The incident occurred in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday during the Cubs’ 7-5, 11-inning win against the Washington Nationals. After Contreras’ sacrifice fly gave the Cubs a lead, he made his way from behind home plate to the Cubs dugout on the third-base side.
That’s when an animated Contreras verbally engaged with a fan in the stands. At least one person wearing a white Nationals jersey was seen being escorted out by ballpark security after Contreras returned to the dugout.
A Nationals spokesperson confirmed the five-year ban for the two fans to the Tribune on Wednesday.
After the game, Contreras did not want to get into the specifics of his tense back-and-forth with the fan, who he said was Latino and speaking Spanish. But he said: “If somebody tried to mess up my family, they’re going to (have to go through) me first. Whatever they said, it wasn’t healthy. It was not right.”
Players understand and expect trash talk from opposing fans during games, something Contreras certainly has heard over the years without issue. He made clear, however, the comments that led to the ballpark ban were personal and clearly crossed the line.
“What he said got under my skin,” Contreras said. "We’re speaking the same language. I know what he means.”