So many of the people taking issue with my position on the tasing incident have cited the players’ fear of rampaging spectators and their approval of the tasing as a basis for their arguments. But it’s not a universal sentiment.
Here’s Brent Mayne, former major leaguer and the on-deck hitter during the Tom Gamboa incident, writing about the Philly tasing incident on his blog:
I think what’s called for is a little common sense. I mean, if someone is
running around the field trying to not get caught, let him run. Unless it’s
Lance Armstrong or someone, how long do you think one person can keep running?
The guys gonna peter out eventually, right? And in the meantime, there’s a
possibility of some pretty fun entertainment to spice up the ball game.
Now on the other hand, if someone is coming out hot (and believe me, you can
tell immediately if that’s the case) zap away. I’ve seen a lot of people jump on
the field in my day and I knew right away when those two events at Comiskey
happened that they were different. Everyone on the field felt it. There was
violence and purpose on those fans minds and it was very obvious. Like
I said, for these clowns, let the police get involved and taser away.
Mayne goes on to note that corralling a streaker or a harmless drunk is often a groundskeeper’s highlight of the year. I’ll take his word for that, but if true, it’s a twist on this that I have yet to hear. I can see it, though.
As to his general point, that’s basically my position too. Police and security people are in the threat-assessment business. Let them assess threats and leave the shoot-first-ask-questions-later stuff to the movies.