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Joe Nathan clarifies comments on fans: 'They have a right to react how they want to'

The Tigers' closer found himself in the headlines for the wrong reason when he seemed to imply Thursday he didn't care about the fans. He tweaked his wording a bit Saturday.

Joe Nathan stepped in it again with the fans when after a six-run relief appearance Thursday he was quoted saying "fans aren't really on my mind." After pitching a cleaner inning Saturday, he told reporters he wanted to clarify those comments a bit. It's not that he doesn't care about the fans, he said. It's that he doesn't care about how they react to him and that they have a right to boo him if they wish.

Via Dana Wakiji of Fox Sports Detroit, Nathan speaking his own words:

"I don't know if it came out wrong or whatever, but it was never that I don't care about fans," Nathan said. "I think what I said was, I don't care what they do. They have the right to do what they want to do. It's not that I don't care about them as fans, but I don't care how they react. They have a right to react how they want to. So I want to get that cleared up and I hope that we can make it as popular as it was when it said I don't care about fans. I want it to be kind of fixed a little bit and come out that that was definitely not what was meant to be said and I'm sorry if it came out that way."

Via the Freep, here's what Nathan originally said Thursday:

"I don't care, to be honest," Nathan said of the boos. "You know, those guys, to be honest with you, aren't even on my mind. Fans aren't in my mind. Only people that really matter to me is my family and the people in this locker room."

Nathan heard the boos last season at Comerica Park and reacted with a gesture he later apologized for.

"I don't want to make a bigger deal than it is," Nathan said of the latest boos. "Fans are going to be the way they are, and that's the way it is. That doesn't bother me. It's not a part of my life. They're not a part of my life. Period."