Saturday, May 8, 2010

Memo to Philly Fans: Don't Trespass, Dumbass

Three weeks ago, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia hosted a sick, drunk freak yarking his nachos all over a teenage girl. The only thing saving him from a righteous beating at the hands of her policeman father was the dad keeping his head and not getting his daughters left alone at the ballpark.

Last Monday, we had a 17-year-old kid decide that running laps around left field would be a lot of fun. The picture shown here is a beautiful piece of photography, as it captures the exact moment that the kid switches from "WHEEE! THIS IS FUN!" to "Yannow, I may have not thought this through very well."

It also captures the last moment before he got electrified metal prongs shot into his ass.

The officer's action has touched off a bit of debate over unusual and excessive force, but more on that momentarily.

Finally, on Tuesday, another yobbo hopped the wall and simply took a leisurely stroll along the warning track...with a small quantity of weed on his person, to boot. Why? To prove a point, apparently.

34-year-old Thomas Betz had this to say after his arrest: "I just wanted to go out there and basically prove that, at least in my case, you don't need to Tase anybody or do anything like that to subdue a fan who would be in the position I was in."

Did ballpark security HAVE to Tase Steve Consalvi, the teenager from Monday night? Maybe not. Does his father have grounds to piss and moan about Steve getting shot with said stungun?

Absolutely not.

Let's be honest here. Trespassing is trespassing, wherever it may occur. I have a couple of friends who, as teenagers, decided to climb the roof of a local school for giggles one night. The police showed up and...did what?

Politely ask them to get down? Nope.

Chased them in circles for 30 seconds? Uh-uh.

These boys were ordered off the roof by policemen WITH GUNS DRAWN. This was not "Get down, or I'll send an electrical current through you that will cause mild discomfort and black you out for a few seconds," this was "GET THE FUCK OFF THE ROOF, OR I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU!"

Simple, direct, to the point.

Steve Consalvi got off light. If you are somewhere where you are not supposed to be at a time when you're not supposed to be there, you run the risk of Johnny Law showing up and setting you straight, not just with Tasers, but with guns. They do this not because it gives them pleasure (although with some cops, I'm sure it does), but because it's impossible to gauge intent from a distance.

It's reasonable to assume that Consalvi didn't have any harmful intent in running circles around the outfield...but how did anyone know at that point?

Did they know he wasn't drunk or stoned? No.

Did they know he didn't have anything dangerous in his pockets or strapped to his chest? No.

Is it sad that we've reached this level of paranoia? Yes. What's surprising is that naive Pollyannas like AP columnist Tim Dahlberg have to ask if we have.

When it comes to sports, the same obstinate climate that spawns angry bloggers, message-board writers, and talk-radio callers could spawn more people like...well, like this guy.

Remember him? That's Gunter Parche.

April 30, 1993? Knife in Monica Seles's back? Ring a bell?

When we're evacuating Times Square because someone left some gas cans in the back seat of an old beater, yeah, we're paranoid. When we're being subjected to everything to the left of a body cavity search to get on an airplane, yeah, we're paranoid. The only question is, what kind of oblivious moron hasn't gotten the memo?

One guy who got the memo a long time ago about goofs on the field was the esteemed home run king, Henry Aaron. The two guys who came to pat him on the back as he rounded second base made Hank nervous, and after what he'd dealt with on the journey to 715, who could blame him?

The two college students also alarmed Aaron's bodyguard, who was pondering whether popping the two would be worth the risk of hitting Hank.

It's on page 222 of a fine book on #715, if you'd like to check it out. Go ahead. I'll wait.


Back? Good. On the very next page, the author mentions that Hank's mom didn't come barreling into Hank at home plate merely out of joy for his achievement. She was ready to take a bullet after hearing Chief Noc-A-Homa firing his cannon near his outfield tepee. You think fans on the field didn't scare the shit out of her?

Simply put, fans on the field are not part of the game, nor should we give them the leeway that would suggest that they are. If you come onto the field, being tased should be the least of your worries. The only reason I wouldn't advocate having someone kneecapped is because there are about 50,000 other people that a shot could hit in a crowded ballpark.

This may sound like I have no regard for human life, which is a long way from the truth. I have tremendous regard for human life, but not nearly as much for stupid human life.

Maybe Steve Consalvi's a good student and a good kid, but for that moment, he was stupid, and consequences should have been expected. Likewise for the guy with the weed stuffed in his ass-ugly shorts. Either way, they're screwing up games for a team that gets enough attention for being two-time defending National League champions.

This kind of attention, though, the Phillies don't need. Nor do they want it. If a little force keeps the idiots in the seats where they belong, it's well worth any pain or inconvenience to one schmuck who was stupid enough to put his head in the lion's mouth.

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