Coors Field in Denver tends to be known for two things. One, its propensity to give up home runs. Two, the baseball humidor inside the stadium that was installed to curb the home runs. Another aspect of the park, an aesthetic one, also should be noted: The wilderness beyond the outfield fence. Coors must be the most topographically accurate stadium in Major League Baseball as it relates to the region. It really looks like the Rocky Mountains out there!
To wit, a family of ducks apparently has moved into the visitor's bullpen. What was it like for Washington Nationals pitchers to walk amongst the waddlers? Here's a conversation on Twitter between Washington Times reporter Amanda Comak and Nats right-hander Ryan Mattheus:
@acomak: Here's something weird: Gio [Gonzalez] said there were three ducks (geese maybe) sitting on the plate in the bullpen when he went to warm up.
@RyanMattheus: @acomak they have they're own private pond! And we feed em seeds all game! #petbullpenducks
@acomak: @ryanmattheus seriously???
@RyanMattheus: @acomak so serious! We crack the shells for them! A mom and two baby ducks! #duckyfriends
@acomak: @ryanmattheus Amazing.
Isn't it, though?
Deadspin, however, told a different story.
It has duck video taken by a Rockies fan that appears to show another Nats pitcher, Tyler Clippard, engaging the birds in a different way. The fan shooting the video and Deadspin have pronounced judgment on Clippard, finding him guilty of being a "giant jerk" for spitting water (or Gatorade?) on the baby ducks. But did he really?
Mattheus said the Nats were "shelling" sunflower seeds. As we all know, ballplayers do that with their mouths. It would be icky for another human to then eat the seeds, but it's au natural for a baby duck, who is used to being fed regurgitated goop from his mama.
I have a feeling that Clippard is going to come forward and defend himself. It certainly seems too soon to ruin a ballplayer's reputation with the Audubon set when he was just trying to help.
UPDATE: Deadspin apologized to Clippard, not that it's worth much.