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At Least One Chicago Judge Has A Brain

The moron (no, I won't dignify him by mentioning his name) who ran onto the field at the Cell on April 15 and tried to attack umpire Laz Diaz, was sentenced to six months in jail and 30 months probation today. It was also recommended that he undergo alcohol abuse treatment -- well, that's a no-brainer.

This is good news, though I still think the sentence isn't stiff enough. One of the problems, of course, is the massive publicity these kind of things generate. The idiots who do this kind of thing seem to revel in the TV time they get -- the loser who attacked KC Royals coach Tom Gamboa in September 2002 reportedly called his family and told them to turn on the news so they could see him.

It's hard to blame TV networks for focusing cameras on what is indeed a newsworthy event. But these days, when athletes do stupid things on camera so they can get on SportsCenter, and companies like Nike put out commercials that encourage this sort of behavior, is it any wonder that people who drink too much at ballparks (behavior that is encouraged by the teams, no matter what lip service they pay to responsible drinking) want to do it too?

Andy Warhol was right. 15 minutes of fame is all people like this want. Unfortunately, they get it at the expense of hurting others. The penalties have to be tougher, otherwise I fear that someone may be permanently paralyzed, or worse, lose their life in an incident like this.