The Washington Nationals believe they have a bright future thanks to the historic return from the Juan Soto trade. Unfortunately for two fans, they won’t be able to see it in person after being banned from Nationals Park for five years.
It all happened because of an incident on Tuesday night. Washington hosted the Chicago Cubs for a short series at Nationals Park, with great seats available to watch two of the worst teams in baseball. What could have been an enjoyable night at the ballpark turned into a confrontation with one of MLB’s stars and a lengthy suspension for two baseball fans.
During the 10th inning, Cubs’ All-Star catcher Willson Contreras delivered a sacrifice fly that proved crucial in his team’s 7-5 win. As he returned to the dugout, he went around home plate and was involved in a heated back-and-forth with a Nationals fan.
Contreras, normally an even-keeled player, needed to be calmed down by teammates as he walked back toward the dugout and even once he stepped down the stairs. Meanwhile, the fan was being escorted out of the stadium by security.
Contreras remained bothered by the exchange and the fan’s comments toward him several minutes after. When asked by reporters about what happened after the game, he declined to shed too much detail on what the fan said. He also told the Chicago Tribune that he and the fan were both speaking Spanish.
While we may not know exactly what was said, the first point made by Contreras suggests the fan he got into it with made comments about his family. The 30-year-old catcher knows heckling is part of the game and has experienced it at every ballpark throughout his career. However, whatever he heard on Tuesday crossed a line and he likely had the same reaction many of his peers would in the same situation.
While the TV cameras only showed one fan being removed from the stadium, the Nationals announced that two fans will not be allowed to step foot at the stadium for the next five years. Considering the level of security in Washington D.C., that seems even more enforceable than fans at other stadiums.