Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells knows how to work a crowd. He also could teach comedian Michael Richards a thing or two about how to handle hecklers.
During the Blue Jays' game in Cleveland on Wednesday, a group of fans in the bleachers were giving it to Wells throughout the game.
"It was the usual stuff," Wells said yesterday. "Stuff like 'You suck' or 'You like men'.
"One guy was also yelling at me to give him a ball. He said that Torii Hunter (of the Twins) had given him a ball."
So Wells decided to do something. Between innings he got a new ball and wrote a message to the fan, then when he went back on the field the next inning he tossed it to him.
"Here's your ball, now please tell me what gas station you work at so I can come and yell at you when you're working. Please sit down, shut up and enjoy the game. From your favorite centre fielder, Vernon Wells."
It turned the tide.
"They all loved it," Wells said. "It's something that I've done before, maybe a handful of times. It gets them on your side."