I’m not one to get political in here. It’s a fake bar filled with good people talking sports. That works for me.
I’d probably be better off discussing the Orioles decision to place catcher Welington Castillo on the 10-day DL with right shoulder tendinitis (which also included the recall of catcher Francisco Pena and the DFA of pitcher Damien Magnifico).
Or Chris Tillman’s rehab assignment Tuesday for Triple-A Norfolk (five runs, including four homers, in five innings) or the Orioles’ reinstatement of closer Zach Britton from the disabled list (with Mike Wright demoted).
Or the Orioles’ triple play (bizarre) or a classy Mookie Betts (applauding Adam Jones’ first at-bat) or Manny Machado’s expletive-laced tirade after getting thrown at again (I’d be highly ticked, too, and I’ve been known to drop a F-bomb or nine when agitated).
Yeah, that stuff would be a lot easier than continuing to shuffle this deck with the race card on top.
But let’s not ignore the elephant in the Tap Room (and that’s not a self-deprecating remark about the barkeep’s girth).
By now, you know that Jones, the Orioles’ center fielder and team leader, had a bag of peanuts and racial slurs tossed at him Monday night at Fenway Park. The story blew up – as it should have – and Jones answered questions for more than 15 minutes Tuesday, while the Red Sox, the City of Boston, the state of Massachusetts and baseball’s commissioner’s office denounced the acts against Jones as completely unacceptable.
I gave my take on this whole situation here, and that includes admission that I once berated a big league ballplayer after I drank too much at old Memorial Stadium. Not something I’m proud of, but I thought I’d at least share the idiotic side of it (and of me).
I’m not asking for everyone to share their stories of idiocy here. I’m just curious as to where Major League Baseball goes from here. No one thinks it’s appropriate for fans to scream at ballplayers, especially using racial epithets. And certainly no one would advocate throwing something on the field at players.
So, what do you do now? If you’re commissioner Rob Manfred, how do you respond to this situation beyond words? Because it’s not just Boston; it happens everywhere. People seem to be more unafraid now to be jackwagons, because many feel they shouldn’t have to be “politically correct,” or whatever the opposite of being a jackwagon is.
If you’re Manfred, what do you do to make sure this doesn’t happen with continued regularity – if at all?
Obviously, fans will be fans, loud and boisterous and booing. And some will be ejected for unruly behavior. The Red Sox are looking to revoke the season tickets of those involved in the incident (with such a large season-ticket base per game like there is in Boston, they can do that). But is that enough? Should there be fines? Should there be criminal charges in these types of incidents?
I had one Twitter follower say, “Hey, I hate the racial slurs too, but you can’t fine and prosecute someone for saying a bad word. That infringes on freedom of speech.”
Of course, some idiot screaming profanities or throwing things also infringes on normal patrons’ enjoyment of the event. Where’s the proper balance?
Yeah, maybe this one gets farther away from sports than I’d like. But I’ve been so impressed with the regulars in this dive that I think we can do this. I think we can have an open discussion about this thorny issue and still raise our fake mugs together.
So, indulge me.
Tap-In Question: With the apologies and head-shaking in the Adam Jones’ Fenway incident complete, what should happen now to prevent similar situations?