It goes without saying that I have a multitude of topics floating around in my head, that I want to eventually write about. For whatever reason, I just don’t get the proper motivation to do so, and those subjects just continue to fester in my brain. Inevitably, when this happens, all it takes is for me to read or hear something that pushes me over the edge about one of those subjects, and provides me with that proper motivation I need to start writing. Today’s subject is a result of that very scenario. Thank you Bryant Gumbel and Real Sports for getting me back on my blog. It’s been too long.
Being a Bostonian, I cannot ever remember a day in my life in which I was not a Red Sox fan. From the days of my youth in the 70’s, when you only got to watch one game a week on Friday night, on WSBK TV38, until the present day, where you can watch every single game on NESN. Baseball has always been a big part of my life, and it will continue to be until I no longer walk this Earth.
Going to the game was always a great treat, too. Driving to Braintree and getting on the red line, taking it into Boston, then jumping on the green line to Kenmore Square. Even as an adult, the ride into the city for a baseball game always gives me butterflies. Then there is the walking up to the park, and into the building, with all the other fans. The excitement builds with every step. Then comes the apex of the journey. Walking out of the tunnel and seeing the field. Pure bliss. You find your seats, sit down, and so begins another game.
I still remember what that feeling was like the first time I ever went to a Red Sox game. I recall my Dad slipping an usher some cash to get us a better seat. I think of the smells in the air, and the players warming up. I also recall one very significant moment that took place as my Dad and I sat there. It was the moment when he flipped my ticket stub over and made me read the part that said ‘as a fan, I assume the risk of injury from any flying debris from the field, i.e. foul balls or bats’. My Dad stressed the importance of this warning. In a nutshell, he said it is my responsibility to pay close attention to what is happening on the field, especially when a pitch is being delivered. As crazy as it may sound, that warning has stuck with me my whole life, and virtually every REAL baseball fan I know, who attends games live, knows this warning as well. This brings me to the reason I am writing this blog tonight.
Earlier today, I caught a segment of Real Sports about the epidemic of fans being injured by foul balls, and broken bats. Admittedly, I had no idea that so many people had been hurt in recent years. Of course they mentioned the woman at Fenway, and a couple other prominent ones I had heard of, but there were a lot more incidents that I had not heard of. A lot more. The story focused first on MLB’s reluctance to address this issue, by extending the netting all the way down the baseline, and also their lack of legal accountability for injured fans. Although I am not completely opposed to the netting idea, I would prefer it not be done. The reason is quite simple……………….It shouldn’t have to be done!
The fans of today are stupid. It’s a total pink hat generation. More concerned with everything else but what’s on the field. If you want to protect the fans from their own stupidity then fine, put up the nets, but stop acting like this is somehow Major League Baseball’s fault. Maybe instead of blaming MLB, you should start showing EVERY SINGLE ONE of these injured fans on the news, EVERY SINGLE TIME it happens. Clearly these quasi-fans are in need of an incentive to pay attention for 2 seconds every minute. It’s not that hard. Look at your phone all you want. Chat with your friends constantly. Look at all the signs around the park, but how ’bout every 45-60 seconds, when the pitcher throws the ball, YOU PAY ATTENTION!!!!
You don’t go to a Gallagher concert and blame him when you get covered in watermelon because you weren’t paying attention and forgot to hold up the plastic, and that’s just watermelon. I know that getting hit with a ball or bat could be very detrimental to my well being, so I make damn sure that I’m not distracted when a pitch is being delivered. Is it still possible that a fan who is actually paying attention could be injured? Absolutely. However, it would be a rarity, and therefore not considered to be a major safety issue. Instead, we have dumbass after dumbass getting hurt because they are not actually doing the one thing that every REAL baseball fan does, which is watching the game. For crying out loud, a pitch takes just a fraction of a second. If you can’t relegate a fraction of a second, every minute, to watch the actual action on the field, then just stay home and let a REAL fan have your seat, because you don’t deserve it. This is just another example of the masses having to suffer the consequences for the jackass few. Don’t back down MLB. These people need to wise up.