When Owners Attack

Once "Child Hell Flight" gets canceled, maybe there will be room for my favorite idea for a reality show: "When Owners Attack" ...

    The CEO of the Texas Rangers called New York Yankees fans "violent," "apathetic" and "an embarrassment" for their behavior during the American League Championship Series in an interview on Monday with ESPN Radio in Dallas.

    Responding to a question about Rangers fans' demeanor during the postseason, Chuck Greenberg digressed into a critique of Yankees fans which included an unflattering characterization.

    "I think our fans have been great," Greenberg said on the "Ben and Skin Show" on 103.3 KESN. "I think particularly in Game 3 of the World Series they just blew away anything I've seen in any venue during the postseason. I thought Yankee fans, frankly, were awful. They were either violent or apathetic, neither of which is good. So I thought Yankee fans were by far the worst of any I've seen in the postseason. I thought they were an embarrassment."

    Greenberg praised Rangers fans for backing their team in Game 2 of the ALCS after having blown Game 1 at home, in which they took a 5-0 lead only to lose to the Yankees 6-5.

    "I thought where our fans were really amazing was in Game 2 against the Yankees," he said. "Because Game 1 was a real gut wrencher, you know, it was a tough way to lose. I thought our fans were spectacular and you'd be amazed how much our players picked up on that passion and enthusiasm."

This whole business of comparing fans is a pretty slippery business. Yes, fans in New York (and Boston, and Philadelphia) can be crude, obnoxious, and worse. They're also, as a group, more passionate about their teams than fans in other parts of the country. Which isn't to suggest that fans in other parts of the country aren't passionate, too. Or that they're not capable of being obnoxious. Or worse. When I was a kid, somebody at a Royals game set fire to a banner supporting the opposing team. In the 1980 World Series, a Royals fan threw something at Pete Rose. Kansas City.

Meanwhile, Greenberg is lauding Rangers fans ... and Jamey Newberg was more disappointed by those same fans than by anything else that happened in Game 4. The Giants have turned San Francisco into a baseball town ... but we'll see what happens to attendance if the Giants someday sink to last place again.

Like I said, slippery stuff.

In the short term, if Chuck Greenberg really wants to see Cliff Lee pitching in a Rangers uniform next season, he might want to back off the rhetoric about Yankees fans just a notch or three. Because there's such a thing as trying too hard.