Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Basebrawl, A's Style 

Last night's game in Oakland turning into pro wrestling (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Posted by Hello

I suppose the pessimist in me says "Why doesn't it happen more often." In other places, riot police intervene at the end of soccer matches, fencing is erected to keep the fans and athletes apart. US sport has few ugly incidents, but there seem to have been more the past few years.

Hopefully, it will never come to that in the States, but you have to wonder after the ugly scene last night in Oakland. I understand that getting heckled to death by drunken fans gets old, but is throwing a chair really the appropriate response?

When I go to a game, it does seem so easy to get access to the field. If you have front-row seats you can be on the field in no time, and do damage before security tackles you. Last night proved an irate ballplayer can get cause similar injury in the stands. I have all the respect in the world for the security: tens of thousands of people, and only a handful of guards to keep an eye out.

We all have seen security get tighter in many areas over the last three years. I would hate to see sporting events have to be turned into just another place to worry about personal safety.

Things like this happen every year in baseball. Dodgers last had it happen when a fan stole a player's hat, and the whole dugout rushed in to get it back from the fan. Not the best PR in the world.

Baseball will always have a problem with this, so long as it believes fans have a right to catch a foul ball. Cause there will always be an area close between a fan and the player, at some point. The fences can be made high, like in the bleachers for the outfield, but then you knock down quite a few foul balls.

Most of the games I go to though, if I sit up close to the fence, fans will usually pull other fans back from interfering with a ball in play. It's way too easy to reach up and grab a ball that can be caught by a player.... and not the right thing to do to him.
Agreed. The Cubs have a thing or two to say about fan interference. I'm most worried about drunken nutcases running out onto the field, like the imfamous father-son duo who attacked that first base coach in 2002.
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