- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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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."
Later Monday, Greenberg issued a statement apologizing for his comments.
"Earlier today, in the course of praising the extraordinary support and enthusiasm of Texas Rangers fans, I unfairly and inaccurately disparaged fans of the New York Yankees," he said in a statement. "Those remarks were inappropriate. Yankees fans are among the most passionate and supportive in all of baseball.
"I have spoken directly to Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine to apologize for my intemperate comments."
Before Greenberg's apology, Levine had declined to comment in a statement issued through a spokesperson: "At this time, we are honoring the commissioner's policy regarding respecting and not distracting from the World Series."
Greenberg praised Rangers fans for backing their team in Game 2 of the ALCS after the Rangers blew 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."
Previously, Kristin Lee, the wife of Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee, had said that Yankees fans cursed her, spat at her and threw beer at her while her husband was shutting down the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium.
The Rangers went on to win the series in six games and currently trail the San Francisco Giants, three games to one, in the World Series with Lee pitching in Game 5 Monday night in Arlington.
Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.