Clearing the Air

I want to put a couple of things on the record regarding this Sheffield/Idiot Fan controversy. My posts about Michael Kay and his fellow booth members aside, I don’t think this issue has anything to do with the Sox and Yankees. It has everything to do with the relationship between fans and players. This incident could have easily been transposed to a Wrigley bleacher creature and a visiting outfielder, or to any pro hockey rink’s penalty box. In the specific case last night, we have a fan who may or may not have taken a swipe at a player (having watched numerous replays I think that barring a confession the verdict will remain indefinitely out), and a player who clearly lost his cool. This shouldn’t happen. First, the fan should keep his or her hands in the stands. That’s the end of that. If he doesn’t, he or she should be ejected. Second, the player should never cross the line and take a shot at a fan. If he does, without incontrovertible evidence that he was violently provoked, he should be suspended.

What’s actually being overblown here is not the concept of what happened last night – a fan and player getting entangled in an ugly incident and the repurcussions and implications of such an incident, but the Yankees/Sox aspect of it. To restate – I think this issue of the safety of players, their reasonable expectations of being buffered against overzealous fans, and how far a player should go to “protect” themselves is a huge one. But I think it goes far beyond this rivalry, and that’s the aspect of it we should avoid overdoing.

13 comments… add one
  • For cryin out loud, can we let this thing rest already? Sheff got popped in the mouth. He shoved the guy. Nothing else happened. Can we move on? The earth is still spinning. Everyone’s got their two cents in. For SF it’s been 65 cents, but whatever. Time to MOVE ON.

    YF April 15, 2005, 10:45 am
  • It’s really too bad this happened — there were some big stories last night that no one’s talking about:
    – The Big Unit not looking so hot, for his second straight start;
    – Edgah showing serious signs of life;
    – Varitek as the new Yankee-killer;
    – Both teams with problems stranding runners;
    – Foulke being completely ineffective;
    – Gordon being even worse;
    – Some utterly atrocious umpiring (can he be suspended?
    YF — I never got to follow up on your comments about Ron Jackson’s ejection because of work (I’m on the west coast, sadly); but no way did Gibson hear anything Jackson said — even yelled — from the dugout. There were 25,000 fans booing the questionable call, and the dugouts in Fenway are far from the plate. Tito at the press conference: “[Gibson said] he read his lips. That [expletive] guy can’t even see the ball in front of him. That was a [expletive] answer.”

    Jesse April 15, 2005, 11:03 am
  • Okay, fine. But even if we buy that the ejection was wrong–and the umps last night were definitely in space–i’m still having a hard time understanding why he’s trying to physically assault the guy. Sheff was more restrained, and he actually got hit. Enough already with managers and coaches charging at umps, even if they blow a call. Run out there, state your case, yell a little if you have to, then go sit down.

    YF April 15, 2005, 11:16 am
  • Agreed — it was a bit much. And your comparison between Jackson and Sheff raises an interesting point — scary to think what might’ve happened if Sheff didn’t have to wheel around to make the relay throw. I think that half-second made a huge difference.

    Jesse April 15, 2005, 11:29 am
  • I think SF is defensive because he doesn’t want all Sox fans to appear to be drunken hooligans. Not all Sox fans act like that, only 1 or 2 did. 35,000+ fans had a good time and behaved themselves. Jackson’s reaction to the ump was much more violent than Sheffield’s reaction to the fan. Sheffield showed a lot of restraint, I know if someone hits me in the face I wouldn’t have been as nice, then again they can’t sue me for a million dollars.
    That said, I have a question, does Flash Gordon still think he’s playing for the Red Sox? Just because Steven King names a book after you doesn’t mean you owe him your undying allegiance. Get rid of this bum before he blows another big save , especially like he did in last year’s playoffs. He’s like having Armando Benitez on your team, great numbers except when it counts or against your biggest rival.

    Anonymous April 15, 2005, 11:43 am
  • Gordon pitched well Wednesday night in a save situation.

    Clay April 15, 2005, 11:55 am
  • This is what happens when Red Sox Nation “cardholders,” who don’t know enough to keep their hands in the stands, go to games instead of real baseball fans, who can’t get tickets to Fenway anymore.
    Sheff should have clocked the assclown who, even if Sox fanboys and girls blindly give the punk the benefit of the doubt, was trying to turn Tek’s triple into a double at best. Inexcusable. Ban him from Fenway for two years.(Boston Dirt Dogs)
    His Story keeps changing. First he said he was going for the ball. Now he says he was doing the windmill.

    Bob April 15, 2005, 12:01 pm
  • hey, sf, sorry for attacking the motives behind your argument. Let’s just say i was projecting some sheffield-esque anger in your direction. I still think you were a bit hasty in villifying sheffield but it was very uncool for me to ignore your repeated claims that you were not biased in your argument. in any case, you do a great job along with yf in running this fun site for people like me to vent our stupid anger on. I was mostly responding to a red sox fan (my cousin) who kept on bringing up the tired roid rage angle last night. Listening to EEI, it’s odd to hear how much of the Nation is taking Sheff’s side. So, i was hasty in assuming people would take sides along their team loyalties. anyway, i’d like to continue wasting your bandwidth. sometimes i come up with some good ones (i was the quiz answerer a while back for instance, which i believe you enjoyed. )

    Nick April 15, 2005, 12:55 pm
  • Our bandwidth is open to all comers!
    As for fan stupidity, clearly its universal. The Sox fans who would take a swipe at Sheff should start hanging out with the Yanks fans who booed Mo.

    YF April 15, 2005, 1:50 pm
  • They can also admit into their club the guy who beaned Carl Everett in the back of the head with a Motorla StarTac a couple of years ago. (Can you imagine what Everett would have done to the guy if he was within arm’s reach?)

    Spidey April 15, 2005, 3:27 pm
  • Yeah, but at least the chucker had the sense to throw away a Startac – at one time it was the ugliest piece of hip tech out there. Motorola garbage. And thrown at such a classy guy like Everett, to boot!

    SF April 15, 2005, 5:01 pm
  • I could not have thought of a worse Red Sox player to break up Mussina’s perfect game than Carl Everett.

    Clay April 15, 2005, 10:04 pm
  • Hey, isn’t it time for Congress to get involved in this Sheffield-Sox fan situation?

    JeremyM April 15, 2005, 10:23 pm

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