CC Sabathia, the decorated New York Yankees left-hander who's spent the better part of the last two decades in the big leagues, wasn't surprised that Adam Jones was victimized by racial taunts at Fenway Park on Monday night.
Before joining the Yankees, who insist on having a security team in the bullpen, Sabathia himself received similar treatment in Boston - the only place he's been called the N-word in his MLB career, he said - and the 36-year-old admitted Tuesday that black ballplayers have come to expect racial abuse at Fenway Park.
"We know," Sabathia told Newsday's Erik Boland. "There's 62 of us. We all know. When you go to Boston, expect it."
On Monday, Jones, the Baltimore Orioles' longtime center fielder, said fans hurled racial epithets at him throughout his club's 5-2 win at Fenway, and noted that one even threw a bag of peanuts at him. The incident was all too familiar for Sabathia, a former Cy Young Award winner who spent the first eight years of his career with Cleveland (and, briefly, Milwaukee) before signing with New York ahead of the 2009 season.
"It's disgusting," Sabathia said, according to John Healy of the New York Daily News. "When I was in Cleveland it was bad. Really bad. It's something you know going in, I guess, when you go there. It's sad is what it is. I never had it anywhere else."
As he discussed the incident with reporters following Monday's game, Jones suggested fining - not merely ejecting - fans who use racial slurs. When asked how he would like to see these incidents addressed, though, Sabathia was simply bewildered that these attitudes and behaviors can still exist in 2017.
"I have no idea. I really don't know any solution for what they should do," Sabathia said. "It's bad, it's sad, it's 2017 and you still have to deal with racism in baseball."