My Two Cents On The Phillie Phield Phanatic

I’m not going to get into the whole “Was it right to Tase a 17-year old kid that was just running on the field?” argument, but if you’re really curious, I don’t have a particular side I agree with.* I also think it was stupid that the kid, even after he called his dad and was told not to do it, still went on the field.

* Though evidence that he screamed out “Don’t Tase me, bro!” would have been funny.

However, I do have to comment on one thing in response to something I read on one of Craig Calcaterra’s posts. Near the bottom of the post, he has one sentence that jumped out to me.

If more attention were paid to in-stadium security, the incidents would be even rarer than that.

Now, I cannot say anything about the staff at Citizens Bank Park, nor the security of CBP or any other stadium, but I can certainly offer up the knowledge of an usher.

Clearly, fans that jump on to the field must start near the field. However, while working with the Twins, ushers that work on the lower level of the park are rarely near the field. They are usually at the top of the section, watching over everyone in the event of a batted ball or broken bat. It would be more dangerous for them to be at the bottom of the section, looking up at the crowd, because then their backs would be to the field. It would block off the possibility of fans jumping from the aisles onto the field, but the risk of getting hurt from something they couldn’t see prevents that option from happening. From what I’ve heard, the fan was on the field during the bottom of the 8th inning, so in the middle of the game, meaning that the ushers were likely in no position from preventing him from going on the field.

As for on-field security, I have to assume that they were doing the same thing. It’s easier to prevent fans from jumping on the field if you’re watching them the whole time, but the chance of getting hit by a ball or bat, especially when you’re one of the closest to the field makes this a bad decision.

I do agree with Craig that we could do more to ensure that fans don’t find a one-way ticket to jail from a baseball game, but I don’t know how we could do it. If the walls are raised so fans can’t just step on to the field, they’ll jump over instead. If gates or netting are put up, fans will complain that it feels like they’re in a hockey arena, and it will change the in-game action as well (fewer home runs). More security can be put on or near the field, but again, it’s not an issue of numbers, but positioning in relation to avoiding injury.

Despite the problem, it’s not really a common occurrence. I think that running on the field is stupid, but for the most part, it’s harmless. I don’t think further action needs to be taken at the moment.


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