The new Philly hero: Matt Diaz, foiler of Red Man (with video)

"Down goes Red Man!" (AP photo)

"Down goes Red Man! Down goes Red Man!" (AP photo)

Philadelphia — Patrons at an Eagles game  infamously pelted Santa Claus with snowballs, but Philly fans weren’t booing Matt Diaz. On the contrary, the Braves’ outfielder became a local hero for his sidling takedown of an individual who has come already to be known as Red Man. (Not to be confused with Mark Redman, former lousy Braves’ pitcher.)

Seventh inning, Monday night, Jayson Werth batting: Red Man, clad in red spandex head-to-toe, capers from the left-field stands and heads across the outfield. Watching from the press box, you could see that Diaz, stationed in left, thought about impeding Red Man’s progress but decided against it.

Then, when security forces arrived and forced Red Man back left but started slipping in their pursuit, Diaz took matters unto his own hip.

He blindsided Red Man. Stuck out his right leg and Red Man went flying. “He got right up, but then the security guy crushed him,” Diaz said afterward.

Diaz was the postgame focal point in the Braves’ clubhouse because an intruding fan here had been tasered by a security man earlier this season. “I saw the cop coming with the Taser,” Diaz said. “I figured the guy would rather have me trip him than get tased.”

Wait a second, a Philly writer asked: Did he really see someone with a Taser? (I told you: They take this seriously up here.) “No,” Diaz said. “I was kidding.”

Diaz’s stated motivation: He remembered a Braves’ security guard getting hurt in a similar chase a while back. “I wanted to spear [Red Man] so bad, but I didn’t want to get hurt and I didn’t want to hurt him. I just stuck out my foot and he hit it.”

I asked if Red Man had, in their moment of close proximity, revealed his secret identity. “No,” Diaz said. “I’m sure the judge will find it.”

Red Man’s reaction to being tripped? He was shocked, Diaz said, adding that he could see the mystery man’s wide eyes through the costume.

And the Philly fans? They cheered Diaz, who tipped his cap. And who told reporters afterward: “They were very complimentary. I heard everything from, ‘I just put you on YouTube‘ to a girl with an ‘Utley marry me’ sign say, ‘I’ll marry you, too.’ ”

Speaking of YouTube … here you go.

227 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

September 21st, 2010
10:11 am

That was hilarious. I love watching that clip. Matt Diaz taking down an idiot Phillies fan.

Well done, Matt … and great post, Mark.

Benjamin

September 21st, 2010
10:12 am

I have a new favorite player.

Benjamin

September 21st, 2010
10:12 am

Second, for the record. [Nothin' wrong with a top two finish.]

ew

September 21st, 2010
10:13 am

Diaz could have blindsided “Red Man” and really cleaned his clock if he wanted to.

Felix Millan

September 21st, 2010
10:14 am

typical Philly fan– classless idiots

Anthony

September 21st, 2010
10:15 am

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has “Green Man,” now the Phillies have “Red Man”

julie07

September 21st, 2010
10:15 am

Way to go Matt!

John Learson

September 21st, 2010
10:21 am

Felix Millan – Typical clueless Atlanta fan.

It happens at every ballpark. At least Philly supports their team and actually sells out during a playoff run.

Rick

September 21st, 2010
10:22 am

Look at the bald security guy do a face plant. LOL

Dawg Fud

September 21st, 2010
10:27 am

…and yet we lost the game on 2 more stupid errors. this is why this team will not make the post-season. we play stupid baseball.

Pete In Philly

September 21st, 2010
10:29 am

Give Diaz free cheesesteaks and Tastykakes for life! (Uh… don’t eat the cheesesteaks less than two hours before a game; your heart will explode.)

Latest news up here in Philly is that “Red Man” was a 17 year-old kid, whose parent were not rushing to juvi lockup to bail him out.

The downside to having as many sellouts as we have a CBP (110+ in a row and counting), is the increased likelihood of idiots, morons, and knuckleheads showing up to do stupid things or attempt to grab attention (also a stupid thing).

What gives this incident a topping of idiocy to go with his stupidity is that he’ll get no direct attention. The cameras in Philly only showed it from a great distance; he wore a mask; and since he’s a juvenile, not even his name is going to be released.

As for Matt Diaz; dude you are WELCOME in Philly from this point on! Look for the fans to cheer you when you take the field tonight and tomorrow night.

Philly Phantastico

September 21st, 2010
10:32 am

I love Diaz. Not as much as I love Melky though.

ATL Phillies Fan

September 21st, 2010
10:34 am

Speaking as a Phillies fan, I think this guy (and all others like him) is a complete moron. I wish Diaz would have laid a good lickin’ on him.

Mitchell

September 21st, 2010
10:35 am

The best part of the game was when Matty got a hit with a runner in scoring position in the second inning and he didn’t score.

That’s three times on this road trip that’s happened.

That’s what you get with BMac on the bases.

KJ

September 21st, 2010
10:38 am

“It happens at every ballpark.”

LOL delusional Philly fans. Yeah, they throw batteries and cheer career-ending paralysis in EVERY city, amirite? There’s a reason you have a prison built into your stadium.

Team Redneck

September 21st, 2010
10:40 am

I love how you guys take any chance to hack at Philly fans. . . .hello. . .this behavior is seen in pretty much any fan base. You get the same behavior at college football games for goodness sakes. Maybe if Braves had packed stadiums on a nightly basis they’d see more of this.

Team Redneck

September 21st, 2010
10:41 am

KJ- um, no, we don’t have a prison built into our stadium. Get your facts straight.

Team Redneck

September 21st, 2010
10:42 am

This kindve behavior happens anywhere. Maybe if the Braves had a packed house on a nightly basis they’d see this kind’ve stuff on occasion.

fo real

September 21st, 2010
10:45 am

hi MB any idea if the players are briefed on something like this pregame?

DC Brave

September 21st, 2010
10:48 am

That was so awesome…Diaz has long been a favorite…I just wish he could get his Captain Caveman thing going again with the bat.

observation

September 21st, 2010
10:52 am

The influence of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia continues. The Green Man phenomenon started with them, and of course some philly fans embraced it, especially during the recent World Series run. Then it spread to Vancouver where two fans there routinely dress up as the Green Man next to the penalty box and basically taunt the players in it.

Now we have Red Man in Philly. I’m sure Charlie would be proud of his impact on pop culture.

Pete In Philly

September 21st, 2010
10:55 am

Sadly, the exuberance of the fans in Philadelphia will lead to idiots (I’ll never call them fans) that run out in the field, disrupting the game.

For the 2010 Phillies season, total attendance at Citizen’s Bank Park is nearly 3,500,000 and the park has the lowest percentage of “no shows” in the league. That means the number of people who buy tickets but don’t sell/use them is very low. Out of those millions, you’re going to get a few like this. Regrettable but unavoidable.

Proud Native American & Obama Hater

September 21st, 2010
10:57 am

This story and blog postings are just the latest examples of the insensitive Braves Organization trying to keep the “Red Man” down.

Ted M

September 21st, 2010
11:04 am

That was funny.

But what’s deal with all the secrecy around Jerious Norwood injury?

ByteMe

September 21st, 2010
11:06 am

Not “keep the ‘Red Man’ down”… but knock him down just long enough for the cowboys to shoot him.

Big Tobacco

September 21st, 2010
11:09 am

Mark, that is the rudest treatment I’ve ever seen by a MLB player!

Sally

September 21st, 2010
11:13 am

Mark Bradley, you never miss a chance to make a derogatory remark about someone, do you? There was no reason for you to bring up Mark Redman in the beginning of this article. You have a mean streak in you about a mile wide. What is your level of athleticism, and what qualifies you to sit around and pass judgement on everyone else’s?

Barbara's Boxers

September 21st, 2010
11:14 am

Maybe that red man was just trying to open a casino in left field.

Maybe he was just hungry and hunting for “Tatanka.”

Phillies'10

September 21st, 2010
11:14 am

KJ, get your facts straight, moron. The old Veterans Stadium had a jail in it, not the current stadiums. Cheering a career ending injury to Michael Irvin? The scumbag of the NFL? Get over yourself already. Magic #8. Phillies, please eliminate these whining, sniveling babies. The NY Mets of the Deep South. Can’t wait until next weekend when the Phillies burn down Atlanta again. Maybe then their cry baby GM can build a better field so he can stop complaining about Citizen’s Bank Park.

Jeff

September 21st, 2010
11:18 am

Diaz should have pulled a James Harrison on the fan…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC3xNSiRTDc

johnnybravo

September 21st, 2010
11:24 am

Has lost all faith. The season is over… Why, because our defense sucks! Were finished! can hold it together, heyward sucks, bmac is fat, and alex gonzo struck out. WE HAD TO HAVE THAT GAME! Were done. Bye bye playoffs! PHUCK!

Benjamin

September 21st, 2010
11:24 am

Phillies’10, there’s no reason to cheer a man who gets seriously injured at any point in a professional sports event, man. Irvin or whomever.

Philly fans get a bad rap, I’ll agree, but you can’t defend people for cheering someone suffer a potentially serious spinal cord injury.

ketchupdad

September 21st, 2010
11:33 am

I find it amazing that fans that do “the Chop” feel they’re in a position to knock anyone else. And that’s a team sponsored event! And Mark, the snowball incident was in 1968. A 42 year old event is the best you’ve got?

Sid

September 21st, 2010
11:36 am

Speaking of fans, idiots or not, could it be that the Phillies are going to end up possibly knocking us out of the playoffs because they average 15,000 more fans per game?

Michael

September 21st, 2010
11:38 am

Something interesting actually happens at a baseball game and you all are upset. Did Red Man disturb your nap?

Guy Incognito

September 21st, 2010
11:41 am

Philly ‘10

Didn’t y’all boo Santa at an Eagle’s game? Stay classy Phil’DELphia

Jimmy Cokes

September 21st, 2010
11:43 am

The Santa incident is so silly — first of all, it’s 40+ years ago. Second, it wasn’t THE Santa Claus. Philadelphians did not boo the jolly old elf who comes down your chimney to bring presents to children. He was a skinny, drunk 22 year old who was thrust onto the field by Eagles management when the guy who was supposed to play Santa didn’t show up. He was a terrible, terrible Santa, and you would have booed him too.

As for Michael Irvin — He reaped what he sowed. A genuinely awful guy. No one should have a career-ending injury cheered, but it’s not like it was Mother Theresa out there. He was a bastard.

RK

September 21st, 2010
11:44 am

Diaz should’ve choked him — we know the Braves are good at that.

chris

September 21st, 2010
11:45 am

GB
PHI 90-61 –
ATL 86-65 4

The Snark

September 21st, 2010
11:52 am

Bob Eucker used to say that Phillies fans were so mean, they would go to the airport when the game got rained out just to boo bad landings.

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 21st, 2010
11:57 am

a girl with an ‘Utley marry me’ sign say, ‘I’ll marry you, too.’ ”

Is polygamy legal in Philadelphia?

The Reverend Earl W. Bedpan IV

September 21st, 2010
11:59 am

It’s an abomination for the Braves player to attempt to injure an innocent man. I hope MLB fines Diaz for his unlawful and godless act.

Deb

September 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

Benjamin, two things. 1) The fan cheered at first when Irvin was injured, as they did NOT know the severity of it. Once they did, they stopped cheering. Also when he gave them thumbs up leaving on the stretcher, they cheered FOR him. 2) I seem to recall that when Chris Chandler was injured that alot of folks cheered as well, because they wanted Vick in the game. Fans cheer injuries everywhere at football games.

Also, the booing Santa thing happened in 1968! And they booed because the team sucked and then gave the fans some plucked out of the stands skinny, ragged Santa. They weren’t booing at Santa, there were booing the team being so bad they couldn’t even do Santa right (and FYI, the guy who played Santa has gone on record saying he did suck and deserved to be booed).

Look, there is plenty of things to knock Philly fans for (Booing when McNabb was drafted, throwing batteries, this idiot running onto the field). But the Irvin and Santa incidents are NOT among them.

Oh, and BTW, you lost. That tap, tap taping sound is us hammering the nails in the Braves coffin.

Phillies, Class of the NL

September 21st, 2010
12:00 pm

THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES TRULY ARE THE CLASS OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE – and a blueprint for other NL teams to follow on how to succeed in the modern game.

On another note, braves fans are a blueprint for how not to fill a stadium in a pennant race.

Phillies, Class of the NL

September 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

you tell em Deb – their arguments are so tired aren’t they?

MrDan

September 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

Hey Matt. Have the Bulldogs’ defense called yet?

F*CK A philly

September 21st, 2010
12:01 pm

LOL….of course the phillies average more fans at their games, there team has been in two straight world series, its only natural right? Not to mention that nobody in philadelphia has a life or has a job…..

Bill in Philly

September 21st, 2010
12:02 pm

As a Phillie fan who was at the game last night, I can tell you the fant reaction to Diaz’ act was universal appreciation. Thanks Matt! And a note to the media in general; giving idiots like this guy all this attention and cute nicknames like Red Man only encourages more idiots.

Heisenberg

September 21st, 2010
12:04 pm

Next time, use this training video on what to do when a fan runs on the field:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdP2G7UtS9I

Sid

September 21st, 2010
12:07 pm

Mark Redman would sign a baseball before each game he started and inscribe it with “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME” PHIL 4:13, then give it to a fan…..!!!

At Oklahoma Redman was named 1st Team All-Big Eight, Big Eight Newcomer of the Year, NCAA All-Regional team and was a member of the College World Series All-Tournament team in 1994. In addition, he was selected as a 1st Team All-American in both of his seasons at Oklahoma.

Redman was a member of the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins, contributing 14 wins to the team.

Redman was chosen to play for the American League in the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as the lone representative of the Kansas City Royals. He would finish the season with a team high 11 wins.

Let’s see, Career Won Loss of 68/85, Lifetime ERA 4.85, 747 Strikeouts

Nolan Ryan, #1 in strikeouts played from 1966 to 1993, about 200 strikeouts per year. Redman played for 8 years, 747 strikeouts, or about the same average per year as Whitey Ford and many others.

Mark, show us your World Series Ring………