Move over Santa — there’s a new villain in Philadelphia.
Phillies fans are hurling death threats instead of snowballs at Blue Jays pitcher Trent Thornton for sending their $330 million man to the ground grimacing in pain.
While Bryce Harper dodged a scare, and is only expected to be day-to-day with a right ankle bruise after being plunked Friday, Phillies fans aren’t holding back.
“You know what is better?” one Phillies fan asked of the Pittsburgh native. “Someone ending your miserable life, you redneck cuck.”
“I can see how people get upset, of course,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters. “He’s a star. The kid’s not going to hit him, for sure. There’s no reason to. There’s no history. There’s no nothing. Hopefully those people that are sending (Thornton) messages stop because it wasn’t on purpose at all and everybody knows it.”
The 25-year-old Thornton, who is fighting to make his Major League debut this coming season, seemed repentant after the near-calamity.
“It was a 1-1 count and I was trying to go in on a fastball, and I just kind of yanked it a little bit,” Thornton told reporters. “It got away from me, and unfortunately it hit him. I mean, is wasn’t intentional at all. My phone’s blowing up right now … and, I’m trying to deal with it.
“I mean, I was amped up. It’s the first time I ever faced him and I wanted my stuff to be good. I threw him a good curveball and he swung through it, so I wanted to set it up again with an inside fastball.”
Harper, who spent most of offseason awaiting a record-breaking contract, barked at Thornton shortly-afterward.
But Phillies fans appear to have taken it overboard.