For seven and a half innings it was just another normal day at the ballpark for Barry Bonds on Opening Day. There were plenty of boos and even the occasional moos every time he stood in the batter’s box or took his place in left field. There were signs that read “BARROID” and “Bonds: The Greatest Cheater of his Era.” This sort of reaction wasn’t surprising. It had been expected for months. However in the bottom of the eighth inning as Bonds took his position in left field, some idiotic drunk fan with an IQ of zero, who was sitting in the left field stands, threw a syringe in the direction of Bonds. I can understand fans don’t like Bonds and want to voice their displeasure during the game either verbally or with their painted signs, but to throw a syringe? That is uncalled for and there is no place for that in any stadium. I could understand if a 7 year-old kid threw an object onto the field because he or she isn’t old enough to know better, but an adult? Way to go buddy, you got your picture on the 8pm edition of Sportscenter. You’re now known to many as the “Jack-ass Padre fan.”
It’s funny; people in the media as well as fans place such unrealistic expectations on athletes making them out to be these god-like figures who can do no wrong. Then when the athletes screw up you hear the outcry “These players are setting a bad example for our younger .generation!” What about the example that this guy who threw the syringe is setting for his children, or the kids who were sitting around him at the game? “It’s ok to throw a syringe at him because he’s a cheater!” Yeah, that’s exactly the message you want to send to those kids. I am a big believer that everybody has skeletons in their closet and until your closet is totally clean you have no right to judge anybody. By the looks of this guy he is no different. He looked like he belonged in the Betty Ford clinic and not a ballpark. Hey but no worries “Have another. This Buds for you. That way you can blame it on the alcohol.
What’s almost as bad as the act itself is the pathetic job of the ballpark security crew. There was also no security guard patrolling the area where this fan was sitting until after the incident occurred. Where the hell were they? Their job is to ensure the safety of the players! Oh but it is no big deal because the Padres announced after the game that the section where the fan was would be closed for the rest of the series. Too bad it’s a day late and a syringe short!”
This is only the beginning. San Diego is supposed to have some of the most mild mannered fans in baseball. What happens when Bonds goes to Philadelphia or Los Angeles? One can only hope that the security in those venues is a lot better than in San Diego. Is it going to take someone running onto the field and physically attacking Bonds because they don’t want to see him break Hank Aaron’s record before Major League baseball finally decides to beef up the security wherever Bonds plays? With the frenzy the media has created with Bonds and the steroids scandal, the hatred among fans towards him has grown in intensity over the past few months. Incidents like the one that took place Opening day although still rare, have happened with greater frequency over the past decade. On Sept. 28, 1995, Cubs reliever Randy Myers was charged by a 27-year-old bond trader who ran out of the stands at Wrigley Field. Myers saw the man coming, dropped his glove and knocked him down with his forearm. In 2001 at Comiskey Park two drunken fans came running out of the stands and attacked Kansas City Royals coach Tom Gamboa. Most fans are level-headed enough not to do something drastic, but all it takes is one lunatic. In each of these cases nobody was seriously hurt but what about the next time something like this happens? Fans have become increasingly bold in recent years, believing that if they buy a ticket to the game that gives them free reign to verbally and sometimes physically harass the players. This time it was only an empty syringe, but whose to say next time it won’t be a more dangerous object like a knife or a gun?
While it’s impossible to search everybody who enters a major league stadium, baseball has to beef up security to ensure the safety of its players. Otherwise next time something like this happens, they might not be so lucky.
I am a life long Giants fan, who bleeds orange and black. I’m not afraid to speak my mind and express my opinion. Whether you agree or disagree with what I have to say, feel free to write me and let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
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