In an Office exclusive, Mike Hampton said he was “saddened and confused” by the reaction he received from Braves fans Friday night at Turner Field.
“I gave my heart to this team, to the fans, to the city,” said Hampton, soaking in ice from the neck down. “No one works harder than me.”
Hampton pointed out that he flew from Houston to Atlanta at great risk to his health. “I could’ve caught the swine flu, but I wanted to come back to Turner Field. I thought the fans would be glad to see me,” he said.
The veteran southpaw doubts he’ll be able to make his next start. “The boos really hurt,” he said. “I might need to take some time off to get my mind right. Maybe a few weeks, a month, I don’t know.”
He asked Braves fans to put themselves in his shoes.
“You try pitching with a bruised nipple,” he said, indignant. Turning to his locker, Hampton stubbed his toe and fell to the floor, writhing in pain.
He’s listed in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.