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Big League Stew

Banana-tossing Giants fan says gesture wasn’t racially motivated, just out of frustration

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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A San Francisco Giants fan stepped forward on Monday, claiming responsibility for tossing a banana on the field Sunday and drawing the ire of Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.

The fan — identified by the San Jose Mercury News as Alexander Poulides — says the incident wasn't racially motivated as most, including Big League Stew, interpreted. Tossing bananas at black players isn't something we see often in America, but it's a well-known sign of racism at European soccer matches.

But Poulides tells the Merc's Daniel Brown it was a frustrated toss by a frustrated Giants fan upset by a season that gets more frustrating by the game for the defending world champs. According to the story, Poulides discovered on Monday morning that his banana toss had become a big deal and "his heart sank."

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"Oh, my god,'' Poulides said. "I threw a banana on my way out."

Poulides, 42, said he grabbed a banana off a catering cart and hurled it toward the field in disgust at the Giants near the end of a 10-2 loss at AT&T Park on Sunday. The banana apparently sailed toward Jones, who tweeted about the incident after the game ...

Above all, Poulides stressed repeatedly that the incident was not a racially motivated, as some had speculated. He was upset at the Giants, not Jones.

"I'm embarrassed and shocked by the outcome,'' the Northern California resident said. "In hindsight, I wish I didn't do it and I apologize. I'm very sorry."

The Giants also issued an apology saying the team had a "a zero tolerance policy against this type of behavior." It had not, at the time, identified the fan in question.

The whole story sounds like something of the Larry David universe: Guy gets upset at favorite baseball team. Guy tosses nearest fruit onto the field as he storms out of the stadium. Guy learns the next day he's been pegged as a racist. Can't you just see an exasperated George Costanza explaining the story of how he became an accidental racist? (We're not talking about you, Brad Paisley)

Though, if you're thinking this whole thing sounds too much like fiction, then you're not alone. Friend of the blog and Giants scribe Dave Tobener (aka @gggiants on Twitter) wasn't exactly convinced the story is on the up-and-up:

All interesting thoughts. Unless, of course, our banana-throwing fan was recently Rowengartner'd, in which case, he might be able to replace Barry Zito in the Giants rotation.

Here's another question: Is anybody going to ask Poulides to pay for the banana?

Baseball season's in full swing. Don't miss a thing.
Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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