x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Reminder to baseball fans - No one came to the ballpark to see you, kid

Every so often there is an incident in sports that makes fans mourn the demise of the cat o’ nine tails as an implement of law enforcement.

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter jogs past as security tackle a fan who had jumped out of the stands at Milwaukee and ran onto the field to give the shortstop a hug. Jeter announced before the season began that this would be his last in the majors. Mike McGinnis / AFP
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter jogs past as security tackle a fan who had jumped out of the stands at Milwaukee and ran onto the field to give the shortstop a hug. Jeter announced before the season began that this would be his last in the majors. Mike McGinnis / AFP

Every so often there is an incident in sports that makes fans mourn the demise of the cat o’ nine tails as an implement of law enforcement.

During the New York Yankees’ game at Milwaukee on Friday, a Brewers fan decided the bottom of the sixth inning was a good time to ask Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter for a hug – by leaving his seat behind the third-base dugout and running onto the field, where Jeter was standing.

Jeter deftly avoided the fan, who was quickly tackled by security.

How do security breaches like these keep happening in a post-9/11 America that values security above all else? The young man in Milwaukee’s desire for a hug seemed genuine, making him a bit more sympathetic than fans engaging in the scourge of taking on-field selfies, but we can only know their intent after the fact.

There have been several close calls from which to learn. Consider Kansas City Royals coach Tom Gamboa escaping with cuts and bruises in 2002 after being jumped by two Chicago White Sox fans who ran onto the field, or Monica Seles being stabbed by a fan in 1993. How many times can this happen before someone pays for lax security with their life?

Networks rarely show fans running on the field, presumably to avoid encouraging copycats.

Instead, they should zoom in on them, especially as they are tackled, tasered and dragged to court, where they should receive fines starting at US$10,000 (Dh36,700).

If these fans want attention, then give it to them in spades.

pfreelend@thenational.ae

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