There’s No Crying in Baseball: How Non-Fans are Ruining MLB Baseball for True Fans

Andy Zlotnick. You might recognize him from the HBO “Real” Sports special last year about foul balls. If you don’t, feel free to read Part I and Part II of my tearing down of the show’s lies.

Simply put, Andy is adamant about the addition of netting. He’s blinded by emotions. He’s even admitted it.

I have offered this space to him numerous times to write a clear piece which illustrates a logical argument for why more netting is needed despite the fact that, according to HBO Real Sports itself, 90% of season ticket holders, the ones who buy tickets closest to the field, HATE the extra netting. These are the people who buy the most expensive tickets and do so for an intimate experience.

Yet Zlotnick and others whine and complain about Major League Baseball needing to do something.

Zlotnick is a whiner by all standards. Here’s his situation; see if you agree with me:

On day, Andy, who admits to not attending many games, was enjoying a Yankees game. It started drizzling. Not enough to postpone or call the game, just enough to empty the stands some as people with common sense took refuse on the concourses. Some fans had umbrellas and opened them. Andy didn’t have an umbrella. Nor did he decide to follow the masses up to the concourse. Rather, Mr. Zlotnick decided to wait it out. Umbrellas blocked his view of the game, though. Weird, right? If he couldn’t see the game, why continue to sit in that seat? Common sense dictates he’d leave or ask people to lower their umbrellas. He did NEITHER.

The result of Zlotnick’s failure to use common sense like the majority of other fans at the game, went unquestioned by everyone with whom he spoke. Except me. I saw through the emotional argument he was presenting. 

Avoiding the Question

I asked Andy about this many, many, many times on Twitter. He refused to answer my inquiry each and every time. Instead avoiding the question altogether.

Andy whined that the Yankees didn’t do anything for him after he was hit by a foul ball at a Yankees game. He whined so much that HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel took notice and had him on their show about foul ball dangers. It was a horrible piece. It was sensationalistic and contained so many fallacies, it took me two blog posts to discuss them!

The saddest part of all this isn’t that Zlotnick was injured by a foul ball, but that he could have easy avoided being hit by doing one of two things.

Andy is the poster child for those blaming Major League Baseball for their own lack of common sense. MLB owes NOTHING to fans who don’t exercise common sense. Zlotnick thought he was entitled. He STILL feels he is.

Zlotnick, though, isn’t a true fan. He’s only trying to get attention. It’s the minority attention hounds who are slowly eroding the intimacy of the game.

Zlotnick even refuses to acknowledge that only one fan has died of a foul ball injury in 100 years. Even when I pointed out that soccer, the Tour de France, car racing (which has fencing to protect fans) and golf all have more spectator deaths in the last 50 years than baseball has in 100. He clings to the illusion that baseball has the most injuries, contraary to the fact that soccer and golf far exceed the injuries and deaths by baseball fans.

Whining about MLB

It’s people like Andy who do nothing but whine, refusing to look at reason and what the majority of true fans want—no extended netting—and even failing to acknowledge that they knowingly place themselves in danger, who should be shunned. What I don’t understand is why someone who doesn’t go to many games, even cares. He’s not a season ticket holder, at least at that time he wasn’t. He’s admitted to knowing the dangers too. So why does he complain? It’s a great mystery.

He admitted on Twitter that his plea is an emotional one, not based on facts. He’s still convinced that human response time is too slow to dodge a foul ball. Despite all the facts and stats to the contrary (like that 1500 fans are buried in their phones at any given time during an MLB game), he still wrongly believes the Yankees were at fault.

For the record, I’ve asked Andy to post to many times. I’ve requested a well-thought out, researched and factual piece arguing for netting. He has refused all requests. That refusal should tell you more about Zlotnick and his ilk more than anything else does. I’ve asked him why he bought his Yankees tickets where he did. He simply ignores the questions for fear of exposing himself.

It comes down to this: Had Zlotnick used common sense and moved like so many other fans did, or at least asked others to lower their umbrellas, he would never have been hit. He is at fault. Any lawyer knows he contributed to his injury. He had three choices, two of which would have saved him significant grief.

His argument against this will be his pat response that goes like this: “You’re not considering everyone else who’s been injured.” That’s simple subterfuge. He’s not taking responsibilityfor his own actions, which includes buying his tickets where he did, and recognizing that, like the MLB foul ball injury Bloomberg report a few seasons ago indicated, that roughly 90% of all foul ball related injuries are caused by fans themselves and could be avoided.

There’s a term for people who, despite all the evidence to the contrary, adamantly maintain their views: cognitive dissonance. This is the unwillingness to change your mind when faced with facts which incontrovertibly prove your view is wrong. It describes those like Andy Zlotnick perfectly. So does “whiner.”