Baseballs in a line

Is it too much to ask that they behave like happy drunks?

During Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, ESPN’s Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez briefly discussed the nitwit who chucked a ball at Boston left fielder Alex Verdugo on Saturday night.

In a rare, if easily done call, Major League Baseball slapped a lifetime ban on the fool. He is not only banned at Yankee Stadium, but also from all 30 big-league yards.

That’s a lot of beer sales lost.

Capping the brief interlude on fan behavior, Rodriguez wondered aloud how that may affect fans at Wrigley Field, who for years have routinely tossed opponents’ home run balls onto the field. 

Well, the difference is, Cubs fans are not aiming for the outfielder’s noggin. For one thing, they’d be trying to drill a Cubs outfielder, and the fans around him could tune him up on their own.

MLB could follow-up on its sentence against the rogue chucker by declaring that anyone throwing any baseball onto any field faces dire consequences. The folks on Park Ave. in New York specialize in over-reactions.

This, however, is no over-reaction. 

Not having been in the left-field stands Saturday night, it is impossible to offer an affirmative play-by-play of the incident. Having been in a few ballpark seats, and in a few ballpark beer lines, consider this one man’s semi-educated guess.

Fan X arrived at the stadium right around game time, well lubricated at one of the neighborhood’s finer drinking establishments. It is not outside the scope of this speculation to suggest that Fan X smuggled a nip bottle or two through the gates.

Once inside, Fan X surmised that the start of the game would be delayed for one hour because of the rain that mysteriously soaked his clothes.

Unable to go back to the bar, Fan X settled for paying way too much for several alcoholic beverages to tide him over.

That gave Fan X ample opportunity to maintain and strengthen his hold on an alternate universe.

Thus, the stage was set for the bottom of the sixth inning, Verdugo’s subsequent desire to introduce Fan X to his right-uppercut, Alex Cora’s waving his players off the field, and umpires directing stadium security and New York’s finest to the idiot in question.

This is not to demonize all who tip one plastic cup too many. Not all of them are out to assault anyone.

On July 1, situated in the first row of the box seats on the outfield side of the visitors dugout, we were treated to the sight of four drunken fools wobbling into the sets beside us. The Red Sox were well on their way to a 15-1 win. The rambunctious drunks were on their way out of the lyric little bandbox.

They got as close to inside the Royals dugout as they could and strung together expletives in describing the Royals’ deficiencies. Inspiring no reaction, they did what any torched fan would do and screamed louder.

After about 30 seconds, Fenway security guards had the drunks in custody.

The glaring difference in the conduct of these drunks is that Verdugo could have been physically injured by his antagonist. The Royals could find comfort knowing that sticks and stones may break bones but babbling sots would scurry away.

In either case, if fans are determined to enjoy their refreshments irresponsibly, is it too much to ask that they behave like happy drunks?

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