OBSTRUCTING MY VIEW: How the Nanny State Perpetuates Lies About MLB and MiLB Parks Needing Netting

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, like Andy Zlotnick, who, if you’ve been reading my work for the last two or so seasons, was smacked by a foul ball at a Yankees game and complained about it to anyone who’d listen to his sob story. He continuously refuses to explicitly admit his own fault in the events, though his story certainly implicitly shows who he’s at fault. His general story goes something like this:

Andy was at a Yankees game with his son. Andy CLAIMS to have known of dangers and be a “lifelong Yankees fan.” But the facts say differently. As he and the rest of the crowd watched the game, Zlotnick decided to stay in his seat with his son. The vast majority of other fans moved to the concourse area to get out of the drizzle. In front of Andy and his son were fans who’d brought umbrellas and opened them. They ended up blocking his view of the game enough that he couldn’t quite see what was going on.

These are all the facts. He’s admitted them to me and to others. These aren’t made up. So there’s the situation.

Common sense dictates there are three possible actions Andy could have taken.

  • Move like so many others
  • Ask the fans to move so he could see or even not use the umbrellas
  • Ask an usher to tell the other fans to close their umbrellas.

Instead, Andy chose to knowingly endanger himself and his son by knowingly placing himself in danger. He tries to use things like driving as examples of taking risks…really, his attempts at parallel examples is laughably poor, yet people get sucked in by his “oh-woe-is-me-I’m-a-victim” story—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. He had 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 Zlotnick are the problem and a perfect example of how our nation is now.

Add to all of this, that baseball has 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.

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 Zlotnick 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 dur 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.