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Another Fan Attack

By now you've probably heard about the idiot who ran on the field at the White Sox-Royals game last night and started attacking umpire Laz Diaz. Luckily, Diaz is a military reservist, knew how to defend himself, and wasn't hurt.

The fact that this was another visit from the Royals, who were here last September when two other morons ran out and attacked their 1B coach Tom Gamboa, was strictly coincidental.

The real reason this kind of crap keeps happening is MLB's attitude toward security. They spent over a year after 9/11 banning backpacks from ballparks (backpacks are not inherently evil) -- finally rescinding this ban this year -- and giving minute inspections to bags being brought in, to prevent "weapons" from being brought in (really, they're searching for bottles and cans, or so they claim) -- when the real problem is inside the ballpark.

See, the true reason they don't want those beer bottles and cans brought in isn't because they're afraid they can be used as weapons, but because they want to sell more of their own beer inside, at exorbitant prices (I don't drink beer at the ballpark, and the $5 price is only one of the reasons).

And when was the last time you saw an overserved person at a ballpark refused more drink? They'll squeeze every last inning out of beer sales -- except at Wrigley Field, where they'll cut it off at 9:20 pm -- most ballparks sell till the end of the 8th inning... and then they refuse to pay for enough security to prevent incidents like last night's from happening. Unfortunately, the time has come when professional sports stadiums and arenas are simply going to have to pay for uniformed police officers to keep order. If that makes a ballpark look like a police state, well, too bad. Those of us who just want to watch the game would welcome that.

There's too much laxity in enforcing rules. In the Wrigley Field bleachers, oftentimes drunk idiots who cause trouble are simply "talked to", then allowed back in. This creates the attitude, passed on by people who are there, that "hey, we can do anything here, they won't do anything to us!" Instead, such people should be held in "stadium jails", which they have now at some football stadiums. If they get more rowdy, they should be arrested, and the penalties increased ($500 fines are not a deterrent).

Luckily, these two incidents haven't seriously hurt anyone. I suppose it'll take an on-field murder to make MLB do anything about this serious problem.

The White Sox, for one, could start by putting more security out there, no matter the cost, AND maybe stop selling beer earlier. It'd send a clear message, rather than the lip service they've paid so far.