MLB roundup: Banana-throwing fan apologizes

The Sports Xchange

The San Francisco Giants fan who threw a banana that landed near Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones on Sunday insisted that incident was not racially motivated.

Alexander Poulides told the San Jose Mercury News on Monday he was angry at the Giants, who ended up losing to the Orioles, 10-2.

"Oh, my god," Poulides said after realizing the uproar that resulted from the incident. "I threw a banana on my way out."

Poulides, 42, said he grabbed a banana off a catering cart in the bottom of the ninth inning and hurled it toward the field in disgust. He called his action "an indiscretion."

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

After Sunday's game, Jones had tweeted: "I want to thank whatever slapd--- threw that banana towards my direction in CF in the last inning. Way to show ur class u jacka--."

According to the Baltimore Sun, Jones did not mention the incident during postgame interviews, but by 10:45 p.m. EST, his tweet was retweeted nearly 1,700 times.

The incident occurred less than a week after a statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese in Brooklyn, N.Y., was vandalized with racial slurs.

---Los Angeles Angels young superstar outfielder Mike Trout told New York radio station WFAN that performance-enhancing drug offenders should be banned for life.

"To me, personally, I think you should be out of the game if you get caught," he said. "It takes away from the guys that are working hard every day and doing it all-natural."

Players are speaking out since New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and 13 others were suspended stemming from the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game ban and 12 players are serving 50-game suspensions. Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun was previously given a 65-game ban.

---Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, told Pittsburgh radio station 93.7 The Fan that he should have picked another vice besides gambling.

Rose, banished from baseball and the Hall of Fame because of gambling since 1989, said he would have been given a second chance if he committed different sins. He made the comment while discussing the topic of steroids and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's suspension stemming from the Biogenesis scandal.

"I made mistakes. I can't whine about it. I'm the one that messed up and I'm paying the consequences," he said. "However, if I am given a second chance, I won't need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven't given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball."

---First baseman Jose Abreu defected from Cuba, multiple media outlets reported.

It is not known where the 26-year-old slugger went, but he could garner a big contract from a major league team. Abreu, a right-handed hitter, hit .360 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Based on the recent success of Cuban defectors Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig, Abreu could fetch a contract worth at least $50 million. Abreu was a Cuban MVP in the 2010-11 season when he batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBI in just 66 games, one of the league's best seasons ever.

---The Cincinnati Reds activated outfielder Ryan Ludwick off the disabled listed and inserted him into Monday night's lineup where he will bat sixth against the Chicago Cubs.

Ludwick separated his shoulder on Opening Day, and since then Cincinnati left fielders have compiled a .241 batting average with only 10 homers.

Ludwick hit .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS in 125 games last season before re-signing a two-year, $15 million contract.