Major League Baseball has mandated metal detectors at all ballparks next season. Many have already put them up. As Neil deMause notes over at Vice today, however, they are utterly pointless. There is no evidence whatsoever that metal detectors actually reduce incidents of terrorism/violence/mischief/etc., and some reason to believe that putting them in will actually inspire would-be wrongdoers to get more creative with respect to the havoc they would wreak.
Harvard security expert Bruce Schneier agrees, calling the new MLB directive “security theater” . . . “This is very much a C.Y.A. type of thing,” he says. “‘If something happens, we’re going to be blamed’ . . .This kind of crap is what the terrorists winning looks like.”
No question that this is all just a facade to keep someone from suing should something happen one day or to look like they’re being proactive. Or, possibly, Major League Baseball has cornered the market on plastic flasks and is poised to rake in the dough from people who like having a snort of hooch at a ballgame.
Not that I know anyone like that.
The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?