Rays' Grant Balfour on fans booing: 'It's not going to help me out'

May 23, 2014 - 10:16 am
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Rays fans are known as some of the worst in baseball, with their loyalty and lack of attendance often questioned. Now the fan base is getting critiques from one of its own. Rays' closer Grant Balfour had strong words for the Tampa Bay fans after they booed him and the team for blowing a lead in the ninth inning against Oakland on Thursday night, a game the Rays eventually won 5-2 in 11 innings. "The fans can boo me and all that [stuff], but that's fine," Balfour said after the game. "It's not going to help me out. It's not going to help the team do anything out there when you do that [stuff]. The feeling is, the team's behind you and everybody's behind you -- the crowd, the whole nine yards. Things are going to go right. "But when you start pulling that [stuff], it's not a good vibe. The team's pulling for the team, so the fans have got to be pulling for the team. Everybody's got to be pulling for the team. You can't be back and forth like that. That [stuff] doesn't work. So I'll just walk away positive from it. It's a good win. A much-needed win." Balfour gave up an RBI double to Yoenis Cespedes in the ninth that erased a 1-0 Rays lead. It was the closer's second blown save of the season. "[Stuff] happens. I'm not going to sit here and cry about it," Balfour said. "I would have liked to have closed it out. It would have been easier to get a 1-2-3 [inning]." The Red Sox will get their first look at the oft-criticized Rays crowd this season when they try to snap a seven-game losing streak on Friday at Tropicana Field. The Sox would probably prefer not to have a situation where they would see Balfour this weekend. But if so, it could at least be entertaining.

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