Third baseman Manny Machado returned to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for the first time since his mid-season departure last year, and Orioles fans welcomed back the All-Star with a long standing ovation before his first at-bat.
After briefly standing in the batter’s box, Machado stepped out and acknowledged the cheers with two waves and a salute to the fans.
Welcome back, Manny! pic.twitter.com/bofY045BDz
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 25, 2019
But there was at least one dissenter: 105.7 The Fan host Jerry Coleman. The station, which hosted more than 700 fans at the ballpark last night, posted a video of the “Big Bad Morning Show” co-host telling the rows behind him, “He plays for the opponent, he doesn’t care about you” and a few inaudible remarks before loudly booing–even wrapping a packet of papers like a megaphone in an attempt to project the sound.
Per the station’s tweet of the video, Coleman walked up from the press box to voice his discontent after making off with a soft pretzel.
— 105.7 The Fan (@1057TheFan) June 25, 2019
Coleman was roasted on Twitter, with many expressing sentiments similar to this comment: “Coleman has to be one of the most annoying humans in Baltimore.” The station’s Facebook audience, however, was a bit more supportive; some posters even went so far as to laud his honesty.
If Machado found about about the booing–it’s unlikely he heard it over the cheers–he didn’t say so, instead choosing to acknowledge the positive return to the city where he broke into Major League Baseball.
Machado: "It was awesome. I came back and like always the fans did not disappoint. It was good to come back home. I didn't know what to expect. They go above and beyond. It was truly something special that I'll never forget. It was just amazing." #orioles
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) June 26, 2019
But the stunt did get back to another former Oriole, outfielder Adam Jones. On Twitter, Jones busted Coleman’s chops and called him a “jackass,” nodding to all the backlash directed his way. He sandwiched his joshing with hahahas.
“They wearing you out man,” Jones said in his ribbing of the radio host. “I know u don’t care but you really do.”
— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) June 26, 2019
Jones said Coleman should cheer Machado on, and that it wasn’t the infielder’s fault “business got in the way.”
For his part, Coleman responded on Twitter that he indeed doesn’t care about the negative comments, but he understands “biz & radio bits”–perhaps suggesting he was playing into his on-air shtick of contrarianism and scorching takes.
— Jerry Coleman (@sportswcoleman) June 26, 2019
The station’s director of sports programming, Chuck Sapienza, told Baltimore Fishbowl that Coleman was showing his love for the city and the franchise with the jeering. Machado bailed on his final Fan Fest in black and orange, and some in Birdland perceived his comments earlier this year that the Orioles “didn’t show me a little bit of love” as a slight against the fanbase.
“Jerry can be a goofball. He’s always a lightning rod for stuff like this,” said Sapienza. “But the one thing you can’t deny is Jerry’s love for this city.”
As for Jones’ digs, Sapienza said the outfielder and Coleman are still buddies after so many years working together.
Some of the more overly aggressive responses on social media, however, were “ridiculous,” he said, noting there’s not shortage of hometown fans who will boo a Chris Davis strikeout or botched Lamar Jackson pass.