NBC Philadelphia - Claudia Rivero
Patrick Boyle was merely trying to protect his son from a foul ball when he literally ran into Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth during Thursday night's game at Citizens Bank Park.
"I just saw the ball, I saw it coming towards my son and I'd figure I'd catch it so it didn't hurt him," Boyle told NBC Philadelphia Friday night.
He was able to stop the ball, but he had no protection from what was about to come out of Werth's mouth.
"He just said 'Get out of my f-ing way'," Boyle recalled. "I was stunned. I was embarrassed, I guess."
The game was tied with two outs at the top of the 12th inning when the Cincinnati Reds popped a foul ball into the right field stands. Werth ran to catch the ball, leaned into the stands and came up empty when Boyle got it first.
The confrontation shocked the Havertown, Pa. father and left his 10-year-old son devastated.
"I was shocked he said that in front of me and my dad," the boy said. "I was scared because I thought he was gonna come over and stuff."
As if the situation couldn't get worse, the fans began to boo Boyle and his son.
Pat Jr. asked his dad if he was going to get ejected from the game for catching the ball and then asked to leave.
Dad assured his son everything was alright and they stayed to the end of the game. But Boyle says he spent the whole night tossing over the incident.
When asked about the confrontation Friday afternoon, Werth apologized.
"Obviously I feel bad for the guy and the kid that were sitting there and the people around there, but you know definitely out of character a little bit," Werth said. "But I don't feel bad about playing hard and going after balls."
But the Boyle's were less than pleased with the apology.
"I was thinking if he ever did apologize to my son I was gonna give him the ball back and say 'Here ya go, here's the ball you wanted,'" the man said.
Werth's heated tongue-lashing split sports fans in Philadelphia and across the Internet. Comments vilifying and supporting Werth poured into NBCPhiladelphia.com as people chimed in on the issue.
Regardless of whether they felt the apology was heartfelt, the Boyle's say they plan to remain loyal fans to the Phils.