A member of The Best Fans in Baseball got arrested last night in St. Louis for aiming a laser pointer at Giants pitcher Shane Loux and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. And, you’re not gonna believe this, but it appeared to be some dumb rich kid, doing it from a luxury suite his friend’s dad owned:
City police arrested a 17-year-old boy from the Ladue area for allegedly pointing a green laser at the opposing team’s pitcher and at Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny in Busch Stadium during Monday night’s game … Matheny then saw the culprit laughing from a suite along the first base line … The Cardinals’ skipper made eye contact with the teen, pointed to him and mouthed the words, “I see you.” The teen then laughed, waved and pointed the laser above the manager’s head.
The cops went after him and he tried to run. He dropped the pointer in a trash can, but they found it. The kid was held for disturbing the peace, but prosecutors are looking at other possible charges. I hope it’s not illegal to use those things or else I’m going to soon have way, way less fun with my cat.
Anyway, you don’t often hear about this kind of thing at sporting events. It’s usually interfering with aircraft that gets you busted for this sort of thing. But according to the article this happened at Citizens Bank Park back in 2009, so it’s not unprecedented.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.