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Whether Lastings Milledge displayed youthful enthusiasm or bad sportsmanship - or both - when he high-fived fans down the right-field line Sunday became a national sports-talk topic yesterday.

And regardless of any backlash, Milledge isn't convinced he did anything wrong while celebrating his first big-league homer. Asked if he stood behind his postgame comments Sunday - when he called his actions after homering against Armando Benitez with two outs in the 10th to prolong the game a "rookie mistake" - Milledge said he did not.

"No, I really don't," said Milledge, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI last night. "You know what? It happened. If it all replayed again, you know what, I don't regret one thing I did. As far as showing up somebody, it might look like that. But I'm not here to show up anybody, because I haven't done anything here at the big-league level. ... Did it look like it? Maybe it did. But I didn't have any intentions of showing anybody up. I wanted the fans to enjoy the home run with me, and enjoy the moment. It was a one-time thing. That's what I wanted to do. I did it. Let's move on from it.

"I decided to show the fans love. They pay my salary. It's becoming a big thing. I don't think it's like I shot somebody or something. You know what? It's good for the fans. And the fans will always remember it. And I'll always remember it."

The rookie said his parents even approved of his actions. Willie Randolph expressed disapproval Sunday, but suggested yesterday the whole event has been blown out of proportion. Teammates apparently had Milledge reenact the high-fives on the flight to the West Coast after the game. "He just hit his first home run. He got a little excited about it," Randolph said. "I didn't chastise him. I didn't yell at him. I just very quietly whispered in his ear a few things and that's it. He understood that."
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/story/424159p-357899c.html
 

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I really don't get what the big deal is. High fiving fans while running out to your position in the field is bad sportsmanship now? Personally, I think it was great to see a player interacting with the fans...it'd be better if more players did that.
 

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ToddMacCulloch11 said:
I really don't get what the big deal is. High fiving fans while running out to your position in the field is bad sportsmanship now? Personally, I think it was great to see a player interacting with the fans...it'd be better if more players did that.
100% agree.
 

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I think the media has overblown this pretty much. I can see Willie just playing the 'manager' role and telling Lastings he can't always high five the fans after a big homerun b/c that may rub the other team the wrong way but I thought it was great. I mean nowadays athletes aren't as accessible to the fans and for Lastings to high five the fans along the right side near where he's been playing all night I thought it was very cool and he didn't it in a humble way...he wasn't pounding on his chest and yelling and doing it in a cocky way he was just casually slapping hands with the fans and I'm sure when the Mets come back to Shea the fans will give Lastings a standing ovation!
 

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I get what Willie is saying though. With all the bull**** terrorism crap goin on right now what's not to say he goes to high five fans after a grand-slam game winner at Shea against the Braves and a psycho Braves fan sitting there pulls a concealed gun on Milledge and blows his head off or puts a bullet through Lastings' heart. Then it's not only his career that's in danger but his life. If Milledge understands the risk then he has the right to do what he wants and NOONE has the right to question him on the issue. I personally enjoy it. But he must understand that he does run the risk of a crazy thing happening even in his own home ballpark. If he's fine with it so am I as a fan.
 

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Yeah, this is getting waaay too much attention. I think one reason they jumped on him is because he's a rookie and they were playing the whiney Giants, who I heard complained. Nick Swisher caught some of the same flak last year from the veterans who didn't like a rookie getting so much attention.
 

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He's getting better as we speak this kid could be better than Reyes and he's not as crazy either in my opinion.
The media's giving the game a black eye with the masked racism, I grew up in NY that's exactly what it is.
Lastings Millege is destined to be the next good black player for the Mets taking what happened with Stawberry and Gooden into account the media sees him as just another one of those guys.
 

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Let's be serious for a second though. If this was a rookie David Wright doing this or hell even Kaz Matsui the media would be saying how great these two are for the fans and how priveleged the mets are that they have Wright/Matsui. I think it's more youth than race in this instance personally but hey anything's possible. However remember what I said before. What if a fan of the opposing team threw a drink at him DETROIT/INDY STYLE or came at him with a deadly weapon? Too much is being made out of the issue but I don't think that Lastings understands why.
 

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This is what I hate about baseball the most. The simple fact there is an unspoken rule about, "Not interacting with the fans". Before the 94 strike, it was damn near illegal for a player to give a fan a ball after a foul play. Players could get fined or ever suspended for showing some love to a fan, who I'm sure, payed good money for that seat. If you ask me, baseball has a real bad image with this steroid issue that is going on. We need more players like Milledge to show that not all ball players, are these juiced up giants (no pun intended) who on'y care about breaking records and making $$$.
 
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