On Sunday night, a fan in the stands at Yankee Stadium hit Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo in the back with a baseball.
As a Yankees fan, I certainly understand the sentiment, but I don’t support the decision. I think that baseball pitchers who throw at hitters are damn cowards. Throwing a ball from the stands at the back of another human being is the act of a pathetic, low life scumbag.
Despicable and disgusting.
As a result, the fan has been banned for life from attending major league baseball games. This decision was confirmed Sunday by spokesmen for both the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball.
Here’s my question:
How is baseball going to enforce this ban?
Yes, they can probably block the fan from purchasing tickets from official Major League Baseball vendors, but how do they stop this fan from purchasing tickets on the secondary market or simply having a friend purchase tickets on his behalf?
Will his face be posted at the gate of every Major League Baseball ballpark?
Will MLB use facial recognition software to identify him every time he attempts to enter a stadium?
This strikes me as a fairly ridiculous punishment. Unenforceable and silly.
I have a much better idea for punishment:
Arrest him. Charge him with assault.
Instead of arresting or even detaining him, the fan was allowed to leave the ballpark with his nonsense lifetime ban in place.
If I threw a baseball at the back of my mechanic after he presented me with the bill for my brake repair, I would expect to be arrested and charged with assault.
I wouldn’t expect to be banned from all brake shops in America.
If the parent of one of my students entered my classroom and threw a baseball at my back in response to their child’s report card, I would expect the parent to be arrested and charged with assault.
I wouldn’t expect the parent to be banned from school for life.
A coward in the stands of a baseball game hurled a dangerous object at the back of an defenseless player. He should’ve been in jail that night, awaiting arraignment on Monday morning.
Also, is a lifetime ban from baseball even appropriate? Let’s assume this fan is 30 years-old. Half a century from now, when he is 80 years-old and wants to bring his grandson to his first baseball game, do we really think he should still be banned?
Murderers are released from prison after two or three decades. We can’t allow this fan back into any ballpark in America for the rest of his life?
All of this is so stupid. We have a system in place for moments when an American citizen hurls a dangerous object at another American citizen. We arrest and charge that person with a crime. We allow judges and juries to determine the person’s fate.
That is what should’ve happened on Sunday night.
Instead, there is little stopping this fan from attending tonight’s game against the Phillies. Admittedly he should probably wait a while before trying to enter the ballpark again, but I suspect that chances are good he could purchase a ticket from a scalper, enter the ballpark, and find a seat in left field for tonight’s game if he was so daring.
He’s not, of course. He’s already proven himself to be a damn coward.
Cowards are a lot of things, but daring isn’t one of them.