Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baltimore Orioles 14 at New York Yankees 5 - April 8, 2014

When I was much younger and still in school, I remember wishing for the day that I was old enough to be able to go to weekday afternoon baseball games. Next thing I knew, I was living in Japan, where there were no weekday afternoon baseball games, at least at the top level. Then I moved in Singapore, where there is no baseball at all. Now I am in New York and not working, so for the time being, my wish has finally been granted. The Yankees opened at home against Baltimore yesterday and I skipped that one as I had other commitments, but today, game 2 of the series was also a 1:05 start. With nothing on my schedule, I took the subway from Queens to the Bronx via Manhattan and settled back for a wonderful afternoon.

This picture above was taken from my seat in section 420B, row 8, directly behind home plate. A $28 face value, it went for just $6.50 on StubHub an hour before the game. Have you seen anything more beautiful than a ballpark from the upper deck? Perhaps just the line score below, as the Yankees got hammered by Baltimore. The game took 3:28, but it was due to lots of action as the pitches per minute (PPM) was 1.649, better than the average this season.

In fact, the game would have even been shorter, except for a couple of idiot fans. In the bottom of the 8th, with the game well in hand, two drunken morons jumped on the field, running from the left field foul line towards the infield. Security was a bit slow off the mark but caught up to them soon enough, taking them down near second base while the Orioles looked on bemusedly.

The same thing happened last year at the All-Star Game at Citi Field, although in that case the lunkhead was drunk on Twitter fame rather than booze. At the time, headlines raged about a year in jail, but the guy is out and still tweeting away like the twit he is. It seems like there is no real punishment meted out for these fools, which I find extremely frustrating. You might consider them harmless pranksters, but they are wasting my time, and that of everyone else in the ballpark. So rather than threaten them with legal penalties that will never be enforced, let's create a more meaningful rule. For every minute of time wasted by a fan running on the field, they spend that time in jail. Simply take the paid attendance, multiply it by the number of minutes their incursion took, and send them off to prison for that time. For example, today's game had 35,864 fans (although most had left by then) and the little pinhead adventure lasted about 3 minutes. That turns out to be nearly 75 days (107,592 minutes). So simply have these two sent to Rikers Island for 2 1/2 months and I'll be satisfied. Or even better, create a jail in the bowels of the stadium and have them stay there, unable to follow their team other than to hear occasional cheering from the crowd. A steady diet of cold hot dogs and warm soda would certainly have them thinking twice about doing the same thing again.

Will this ever happen? Not in today's world. There is no room in real jails for minor offenders like this; instead the punishment likely will be a slap on the wrist and a stadium ban. Even though these two may never see the inside of Yankee Stadium again, you can bet more drunken dopes are already planning the same thing for later this season. So expect to see more instances of buffoons claiming their 15 minutes of fame at a baseball diamond near you.



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