Metal detectors at ballparks (which don’t really enhance security) cause delays

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Some ballparks put up metal detectors last year, but this year is the first year of Major League Baseball’s new rule requiring all parks to have them. And, on Opening Day, a predictable side effect:

The new procedure created confusion and long lines at the gates for hundreds of fans who were trying to get inside the venue in time to watch Masahiro Tanaka throw out the first pitch for the Yankees.

Unsurprisingly, many fans were not happy with the delays the metal detectors caused.

“Not good. It’s just out of control,” said Joe Marinaio, of Staten Island, N.Y., as he stood in a long line outside Gate 4. “There’s no organization. It’s just a free for all.”

Though Marinaio, 19, heard about the new security measures via Twitter, he said he didn’t expect to have to wait over an hour just to enter the stadium.

Over time people will get used to this and the lines will be shorter, one assumes. It always seems to happen that way.

But it’s still worth noting that metal detector at the ballpark are nothing more then security theater, with experts saying that they will do nothing to make people safer at ballparks and could, in fact, be counterproductive in this regard. In other news, I am aware of no security dangers inside ballparks — no widespread or systemic incidents of violence, terror or anything else — which made this new rule reasonable and necessary in the first place.

But this is 21st century America where even suggesting that it’s possible to go too far in the name of security is unthinkable. Where, if someone in a position of authority suggested we all dress up in ballet tutus and wear crash helmets 24/7, most people would say “well, security is a good thing, and if doing this saves one life  . . .”

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.