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.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.