MB21 over at Another Cubs Blog found a blog post from Morgan Ensberg of the Houston Astros, who claims that Cubs fans spit on him after he had been chatting with them:
"I was talking to a group of 7 and they started ragging me, but I got them to laugh and the conversation quickly turned into a Q & A session. After 15 min I told them I had to hit. When I turned my back I heard a guy spit and felt phlegm hit my left temple.
As I jogged into the dugout my eyes were watering up. I took 3 or 4 deep breaths and regained my composure. It took me over an hour to stop feeling humiliated. Someone just spit on me because he thought it would be funny and instead it burned a memory into my heart that I will never forget."
So I believe Ensberg and here is why:
- If he is going to tell a story about Cubs fans that isn't true, it would have been prudent to leave out the fact that they had almost made him cry because that is going to lead to some serious mockery by his own teammates.
- He said this because he was trying to relate a story that backed up the claims of his former teammate with a persecution complex who now plays in Seattle. NOBODY is friends with that guy. In fact, I'm sure the only reason Ensberg is supportive at all is because he was only teammates with him for two months when they were on the Padres. Ensberg would have nothing to gain in making this claim unless it were true.
- I've seen behavior of this nature from Cubs fans outside the park aimed at each other, so I can't believe they wouldn't feel entitled to do something like that to a player.
Where the fuck is it ever OK to spit on someone and not expect to get your ass kicked all over creation? If you went to your job smuggling heroine balloons shoved up your ass and some giant gangster-looking pimp in withdrawal spit on you, you'd probably still be mad enough to try to smack him around a bit. Why the fuck would you ever think in your demented, alcohol soaked head that spitting on someone is acceptable at all?
Mr. Ricketts? You know that Disneyesque experience you want to have in the ballpark? I'd just like to point out that Disney doesn't have fucking morons spitting on people at their theme parks. If they do? They are escorted off the property or chained to the seats in the Carousel of Progress with toothpicks holding their eyes open as Goofy is allowed to anally molest them.
Here is my suggestion, Mr. Ricketts: go hire someone who has run security in a Vegas casino to take over security operations in the ballpark. Put some of that bathroom renovating money into a state-of-the-art security surveillance system. Cameras all over the place, facial recognition technology, and a staff that is trained to be focused and aware at all times so they can respond immediately to shit like this. I bet Ronnie Woo would be a good candidate to hire in the Goofy role.
It won't dampen the fun for everyone else. People can have plenty of fun drinking and cursing and trying to get girls to take off their tops and whatever other shit goes on out there, and the spitters and the beer-tossers and the people tossing out racial slurs can be dealt with quickly. I've sat next to many a drunken frat boy at a blackjack table having all kinds of drunken, lunatic fun that didn't draw any more than a watchful eye from security because they weren't hurting anybody. They were acting like childish jackasses, but they weren't assaulting people physically or verbally. Plus, I was comforted knowing that if these douches ever did step over the line, somone with a nightstick would be having a forceful conversation with them very quickly, so I was able to still enjoy myself as I lost money.
Major League Baseball has a major problem looming on their hands. Fan behavior is getting worse because people think they are entitled to act like total dicks because they bought such an expensive ticket and because the players have millions of dollars to wipe away any tears a spitting incident might cause. The players represent millions of dollars of invested capital and they are being guarded by retirees and rent-a-cops at Wrigley. I doubt the security at other ballparks is a hell of a lot better, from what I've seen when I visit.
It's insane to treat player safety like such a joke. If I ever purchased something in my job for $136 million dollars like Hendry did with Soriano, I'd better have a plan to keep it safe other than Grandma Johnson and her stern matronly attitude. I'd want surly looking guys with weapons and earpieces trained to take a motherfucker down if he tried something.
You can't stop everything, but you can change the culture from the "anything goes" douchefest it has become by being quick to respond in dealing with these assholes. Douches talk to other douches and word gets around eventually that the risk isn't worth the "humor." I guarantee you that same dickwad that spit on Ensberg would never even THINK about spitting at a blackjack dealer after losing a double-down.
I agree it shouldn't be necessary for such measures, but clearly some people are just too fucking stupid to know that they should STOP FUCKING SPITTING ON OTHER PEOPLE!