August 22, 2011
If you've ever tried getting player autographs, whether it be at a game inside the stadium, before or after the game outside the stadium, or even at the hotel where the team stays, you know the drill. Some guys are nice, and take their time to stop and sign for everyone. Some guys sign a few autographs, and move on. And some guys never, ever sign. Whichever type of player you come across though, it's pretty standard that this is the way it is.
Last week, I had a disappointing encounter, or lack thereof, with a certain ballplayer who I will from this day forward dislike, and root against, unless he does something worthy of changing my mind.
I was at the Red Sox vs. Rays game at Fenway Park, and about 15 minutes before game time, Evan Longoria started signing autographs down the 3rd base line when he finished his pre-game stretching. I had been behind the Rays dugout (which is on the 3rd base side of the field) at the time, and when I saw Longoria signing, I moved over about 40 feet to where he was. There were about 30 people total trying to obtain an autograph from Longoria, and when I arrived, he had signed for about 10 already. Since it was such a small group of people, I was quickly able to get to the front, right next to Longoria. I didn't really need to move past anyone, as there was plenty of room available. I was wearing a Devil Rays jersey and hat.
I was the only person wearing Rays gear.
Longoria continued to sign for fans, and didn't sign for me at first, despite the fact I was right next to him. I was looking at the fans he was signing for, and noticed they were all kids, so I just figured he would take care of them first, and then get around to me. No problem. Then he proceeded to sign for some adults, so I moved a few feet in the direction he was going, as the people he was signing for began to disperse.
He then completed signing for all the people in that area, and walked about 15 feet towards the dugout, and began signing for the rest of the people that were asking for his autograph. He had still not signed for me, and was intentionally ignoring me at this point. I followed back to where he was signing, and he continued signing walking in the direction of the dugout. He then got to a point where he realized he had signed for everyone, and there was no one left asking for his autograph, so he simply walked away.
He intentionally ignored my request.
I am not a loud, obnoxious, or outrageous fan in any way. I simply asked for his autograph just like any other fan would. I simply said "Evan, could you please sign for me?" I didn't try and shove my baseball in his face; I just held it there with my pen open, with my arm slightly extended. I did not do anything out of the ordinary. But for some reason, Evan Longoria decided he was blatantly not going to sign for me. Maybe he didn't like my inaugural season Devil Rays jersey. Maybe he didn't like the fact I have facial piercings. Maybe he didn't like the sound of my voice. Or maybe he just didn't like the way I looked.
Regardless of his reason, I felt it was very rude and uncalled for to single someone out and specifically not provide that person with the same exact service you are willing to provide everyone else. Especially when that person appears to be a fan of your team! How dare you disrespect someone who supports you!
Well, just for that, I will now go out of my way to root against Evan Longoria. The same way he went out of his way to show me his true colors.
Evan, I wish you could read this so I could tell you that you define the word "Jerk". Have fun sitting on your couch in October.
Webmaster's note: In order to keep the PG rating of myGameBalls.com, the word "Jerk" was inserted into this column in replace of the original description for Mr. Longoria. Please contact Mr. Weil for the unedited version.
Ben Weil is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.