For as long as foul balls have been flying into the stands, people have been fighting for foul balls. Usually it’s a pretty tame affair, with multiple people reaching for it but one person asserting their claim rather quickly. While there are serious scrums over historic home run balls, foul balls simply don’t lend themselves to acrimony.
Which explains the look of utter disbelief on the face of the young man in the Frank Thomas shirt in the video below. He scrambled after a foul ball and picked it up only to have the woman in the video take it from him. Or, really, just sort of demand it and take it from him before he could fully process what was going on. Watch:
We can’t see behind the seat so maybe she had her hand on it and he snatched it away from her first, but the body language doesn’t really track that. When she takes it, I get the sense that the dude was sort of reverting to deference to elders out of muscle memory or something and then realized, “hey, she just friggin’ took it.”
As you can see at the end of the video, a White Sox official came out and gave him another ball, so I guess it all turned out OK. Still: it’s just a ball folks.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.