With all the talk of new stadiums and owners' greed in the New York area recently, a fast-growing problem is flying under the radar. I am talking about, of course, fans who can't catch.
When Fernando Tatis's home run went to the replay booth Wednesday afternoon, it marked the second time in a month that New York fans found themselves the victim of one of these butterfingered rooters.
For some reason, stadium designers love to give the fans the opportunity to reach out and possibly interfere with the ball.
I understand that owners want to keep the fans close and I do not blame the fans for reaching out because that is instinctual, but for Pete's sake man, catch the ball!
If that guy in the Bronx would have just hauled in Posada's ball, 55,000 fans would have been spared an eight-minute replay delay. Today at Citi Field, a nice catch could have prevented another delay.
The time has come to take action.
Under my proposed plan, all fans with seats directly on the outfield walls have to undergo pre-game catch testing. If your skills are not up to par, you will be relocated to obstructed view seats and someone else will have a chance to take that spot.
Alternatively, the teams could clear out the front rows and install a ringer to patrol the entire row. The Yanks could bring in the Tarasco-taunting Jeffrey Maier while the Mets could hire long-time Shea fixture and foul ball-catcher extraordinaire Zack Hample (Google him if you've never heard of him).
If those two don't work out, perhaps Plaxico Buress can be brought in. I hear he's looking for a contract these days.
What are your suggestions? I'd like to hear how others would solve this problem that threatens to destroy our beloved pastime.
Fan catching-clinics perhaps?
Also, this has nothing to do with the main topic, but I saw this again at the ballpark last night and it needs to be stopped: If you are at a game and over the age of 16 and a foul ball comes to your section, pinballs off of five fans, rolls down a flight of stairs, ends up at your feet and you pick it up, do not celebrate!
Pick it up and give it to your kid or put it in your pocket. It is a terrible insult to the guy bleeding with a lap full of beer eight rows behind you who now has to watch you gesticulate like Hulk Hogan after a cage match.
Stay safe and I'll see you at the ballpark.
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