It’s regrettable that we have become a nation of complainers, a “Nanny State” of people, like so-called baseball fans –Major League Baseball and MiLB – who can’t take responsibility for their own actions. I have one particular person in mind when I say this, but recent events, around August 2019, reminded me there is an abundance of such individuals who continuously refuse to explicitly admit their own fault in any event resulting in injury.
The most recent data show a trend forming, one that indicates nets are dangerous. Yet fans are yelling that MLB needs more nets to protect fans from injuries.
During the 2019 season, I was bullied for my views on extended nets. I fell victim to trolls, bullies, who berated me for my stance. It got to the point that I was being threatened. At which point I notified Twitter and those accounts were, indeed, found to be in violation of the new Twitter rules. In order to stop it, I even set FoulBallz to private for nealry a month. It was that bad. But that didn’t stop the harassment. One of them, a person calling themselves Tam Chau [email protected]???.comsent me this email:
“You started this. You jumped into my mentions and started being a dick. You continued to be a dick. If you block, you lose. You have no good data. You’re not smart. You look worse and worse every time. Log off.”
To be clear, what I did is not what he claims it to be. First, it’s Twitter. If you don’t want strangers to jump into your conversations, set your TL to private (moron!). Second, I simply posed an alternative to his comments, then proceeded to defend myself. Third, this “Tam” person was unable to have a civil conversation about nets and their dangers. Fourth, they were unable and unwilling to show me ANY data THEY had that contradicts my work. Fifth, this email came nearly a MONTH AFTER the whole thing went down. If that isn’t a good example of the person’s mental state, I don’t know what is. Imagine the anger they had for all that time. I clearly hit a nerve if they needed to try to get in the last word, right?
Instead, they did what most pro-netters do: They begin picking at you personally and claiming you don’t know anything, when in fact it is they who don’t know the facts.
This person represents the worst in the Nanny State. This group of like-minded ignorant people boast a holier-than-thou mentality that is destroying baseball. The cacophony of whining voices who want nothing more than to squeeze money from MLB through lawsuits rather than admitting they are responsible for their own actions, however, feels they are winning the battle for fan safety. But the data I’ve collected is starting to show a pattern, one indicating they are grossly wrong. They even ignore solid research that shows the average human response time is more that quick enough to react to a ball; apparently, though, that’s somehow not “good data.”
The main thing this individual was harassing me about is my yearly count of the self-reported foul ball related injuries on Twitter. Twitter users will post they snagged a foul or go hit or that someone else got hit. I record that data, keeping a tally for the season. I don’t pretend it’s scientific, but I do, as any other researcher does, use it as a basis for looking into the topics I write on. These bullies failed to understand that research is started, then built upon, and that to better understand the effect nets have on the game and fan injuries, SOMEONE has to do some sort of research to start it all going. I guess that’s me.
The argument this person and others like them make is that there’s no way to avoid injury with all the distractions. That’s about as false as false can be. There are many things one can do. Common sense dictates there are three possible actions an fan can take if a ball is headed their way or they don’t want to risk being hit:
- Try to catch it
- Don’t use your damned phone and pay attention as best you can
- Sit in an area with few foul balls, if any
Instead, many fans knowingly endanger themselves and their children by knowingly sitting in seats that are in what I’ll call Hot Zones. Most of these “fans” use driving as an example of taking risks… really, their attempts at parallel examples is laughably poor, yet people get sucked in by this “oh-woe-is-me-I’m-a-victim” story and mentality—even HBO Real Sports bit and perpetuated the dangers of foul balls.
This is the so-called “Nanny State”; a nation of whiners and complainers who bitch and moan about being a victim when they had full control. It’s not as if he was a passenger in a car or a train or a plane and had no control. But 99.9% of fans have absolute control.
There’s a reason the Gayle Payne case in Oakland was tossed out of the courts. To blame a team for your stupidity–and that’s that it is, let’s just call it what it is—is not what a true baseball fan does.
Besides, there are signs in EVERY park; there are announcements a-plenty too. The fact is, people like this are the problem and a perfect example of how our nation is now.
Add to all of this, that baseball had ONE FAN DEATH in over 100 years—compared to the last 50 years in car racing, Tour de France (yes, a bike race has MORE spectator deaths in 50 years than MLB has in 100!), soccer/futbol, and even golf–until 2018.
In 2018, only the second ever fan at an MLB game died. And she died after the ball went OVER the net… and it was a pop-up, the SLOWEST foul ball type there is. She had ample time to move out of the way, but she refused to do so. And that her family with her did NOTHING to help protect her makes the entire thing even more unfortunate and sad. It was a 100% avoidable death. Yet the family blames Major League Baseball for the death. It’s not. It is the fault of the family who refused to protect the woman they were with.
But the facts are ignored in this day and age. There’s a confirmation bias that’s boiled down to a grotesque pattern of self-loathing and whining. And, I will admit, it’s winning.
Why’s it winning? It’s simple rhetoric (my degrees are in this, fyi).
People respond to ethos more than logos. Ethos is, for the layman, an appeal to emotions. Logos is an appeal to logic. People like to play to the emotions.
And people get sucked into it, suckered in to it.
It’s a sad state of being when whiners start getting their way. When we don’t hold a person responsible for their actions or inactions we’ve lost as a country, not just as baseball fans…AS A COUNTRY.
It damages us all.
And with the extension of netting—a waste of money—MLB and MiLB teams are placed in a position that is an automatic loss.
Yes. They will now LOSE all of their cases. The “Baseball Rule” made it so fans had to take responsibility. Now, MLB is admitting blame and responsibility.
Sadly, these new and “improved” nets aren’t improved at all. They still obstruct the views of fans AND, worse yet, there have already been several cases where they failed. Boston, Tampa, Chicago, and other parks have all encountered these problems.
As a result of shoddy netting work, teams are now just waiting for netting to fail and a fan being hurt at all—even if just a jammed pink finger or a slight lump on the head. WHEN that happens, not IF, Manfred will be gone. MLB will begin to lose lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit due to the presumption of safety offered by the netting.
So here’s my prediction: Within 5 seasons, MLB will lose a lawsuit so huge, so massive, that it will destroy the game, nearly bankrupting teams and the league. Insurance won’t cover a class-action lawsuit for billions of dollars, and you can be sure the netting companies won’t be held responsible.
We now are on the verge of hearing the death-knell for baseball. All thanks to Manfred and a nation of whiners who’ve embraced a Nanny State mentality.
UPDATE 12/14: After MLB Manfred announced all 30 teams would be extending nets, “Tam” emailed me AGAIN! This time calling me yet more names and telling me I’m “shit.” They also erupted when I tweeted that they were stalking and harassing me. It’s clear I hit a nerve with this person. They are the perfect example of the irrational behavior, the hatred, the anger those who aren’t content in their opinions possess. This has been going on for months now. I’ve not responded to them for MONTHS, yet they feel a compulsion to continue stalking my TL and emailing me harassing emails. So again, Tam has proven my point that they are the “dick” in all this and that the “pro-netting” faction is unable to use logic to see other side. Some people can’t just let things go, and Tam is DEFINITELY dwelling on things. Otherwise, “Tam” would have just drifted away like a mature person would, not resort to bullying, cyber stalking and harassing emails.