Mat Latos hasn’t made many friends in San Francisco.
Not since his days with the San Diego Padres, when he autographed baseballs by writing “I Hate SF” and signing underneath. He also broke Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming’s car when he threw a ball over the stands at AT&T Park and into the parking lot.
And he also had this to say about the Giants in 2010, the year that they knocked off the Padres to win the NL West and ultimately the World Series:
The only way I could honestly put it is, we could be like the Giants and go and change our whole lineup, put guys with ‘San Francisco Giants’ across their jerseys. We didn’t. We’ve been the same team all year. We haven’t just gone and grabbed guys from other teams.
Now a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Latos is attempting to back off on some of those comments in an appearance on Yahoo! Sports Talk Live.
“Everyone takes it the wrong way,” he said. “I get with what I wrote on the baseballs…it wasn’t hating the city of San Francisco, it was more directly related to the fact that [the Padres] were in the lead all year in the NL West and [the Giants] just came out of nowhere and took it from us.
“It is what it is. It wasn’t trying to be harmful with what I had written on the baseballs. I love the Bay Area. I love the ocean…I come up here and spend time in the offseason. It was stupid at the time, I admit it. It was a rivalry — San Diego and San Francisco — and I just went with it.”
Whether Giants fans buy his comments or not, they can still revel in the fact that they had the last laugh, defeating Latos in Game 5 of the NLDS last postseason, en route to winning the World Series.