The Cubs beat the Reds in dramatic, walk-off fashion on Tuesday night, as Kyle Schwarber hit a 10th-inning dinger to put an exclamation point on a Chicago day that had already seen the capture of notorious alligator Chance the Snapper. And as one minor local reptilian celebrity was consigned to a bucket by the Dept. of Animal Care and Control, a mammal has risen to replace him: Mai Tai Guy.
Mai Tai Guy is the guy you’ll see in the home run video wearing the jersey that says “Mai Tai Guy.” He’s become an object of scorn in the last 24 hours because he used his longer, adult-sized arms to swipe the Schwarber ball from some kids next to him in the bleachers, and he wasn’t even humble about it.
The Chicago Tribune caught up with Mai Tai Guy today. His name’s Chris, and he’s a handyman and longtime Cubs fan who earned his moniker from—wait for it—drinking Mai Tais:
“When I first started coming out here when I was 21, the beers were a buck cheaper than the Mai Tais,” Mai Tai Guy said. “The beer is only 5% (alcohol). The Mai Tai is like 12%. So for a buck more, let’s get after it, you know?”
Even after having a night to reflect on his actions, Mai Tai Guy denied that he did anything wrong, justifying his aggressiveness by emphasizing that the prize he won was no ordinary out-of-play baseball:
“All the kids are in the front row because we let them go there,” Sorley said. “You know what I’m saying? (Schwarber’s homer) is a gamer. You know the rules here. The Cubs can’t be responsible for the action of fans when trying to procure a home run or a foul ball. A walk-off home run? It’s kind of anyone’s game. I feel bad for the kids, but it looked a lot worse than it really was.”
Would you like to hear that justification in a smartass Chicago accent? Please, be my guest:
Deadspin is, surprisingly, not unanimous in its condemnation of Mai Tai Guy, with at least one staffer agreeing that walk-off balls should be fair game. “I mean he didn’t rip it out of their hands. He’s just bigger than them,” the editor said. What do you think? Must a fan always give a baseball to a kid, even if it’s a walk-off dinger? Or is Mai Tai Guy a hero and an example to grown men everywhere who still bring baseball gloves to games?