Commissioner Rob Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement a few minutes ago regarding the incident in Boston last night in which a fan, or perhaps a few fans, hurled racial slurs at Adam Jones:
“The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks. My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behavior. Our 30 Clubs will continue to work with fans and security to provide a family-friendly environment. Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action. The behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”
As I said in the post about the Red Sox’ apology, there are limited things you can do to someone who is intent on being a jackwagon at the ballpark. Kicking them out, certainly. I’d suggest a permanent ban, though that’s harder to implement. We don’t do retina scans of fans as they enter the ballpark and people’s names are not necessarily tied to their tickets.
At the moment the most we can hope for with a ban from a ballpark is that the threat of a trespassing prosecution would follow if they were somehow discovered or ratted out. And that, eventually, people will just stop being jackwagons. That may seem naive, but despite last night’s ugliness, the friendliness of the atmosphere at the ballpark is way better now than it was even 20 years ago and light years ahead of the way it was in, say, the 1970s when drunkenness and nastiness was far more typical and far more accepted.
In the meantime, let’s hope that people will be better. We should always hope that.