Sunday, April 28, 2013

When the Yankees come to town

While the Jays are getting their butts kicked in New York this weekend, looking more like a dog and pony show than a contending baseball team, I’d like to go back to the New York nine’s visit to Toronto last weekend.

I didn’t attend any games, but a few friends who did thought the fans, particularly on the two weekend games were rather rowdy. Apparently, things were even worth in the seats immediately behind and above the visiting team’s bullpen. There was a lot of heckling (expected when the Yanks are in town), but also a lot of bad language and eventually some stuff thrown – not a good reflection on ball fans in this city, to be sure.

However, this bad behaviour brought out the fact that the Yankees travel with their own security guards who watch over the pitchers during the game. Here’s a blog posting on the subject. You can read it while I go out and pour another cup of coffee.

The article was written before all was known about what happened. The two guys fingered by Yankee security and then thrown out by the Toronto Police at their behest admitted later to throwing a few peanuts down into the bullpen. Clearly, that’s out of bounds because it can easily escalate into throwing things like beer, soft drinks or other, more dangerous items like batteries or projectiles brought in for the purpose of being thrown.

But I have to say I was more than a little put off by the fact that it was the Yankees security people who seemed to be running the show here. That to me is really out of bounds. The cops totally dodged any responsibility (we were just doing what they asked us to do), but it should be Rogers Centre security calling the shots here. The Yankees were the visiting team, “visiting” being the operative word here. This wasn’t Yankee Stadium. They aren’t the home team. If they want to bring their own security, fine, but these guys have to know their place.

I would hope in light of this that the Rogers Centre took notice and will move to make sure that they don’t cede control to outsiders. Like other ball parks, heckling the visiting team is part of the game. As long as things aren’t thrown, then the visitors just have to put up with the gibes. If there’s a lot of cussing from the stands, home stadium security can (and does) step in to ask people to dial back a bit. If they don’t, then it is time to throw them out. But this sort of call should never be made by the visiting team. That’s just nuts.

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