May 2, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT
The Atlanta Journal Constitution and other media outlets are reporting that former Phillies reliever and current Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell has been accused making homophobic comments and threats toward fans attending the Braves’ Saturday game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. A 33-year-old Giants fan, Justin Quinn, and his family reported McDowell’s behavior to the Giants and to San Francisco police. And it’s pretty ugly.
McDowell is accused of making obscene gestures and anti-gay comments to a group of fans, and then, after being reminded by Quinn that there were children present, stating that kids don’t belong at a baseball game and walking toward Quinn threateningly, with a bat, and asking him how much his teeth were worth. He had allegedly also used the bat to gesture in a graphic fasion toward the fans he was mocking with the slurs. Quinn was attending the game with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters. The family is now represented by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.
McDowell has issued an apology for his actions, but did not specify what those actions were beyond “respond[ing] to heckling fans.”
Big League Stew has a solid summary of what McDowell is alleged to have said.
Previously well known off the mound as a highlight of rain delay TV programming for his many pranks in bullpens and dugouts, as well as appearing in the Keith Hernandez episode of Seinfeld, McDowell’s career in Major League Baseball has hit a very uncomical crossroads as a result of Saturday’s alleged actions.
After Bud Selig and the Braves organization—both of whom also issued statements—have fully looked into McDowell’s behavior, it’d be hard to imagine him not being fired or at the very least suspended. Whether he meant the comments in jest or not, some major lines were crossed in his actions if they happened as described.
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