HOUSTON — It's no secret that Gallery Furniture Owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is passionate about the Houston Astros. And it's no surprise that the superfan is in Philadelphia to cheer for the 'Stros as they battle the Phillies in the World Series.
But McIngvalle probably wasn't expecting to go viral after a postgame encounter with a "drunk" Phillies fan was caught on camera.
"I was told they are the worst fans ever. I expected the best and I got the worst," McIngvale told us Wednesday.
He was leaving the game after the Astros' ugly 7-0 loss when he said the "drunk guy" started hassling him about the 2017 cheating scandal.
"When they said ‘Altuve’s a f—king cheater, he’ll never make the Hall of Fame,’ that sent me over the edge," McIngvale said.
He cursed at the guy a couple of times and that's what's shown on the TikTok video that's making the rounds on social media.
WARNING: Contains graphic language
McIngvale said he has no regrets about his response.
"I stand up for Houston when they're right and I stand up for Jose Altuve," McIngvale said. "Jose is one of the greatest Astros of all time, he's a great person and a great ambassador for Houston."
Astros fans were quick to defend McIngvale on Twitter.
Some fans suggested showing the video to the Astros to fire them up for Game 4.
And even a few Phillies fans are defending McIngvale's response.
But there were some critics, along with a lot of people who pointed out that McIngvale bet $10 million on the Astros to win the World Series. It's a bet that could have a $75 million payoff, according to CNN.
McIngvale is in good company when it comes to reacting to the notoriously nasty Phillies fans.
Astros ace pitcher Justin Verlander was caught on camera flipping the bird when the Astros bus arrived at the ballpark before Game 3 and again when he was walking inside. He later said it was "all in good fun."
"... Whole interaction was in jest as all the fans around you were just saying hello in their native tongue. So I responded in kind," Verlander tweeted in response to a guy who posted the video.
In another video, Verlander signed a ball for a Phillies fan and then posed for a picture with both of them flipping the bird and grinning.