With recent violent events that have been taking place in the Major League Baseball (MLB), perhaps I should take back my commentary from two weeks ago. Apparently, baseball players and their umpires face a lot of danger, not so much from the ball or bat, but from the rabid fans.
On April 16, the Kansas City Royals – Chicago White Sox game was halted in the eighth and attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz.
Diaz was able to suppress the fan with his own strength before Royals’ teammates and Diaz’s fellow umpires quickly arrived to help secure the fan.
I find it sad that baseball fans must resort to violence, but I must admit the situation is amusing. Out of all the umpires for this fan to attack, he chose Diaz, who was in the Marine Corps Reserves and is built like a football player. The fan probably had a better chance if he attacked a player.
This isn’t the only time violence has erupted on U.S. Cellular Field, formerly Comiskey Park. On Sept. 19, 2002, two fans assaulted Royals’ coach Tom Gamboa. Gamboa lost some hearing in his right ear as a result of the attack.
Earlier in the season, two fans ran out with an antiwar banner during the Expos 5-3 win over the Mets in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The banner read “No a la Guerra (No to the War)” with a drawing of a gun.
The fans did not hurt anyone with their protest, but their action on the field does raise some critical questions. What are the stadiums doing to prevent violent fan invasion on the field? Why are fans stupidly attacking beefy, athletic baseball umpires when they would have a far better chance against the feeble football umpires?
Thankfully, no such violence between fans and players has yet to happen at the College’s fields of play this season. I suppose I was wrong when I doubted baseball injuries.
It seems that players, coaches and umpires are never safe as long as drunken fans can hop a fence.