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Robbed by Spectators

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 01:52 PM

I've seen way too many plays in the last few weeks where a ball is driven down the line, and, as it bounces into the corner, I anticipate a play developing, perhaps a runner from first going for home, only to see the play called dead when a fan reaches over the railing, grabs the ball, and, almost inevitably, raises his* hands in triumph.

I have some relative tolerance for a fan who grabs at a fly ball that a fielder has a shot at reaching after** as this fan is looking up and stupidly not seeing the play develop. But reaching over the railing to grab a ball which the entire park knows is in play is incredible. I'm usually no martinet, but I propose such attendees should (1) have the ball taken away, (2) get a chastising from the outfielder denied a potential play, (3) get a chastising from the base coach denied potential advancement by his runners, (4) get evicted, (5) have their eviction and slow walk of shame shown on the diamond vision as the game is paused, and (6) have their season tickets (or those of the folks who gave them their seats) cancelled and the balance of their money returned.***

Grr. Grumble. Grouch.

* Always, it seems, it's a fella.

** Even though we have no obligation to clear out of the way when a fielder reaches into the stands, I hope our attitudes include extending the same courtesy to the visiting fielder as to the home fielder.

*** It's not about the money.

metirish
Jul 25 2005 02:12 PM

Yeah it nearly happened several times during Met games it seems lately, this fan interference especially hurts if it's the likes of Reyes that had the hit, you think triple when he hits one that rattles around the corner, I don't believe in punishment, the fans around him probably chastise him if they are not too hammered to know what's going on, the slow walk of shame brings to mind Steve Bartman and who needs that?

Fans should not lean over the railing and interfere with the play, but it happens all the time.

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 02:30 PM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jul 25 2005 02:50 PM

Bartman, of course, didn't reach onto the field. And the TV crew had no business lingering the camera on him the way they did.

Of course, my punishment is silly and too much, but one such walk would probably serve a few years, and such great seats should come with signs that say "Reach over the railing at your peril" or something.

I'm over my head, I know, but there're too many automatic plays in baseball as it is.

metirish
Jul 25 2005 02:48 PM

Yeah, my Bartman reference was to illustrate what can happen to a fan that gets blamed for a crucial call, as you pointed out the media(FOX) was to blame as much as anyone for that.

Maybe a sliding scale of punishment might work, the more important the game is deemed the more severe the punishment, so a crucial game down the stretch against the Braves might warrent a spanking from Jeff Wilpon, a lousy fan interference during a play-off game would surely warrent season tickets to be revoked.

seawolf17
Jul 25 2005 02:54 PM

Sounds fair to me, Edgy.

Problem is, most fans don't think when a ball's heading right for them. We've seen morons climb over children and the elderly like rabid weasels with no regard for life or limb, and for someone sitting in the front row, when a ball rolls right at you, instinct takes over and you reach out and grab it, in play or not.

People do crazy things for free stuff. I've even seen a guy fall out of the suites onto a metal railing at a Ducks game reaching for a t-shirt -- an image that will be with me forever.

Frayed Knot
Jul 25 2005 03:27 PM

I want fans who purposely interfere with live batted balls to be tied to a chair underneath the stadium someplace while large security personnel take turns beating them for a length of time to be determined by the severity of the offense.

soupcan
Jul 25 2005 04:00 PM

Fan interference drives me crazy too.

Especially a fan that interferes with a play that if let alone would benefit their team - foul pops in the front rows of the stands for instance.

Bartman may not have leaned onto the field, but as a Cubs fan he should have backed away and made it easier for Alou to get to the ball, not fought him for position.

]People do crazy things for free stuff. I've even seen a guy fall out of the suites onto a metal railing at a Ducks game reaching for a t-shirt -- an image that will be with me forever.


For a t-shirt? At a Ducks game? Incredible.

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 04:07 PM

As I've tried to say, I see the Bartman sin as a very different level of transgression.

TheOldMole
Jul 25 2005 04:21 PM

Edgy - Why does this strike you as in any way excessive?

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 04:26 PM
Edited 2 time(s), most recently on Jul 25 2005 10:53 PM

It strikes me that intentional humilation is a punishment that contemporary sensibilities don't stomache well.

We shame each other well enough, but peeps lose their taste for it when it becomes officially sanctioned, I think.

Myself, for instance. I think Bartman got jobbed.

seawolf17
Jul 25 2005 04:31 PM

="soupcan"]
]People do crazy things for free stuff. I've even seen a guy fall out of the suites onto a metal railing at a Ducks game reaching for a t-shirt -- an image that will be with me forever.


For a t-shirt? At a Ducks game? Incredible.


Yeah. The most disturbing thing that I've ever seen. Some three years later, my wife still has to hide her eyes every time they bring out the T-shirt gun (and on almost every foul pop that comes close to the edge of a tier).

They only had one T-shirt gun, so all eyes in the park watched the shirt come out of the gun, loop into the air, and just past this guy's outstretched fingers. The guy reached out of the first luxury box on the third-base side and just tumbled right out, cartwheeling head-first on the railing separating sections 103 and 104 (our seats are in 105). Scary as hell. They helicoptered the guy out of there, but I don't know if he survived.

metirish
Jul 25 2005 08:26 PM

]Myself, for instance. I think Bartman got jobbed.


I probably should not have brought Bartman into this thread because what he did didn't meet the criteria you laid out , however your above post is so true, ESPN even did a show live from Harry Caray's Restaurant on the implosion of the "Bartman Ball".

soupcan
Jul 25 2005 10:20 PM

Bartman may very well have gotten jobbed but you know what? Too bad for him.

He knew where he was sitting and the ball wasn't a line drive. Everybody in the place knew that the ball would come down close to the field and that there was a chance that a play could be made on it.

My point - back the fuck up and let the fielder have a chance to make the play.

If you are at a game and you are oblivious to the goings on as it relates to that ball rolling along the wall or the fly ball that could possibly reach the seats then why are you there? Give those front row seats to someone who will appreciate, respect and actually watch the game. You want a souvenir? I'm sure there's a gift shop at the end of the ramp.

What seawolf says about people just losing their shit over free stuff is so true - one of my pet peeves are the people that start screaming and standing and clawing at the batboys and players for the errant foul ball that comes their way. It's the most annoying thing when you're trying to watch a batter and 15 people who couldn't give a crap jump out of their seats and start screaming 'JIM! JIM! JIM!'


]Grr. Grumble. Grouch.


Indeed. Amen, brother.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 25 2005 10:42 PM

]They helicoptered the guy out of there, but I don't know if he survived.


That's how Maude Flanders went.

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 10:56 PM

I think there were a half a dozen peeps going for the Bartman ball.

soupcan
Jul 25 2005 10:58 PM

So screw them too.

Edgy DC
Jul 25 2005 11:08 PM

Screw them, sure. But he kind of got the sins of many on the back of one.

The real egregious sinners to me are the ones who (a) reach onto the field for a ball that has (b) already been called fair right in front of you and (c) raise their hands in triumph upon making the grab.

soupcan
Jul 25 2005 11:15 PM

So he was the unlucky one who actually touched the ball, oh well sucks for him. If he wasn't trying to grab the ball he would never have been villified like he was.

No sympathy from me.

Nymr83
Jul 26 2005 01:10 AM

](6) have their season tickets (or those of the folks who gave them their seats) cancelled and the balance of their money returned.***


thats a bit extreme as who knows if they thought it was foul? what if its a kid? but i agree with #'s 1-5. at the very least you get the boot and dont keep the ball.