Another game, another impromptu performance for the theater of the absurd at Citizens Bank Park. Monday, for the first time in baseball history, police used a Taser on a 17-year-old boy who ran onto the field in the eighth inning of a Phillies-Cardinals game.
The police commissioner said the officer acted appropriately because the suspect was “attempting to flee.” Really? Where was he headed? To the bullpen?
Tuesday, when yet another fan at a Phillies game ran onto the field, police stayed in the stands as thousands chanted “Tase him.” The 34-year-old man was arrested without incident by security guards. While many players were laughing behind their gloves, Tony La Russa didn’t think it was funny at all.
The Cards manager said someone could have a knife or gun and he believes zapping offenders serves as a deterrent to field-jumpers.
Using Tony’s logic, if using a Taser on a kid didn’t stop a second fan from running onto the field the very next day, maybe we should place police snipers in the upper deck and give security guards baseball bats.
The trick of course is to keep sporting events safe without making it feel like you’re watching a game at San Quentin. Giants Senior Vice President of Communications Staci Slaughter told me the team follows Major League Baseball rules regarding security protocol.
A’s media relations director Bob Rose said the team is confident its security personnel keeps players and patrons safe. Although last year at the Oakland Coliseum, an unruly man was stunned in the stands by police.
Curiously though, neither team requires fans to pass through metal detectors, which is standard procedure at every 49ers and Raiders game. Maybe if we tighten security when entering the ballpark, we can lighten up when some bozo runs onto the field.
Go ahead and ban them from the stadium for life. Hit ’em with a big fine and some jail time. But let’s not treat every clown who messes with our national pastime like they’re a threat to national security.
Sharks on the loose
Great to see the Sharks’ big guns finally break out. Joe Thornton, with only six goals in his first 48 playoff games in teal, has now scored in two straight games. Patty Marleau also emerged from the shadows with Tuesday’s game-winning overtime goal.
But the major reason the Sharks are poised to eliminate the Red Wings is their advantage between the pipes. Evgeni Nabokov has clearly outplayed Detroit’s rookie goalie Jimmy Howard.
While Nabby came up with the save of the season in Game 3, stopping Henrik Zetterberg’s penalty shot, Howard was out of position on Logan Couture’s game-tying goal and then overplayed the threat of a Thornton shot on his two-on-one breakout with Marleau in OT giving Patty a gift open net.
Over nine seasons, Nabokov has been in 74 playoff games. Howard has played a total of 10 playoff games, and it shows.
KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news. He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.