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Call To Arms The Elephants
2003-04-20 01:10
by Mike Carminati

Call To Arms

The Elephants in Oakland have a first-hand account of the cell-throwing incident in Oakland. And if you haven't heard, it was not battery cells for once it was a cell phone. Someone nailed Carl Everett in the back of the head while he was patrolling right field in between half innings in the sixth. Everett, a less than equanimical figure in far less trying times, lost control and tossed the phone over the right field wall and struck a stadium operations worker.

Now, I condemn anyone who throws things at a public event. Heck, I condemn people who do "the wave" at public events (It's OK to do in the privacy of your own living room). But how miserable and idiotic a human being do you have to be to chuck a cell phone at someone. First because a cell phone could really do some damage to someone. And second because it is so easily traceable. Why not throw your wallet? How about leaving your name and address on a murder weapon? This is true social Darwinism.

The perpetrator was quickly apprehended and should, if nothing else, have his cell phone privileges revoked for life. Everett can be excused to a certain degree for being caught unawares, but someone in the commissioner's or the Rangers' office should sit him down and tell him that his too was a boneheaded move. Why? Because someone else could, and did evidently, get hurt. And because he threw away a solid piece of evidence against the bonehead that hit him with the phone in the first place.

Whatever happens to the mad cell-phoner, it seems that this recent rash of attacks at ball games shows no signs of abating. MLB seems to be devoting the appropriate resources to the problem. It's just such a difficult problem to resolve. If people cannot get a hold on themselves, which seems unlikely, either beer sales will have to be more closely monitored or eliminated altogether, or some sort of divider like they have in Japanese baseball and in European and South American soccer will have to be considered.

Imagine if Everett, even though he is a universally reviled individual, were injured by the projectile or someone in the stands was instead hit and injured. Given the topicality of the issue, it would just be a matter of time before some ambulance-chasing lawyer got involved. Then the owners' hand would really be forced. All we can do is hope it does not come to it, oh, and holster our cell phones when we are at the game.

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