (including, of course, the made-up spitting at players). So he’ll get his ears burnt after this, no question — but the heckling still will not live up to the self-pitying fantasy he dished out to the SD reporter. Now if he were an outfielder, maybe. There is not the same level of enforcement on behavior in the bleachers. Not nearly so much old money out there.

      • mornelithe - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        I see, so you apparently have inside knowledge of what was said to him? And he’s automatically a liar, because, hey you know better than someone who was actually there. Right, Gotcha.

        Comment taken with a grain of salt: +1

      • hlang - Jul 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        Yeah, I do have inside knowledge. I’ve sat in that section for hundreds of games. The chance that Qualls was subjected to continuous profanity and spat upon is nil. Fans there complain about prolific cursers. Ushers and security warn then toss. Anybody who spat on the field, much less on a player, are very likely to be reported (if not directly observed by security) and led away. Qualls is apparently a sensitive soul. “[Giants fans are] not telling you how good you are or telling you how glad they are that you’re warming up.” That’s realistic, right? Although if I were there there that night (and if I were a heckler) I *would* have yelled how happy I was to see him warming up.

        He probably heard some curse words. Poor guy. He also probably heard everything crappy about his current and career performance, because *that* is the section’s mainstay heckling tactic, and is no doubt hurtful (they’re pretty mean on Zito, too, but he’s farther away). He plays for a team that draws bigger crowds on the road than they do at home. No doubt he has learned to expect respectful silence at all times.

        He was trying to justify his outburst on the field (which, frankly, was dumb but insignificant). Like any shifty, sensitive child, he exaggerated and lied to distract from his own behavior.

      • mornelithe - Jul 8, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        @ Htang: I fail to see how your presence at hundreds of games…but not this game in question, has anything to do with the situation at all. It’s obvious Mr. Qualls isn’t a very popular figure in San Fran. And given how absurd fans have become throughout all sports, it seems highly dubious that you’d simply chalk it up to a player lying.

        The other thing is, condoning stupid, adolescent and childish behavior from adults, simply because…oh, that’s how it’s always been. Yeah, right, tell that to Bryan Stow. If you can’t see this is getting worse, than well, it doesn’t matter what I say, the blinders are on, and have been on for quite some time for you.

        Just because a player isn’t performing as expected, gives noone, I repeat, noone the right to act like some of these fans do. Sorry, it’s just that simple. I don’t see Boston fans tearing on Carl Crawford, in fact, I see a great deal of support from the Sox community. I stand by my original statement, the League and Stadium officials need to start stepping up and holding more fans accountable. If that’s not done, the players should start taking action on their own. Removal from a game, and loss of the money you spent on the tickets, should at least, prove a point.

      • hlang - Jul 8, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        You don’t think knowing what the standards of behavior and means of enforcement in that area are has relevance? You are utterly immune to evidence.

        What I’m saying is, there are dozens and dozens of people like you seated there. People willing to make a huge deal out of their own sensibilities, and willing as well to project those onto players. Those people are generally rich and exhibit a gliding sense of entitlement, and they are quick to call security. As simple market mechanics will inform you, the Giants provide a great deal of security — and have a simple standard for dealing with those who annoy their most valued (and often most clueless and annoying) customers. That is how it is. You wouldn’t let what Qualls alleges occur (I wouldn’t like it either, although I wouldn’t call the gendarmes and encourage perjury as you do to stop it). Neither do the imperious bluenoses who populate that area.

        Qualls, meanwhile, has played for San Diego for a piece of a season. His experience You are willing to accept his self-interested narrative — remember, he was saying all this to distract from his own unwarranted and aggressive behavior — because it’s basically yours. You’ve made it obvious that you are very easily offended and believe that others must be forced to adhere to your standards to the extent that you advocate that players (and, by extension, others) lie, and even make false criminal charges in order to intimidate and penalize those who offend you.

        You’ve got no standing when it comes to critiquing anybody’s credibility. You started this thread by encouraging lying.

  3. Jonny 5 - Jul 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    I’m with Chad here. San Fran fans are the worst aren’t they?

    • b7p19 - Jul 7, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      aaahhhahahaha. If only they were as respectful as those Philly fans.

    • sbostwick49 - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      SF fans actually go to games, unlike the “fans” in San Diego. Nice try

  4. jaym68 - Jul 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Where are all the philly haters pointing out how philly fans are the worst. Must be too early for them….still hung over

  5. juicejuicer - Jul 7, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Double Standard!!!!
    Didn’t Gloria Allred hold a press conference with San Francisco Giants fans that were offended by the language and actions of a pitching coach? Why then, would anybody think it’s okay for the fans to be demonstrative towards the players?
    I’m not saying…I’m just saying

  6. skerney - Jul 7, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Having had season tix at petco myself, i can see why qualls is surprised to find fans in the seats at baseball games.

    • sfgiant21 - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      I am a Giants fan and Live in San Diego, I have season tix at Petco and trade all my tix in for the Giants games. Does he not realize that Petco is set up the same way as SF? I have sat behind the Giants bull pen at a Padres game and heard their fans yelling the same Stuff. So to point out Giants fans when your fans are doing the Same stuff is a bit hypocritical.

      One thing I would like to point out and is something I have witnessed anytime there are players close to the field such as an opposing teams Bullpen there are security guards everywhere. Last year in SD a Padre fan tried to walk up and yell at the Brian Wilson then wanted to want to fight him. He was thrown out with a quickness. So I dont believe for a moment fans are spitting on Players and i believe that part of his comment was imbellished.

      There is alot of crap talking its part of the game and being in another teams home field. Deal with it! I do feel fans should learn the heckle the players creatively as opposed to cussing all the time. People go overboard from every teams fans.

      Stop being bitter Mr. Qualls for your team blowing a 10 game lead last year

  7. youravgjoe42 - Jul 7, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    I’m a Giants fan. I have no problem with what Qualls said. Sports fans in general (not just hose in SF) yell rude and crude things to opposing athletes. Its unfortunate, ill mannered, and unsportsmanlike. The issue in SF is that the bullpen mounds are so close to the stands. I’m sure he is right that opposing pitchers are subjected to all kinds of verbal abuse as a result. None of them deserve it.

    • unca_chuck - Jul 7, 2011 at 8:03 PM

      There are many other stadiums with the same configuration, including San Diego. Has Chad sat down there and listened to what is said to the opposing pitchers? No.

  8. unca_chuck - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    It’s not like there isn’t any security down there by the bullpens. Someone spitting at a player would be spotted easily by other fans, let alone security. Qualls is a lying sack of sour grapes.

  9. hlang - Jul 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Having sat near the opposing team’s bullpen for hundreds of games at AT&T, I can say that Qualls must be extraordinarily thin-skinned. Also, he’s deluded or a liar. Opposing pitchers get insulted. How surprising. Most of the razzing is ritualistic (same taunts and chants every game, like “what’s the matter with Chad Qualls?” “He’s a bum!” and coordinated “woop-woops” with each warmup pitch and return toss, indicating that the pitcher’s putting nothing on the ball). Outfielders get it worse from the bleachers behind them. There is occasional profanity — shocking to people here, I’m sure — but those not familiar with AT&T should be aware that security and ushers are both numerous and vigilant in the lower boxes, and bluenosed fans complain liberally. These are expensive seats, many occupied by stodgy charter season ticket holders. I’ve seen fans led away for a couple of loud “f*cks!” — not directed at an opponent or another fan, but an expletive when the home team f*cks up. And spitting on the athletes? Made up. The crowd is rowdy and ornery, but Qualls is a whiny liar whose mother is still over-protective.

  10. 510rob415 - Jul 7, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    I guess it sucks when you’re playing at home and you get the same treatment… Lots of Giants fans at Petco… Buck up cowboy…

  11. hlang - Jul 7, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    I’m not cherry picking, I’m 15-second copying and pasting.

    A guy who is a millionaire despite having a tenth of the talent of real pitchers in his league gripes about being insulted by fans who paid a greater share of their income for seats near the bullpen than he pays in taxes. Shut up, showboat.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/418659-chad-qualls-an-arizona-diamondbacks-train-wreck

    http://www.examiner.com/san-diego-padres-in-san-diego/san-diego-padres-take-a-chance-on-chad-qualls

  12. giantsfan3011 - Jul 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    What Chad Qualls said is an out and out lie. AT&T Park is the most family friendly park in the country. We go all the time and in all that time I have only seen one older man drunk, and he wasn’t cussing. The worst you will get there is a Boo. Stop your crying and just play some competitive baseball.
    And as for you Craig Calcaterra, don’t criticize just because you don’t understand something. More people have come to baseball because of the Giants team members. It is ignorant to call Giants flashy and just plain silly because you don’t “get it”. Giants big personalities are what really sell out the stadium. They are not your run of the mill stuffy players who are more involved with their numbers and take themselves so seriously that they are almost robot like. Our Giants are warm, funny and real to us …. larger than life. They are beloved by almost everyone you meet in the Bay Area. Win or Lose we are going to that stadium, because of their personalities. They make us part of the team. You can understand them better when the Showtime series The Franchise begins this Wednesday….Cameras following them round after the game ends. They are just a really decent, civic minded bunch of men.
    Don’t mess with our Giants!

    • hlang - Jul 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM

      I wouldn’t go anywhere that far about AT&T. There are 41,000+ people there every game. Plenty of stuff to the right of “boo!” goes on, especially in the bleachers. A lot of it is funny. Some is tired.

      But this is where I agree with the core of what you said: AT&T is aggressively policed. Not in a Disneyland way, exactly, but in a way that consistently hustles profane or disruptive actors out fast. And they tend strongly to err on the side of the offended: park security has a narrow strike zone when it comes to strong language — not to mention impinging upon or interfering with play on the field. People who reach onto the field to catch a foul — not to mention those who occasionally tumble over the barrier in the effort — are regularly escorted out. You won’t spit on a player and remain.

      Bottom line is Qualls lied to cover his bush-league ass and the bluenoses came out in force to support him. And Calcaterra fed the ignorance. Kind of like all the people, including Johnny Bench (who later recanted) and even Bill James, and Joe Posnanski, who characterized the Posey injury as a question of “blocking the plate.” Watch the effing video a couple of times, dudes.

      In this case, come on down to the bullpen box seats and try to unleash a torrent of profanity and see what happens. You will be gone.

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