A Fort Worth restaurant owner says he received death threats after he started selling t-shirts and offered Rougned Odor free barbecue for life for punching Jose Bautista last week.
The punch was in the game against the Toronto Blue Jays more than a week ago. His shirts went on sale the next day. And since then, he's seen and heard lots of backlash.
“Ninety-nine percent Rangers fans love it and ninety-nice percent of Blue Jays fans hate it,” said Travis Heim, owner of Heim Barbeque.
The restaurant owner says Blue Jays fans didn't see the humor in his idea to offer Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor free food and the t-shirt to go with it.
"A lot of it was, ‘You suck. We don't like you. Your barbecue's bad.’ You know, that's not a big deal,” Heim explained.
Heim, like other Rangers fans, cheered on Odor after he punched Bautista in the jaw. He even got a friend to print t-shirts that said “Rougened eats free” and then made the food offer to Odor.
First, Heim received fake one-star food reviews. One said “the food had a smelly ‘Odor’ to it.”
Then, he received nasty voicemails.
“The Texas Rangers are a bunch of [expletive]. They're the worst baseball team I've ever seen,” one voicemail said. “And you supporting them makes you a [expletive]. So you and your [expletive] old men, your [expletive] wife can go [expletive] the [expletive] Rangers for a [expletive] day, alright? You [expletive] [expletive]. Go Jays.”
And finally, Heim says death threats came in.
"We love the Rangers,” the restaurant owner said. “And you expect some negative feedback. You don't expect people are going to come to your house and murder you. That's where it's a little over the line."
Heim said he is going to turn in one threatening voicemail to the Fort Worth Police Department.
His t-shirt sales, however, have been solid. And when his restaurant opens, he says he'll keep a lunch plate ready for Odor.
"I think more Rangers fans than Blue Jays fans will eat at our restaurant,” Heim said. “So I'm not too worried."