TORONTO — The Philadelphia Phillies confirmed Saturday that one of their players was involved in a confrontation with a fan following Thursday’s game at the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Phillies did not identify the player in their statement. The Rays also confirmed the incident but did not release details.
The St. Petersburg Times reported on its Web site Saturday that Phillies reliever J.C. Romero grabbed and shoved Robert Eaton, 25, of New Port Richey, Fla., after the fan made two comments about steroids.
Romero was suspended for the first 50 games of the season after testing positive for androstenedione, a substance that Mark McGwire used in the 1990s that was later banned by baseball. Romero, who earned two wins in Philadelphia’s World Series victory over Tampa Bay last year, has sued the manufacturer of an over-the-counter supplement that he said led to his positive test.
Eaton told the newspaper he called out to Romero after a couple of Phillies brushed off his requests for autographs, asking the left-hander to get him some steroids. After Romero told him to shut up and that he didn’t know what he was talking about, Eaton said he replied that Romero was the one who’d been suspended recently.
“He reared back and kinda grazed my chin and grabbed me by the neck and threw me back,” Eaton told the newspaper. “I was in shock.”
Romero declined comment when approached by The Associated Press after Philadelphia’s 10-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
“We’re disappointed to learn about the alleged incident with a Rays fan and one of our players following Thursday night’s game at Tropicana Field,” the Phillies said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering all of the details surrounding the situation. Until such information is provided, it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time.”
A St. Petersburg Police Department supervisor confirmed to The Associated Press that there was a battery allegation at Tropicana Field on Thursday, but wouldn’t identify who was involved. A message was left seeking comment from James Magazine, Eaton’s lawyer.