April 15, 2005

Upon Further Review

After watching a six-minute clip from NESN at mlb.com (here), I think that the fan did intentionally touch Sheffield, though not very hard, almost slyly, knowing he was on camera. It's awfully hard to come up with another motive for his movements. There is no way he was trying to reach for the baseball -- and he wasn't trying to prevent his friend from reaching for it either.

It was interesting that as Sheffield is turning to throw the ball back to the infield, after taking a swing at the fan, the guy in the red jacket is cheering and pumping his fist in celebration. He isn't surprised at all by Sheffield's reaction. ... Also a guy in the second row (on the left side of the screen, behind the two women in the front row) flicks his cup of beer on Sheffield as the right fielder tries to punch the fan.

Lost in all of this is that the Red Sox won the game despite some of the worst home-plate umpiring you'll ever see. Edgar Renteria drove in three runs with a home run and a double, Varitek also drove in three with a triple and home run, Johnny Damon scored twice, and Jay Payton hit a two-run homer. ... Keith Foulke struggled in the ninth, loading the bases on a double and two walks, throwing 34 pitches (he threw 53 in his two innings of work).


The Smoking Redhead said...

After watching this replay and several others last night I still cannot see where the swiping of Sheffield was intentional. The man's hand was way over the wall, where it should not have been, but I still don't see him intentionally reaching for Sheffield. Also, watching Sheffield's interviews afterward and his description of the seriousness of the strike you would have thought he would have a mark on his face or a split lip, he has none of those things. In my opinion he lost his cool and is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Anonymous said...

I’m glad some Red Sox fans are coming around to, at the very least, eliminate some of the excuses that have been passed off as motives since last night.

It’s hard not to lump all fans together when so many want to defend the indefensible. The bottom line is that no fan has any business reaching into the field of play at any time for any reason. Period. It doesn’t matter if the player is near or far, the ball in play or not. Stay off the field or risk the consequences – even if those consequences are that a fan’s actions were misinterpreted.

This will continue to happen, and is continuing, as long as leagues and municipalities apply a different set of rules for the ballpark. If you throw beer on someone at the stadium, it should be the same as if you threw beer on them in a bar. You get cuffed up and spend the night in the holding tank.

allan said...

Oh please. Red Sox fans are not in 100% agreement on anything -- never have been (outside of wanting to win the WS) -- let alone this incident.

I've read comments from Sox fans that say Sheffield was completely innocent and some that say the fan was 100% blameless.

What I posted last night was my opinion. Given the opportunity to see the replay about a dozen times from several angles today, I corrected myself to say he was not going for the ball.

For all I know, he was drunk and stumbled and his hand flopped over. If he was going for Sheffield, it was an incredibly lame attempt. But I can't think of anything else he could have been doing.

The worst part of this now is hearing all these media morons pontificating on what "really" happened, why and what "we" should do about it.

Jeff said...

In response to the anonymous writer, I agree. This will continue to happen until municipalities apply a different set of rules at the ball park. Sheffield should have been arrested for assualt and battery. Just my opinion...

laura k said...

As a former diehard Yankees fan, I think it's pretty gross that Sheffield reached into the stands to wallop the fan before he even got rid of the ball. A blunder of Knoblauchian proportions.

At least finish the play before you, ahem, restrain yourself.

allan said...

Tried to find a photo of the Bubble Incident, but Google failed me. Lots of garlic though.

I find it continually amazing that while praising Sheffield for his super-human restraint, nearly everyone quietly overlooks the fact that he took a swing at a fan while the play was live.

It didn't, but that "restraint" could have cost his team a run. The Boston run would have scored anyway -- and they won by three -- but hey, great example of putting the team first.

Par for the course for a guy who admitted he was making errors on purpose to try to get traded away from Milwaukee.