Ryan Howard's difficult season took an ugly turn Saturday afternoon when a fan threw a beer bottle at the Phillies first baseman after the team's 6-3 loss to Milwaukee.
The bottle landed near Howard's feet as he walked back to the dugout. Howard alerted a security guard at Citizens Bank Park, who picked up the green aluminum Bud Light Lime bottle.
The incident was tasteless, Howard said. "I've done too much in this town to have that kind of stuff," he said. "If you want to yell out, `You suck,' that's whatever. But when you start throwing stuff, that's when stuff gets personal."
A Phillies spokeswoman said the team was investigating the incident.
"We have to be held accountable," Howard said. "If someone throws something, we're just supposed to sit there and wear it and get hit. Nah, man, we're human beings first and foremost. People get it twisted. They see the baseball stuff, and they don't see you as a human being. They see you as someone that just plays baseball."
Howard, who has not started the team's last five games, was used as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. The fans cheered as Howard came to the plate. The former MVP is batting .151 this season. He spoke earlier this week about his frustrations.
He ended the game Saturday with a groundout to the pitcher. Howard ran to first base and then turned to walk back to the dugout. He did not see the bottle fly toward him but saw it land nearby.
"I turned around, and it was down near my feet," Howard said. "I don't play that. To me, that's crossing the line. It becomes a security issue. It's not necessary. That stuff infuriates me."
Manager Pete Mackanin first heard about the incident Sunday morning. He said it was dangerous and should not happen. But he said the incident should not reflect all Philadelphia fans.
"Sure, they like to win. They're fanatical, and they know their baseball," Mackanin said. "I'm not going to put a label on the Philly fans because of one bad apple."
Catcher Cameron Rupp said the incident was "unacceptable" and "uncalled for."
Howard said it was the first time a fan has thrown something at him.