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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mariners to screen fans with metal detectors in 2014

And the Steinbrenners have won.

Beginning on Opening Night, April 8, against the Los Angeles Angels, all fans passing through the gates of Safeco Field will be screened with metal detectors. This complies with Major League Baseball’s mandate that all teams implement a screening program by the start of the 2015 season.

The increased security measures are the result of MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security designed to elevate and standardize security practices across the game. The added security measures are in addition to bag checks that are conducted at all MLB ballparks.

Fans at Safeco Field will pass through walk-through magnetometers while their tickets are being scanned. Devices are being installed at all public entrances. Those who do not wish to pass through a metal detector will have the option of being checked with a hand-held device.

“Fan safety and security is our top priority. The Mariners and Major League Baseball are keenly aware of the current security environment at public events. We believe this step is necessary, poses minimal inconvenience, and ultimately will serve the best interests of all fans,” said Sylvester Servance, Mariners Director of Security.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:43 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, rights

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4643397)
This is going to make roughly zero difference in terms of how safe we are at a ballpark but it will be a PR winner.

We have turned into a nation living in fear.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4643400)
Can you still sneak a Willie Bloomquist into the ballpark or is that no longer allowed?
   3. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4643428)
Can you still sneak a Willie Bloomquist into the ballpark or is that no longer allowed?


That's certainly unacceptable behaviour. Derek Smalls nearly shut down an airport by trying to sneak one of those through a metal detector, and that was decades before 9/11.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4643456)
Does Bloomquist have any artificial plates or limbs?
   5. BDC Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4643466)
The sort-of-proximate motivation for these policies (which will be at every park soon, not just Seattle) is the Boston Marathon bomb, of course, The assumption is that sporting events are vulnerable, and just because nothing's happened yet at a stadium event is no guarantee it never will.

And that's correct, but as Seabiscuit observes, a single-point scan at entry to a park is meaningless – not because there's no potential danger, but because stadiums are relatively safe for many inherent reasons under current policies. There's a turnstile to begin with: seems banal to point out, but that's a major safety plus right there for lots of reasons; sporting-event bombs like Boston and Atlanta in '96 tend to be set in the unsecured outdoors. You already can't bring in big bags, because they want you to buy stadium concessions: major safety plus. There are already cops, security "guest-services" staff, ushers, and for that matter vendors, swarming the place potentially alert for unattended packages and other risks: major safety plus (far more major than a perfunctory one-time check at the gate). Etc. …
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4643479)
The sort-of-proximate motivation for these policies (which will be at every park soon, not just Seattle) is the Boston Marathon bomb, of course,


And the awful Gotham Rogues stadium bombing.
   7. Poster Nutbag Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4643480)
We have turned into a nation living in fear.


Fear sells.
Paranoia, ignorance, divisiveness...keeps the machine running well.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find my foil hat.

   8. snowles Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4643481)
USA! USA! USA!
   9. John Northey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4643489)
As Benjamin Franklin said "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither."

Now excuse me while I go print off a few more guns using a 3D printer and plastic (one shot each, but if you have enough at the ready...)
   10. Hack Wilson Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4643495)
No they are not going far enough to make Safeco safe until...ANAL PROBES.

I remember being at Ohare Field when they were experimenting with metal detectors-volunteers only. At the time the main concern was hijackers to Cuba. One confused hijacker was disappointed to learn that the flight was actually scheduled to go to Cuba. (I've reached the age where it is hard to distinguish real life from Monty Python, which is a good thing.)

   11. John Northey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4643504)
As to the silly aspect of metal detectors... gee, that really stopped all those school shootings that have happened didn't they? Also, no security system is better than the weakest point and how many areas could people just wander into the park without being put through it? Will they be checking all the minimum wage employees as they come in and out? What about the near-minimum security guards they hire, will they even know if the detectors are working 1/2 the time?
   12. Answer Guy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4643508)
Another reason just to stay home and watch on TV.
   13. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:08 PM (#4643509)
So far this thread wins for greatest percentage of posts I agree with, ever.
   14. puck Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4643516)
I went to a Colorado Avalanche game and saw that they had installed metal detectors. They made you empty your pockets and would not allow one of those tiny keychain pocketknives as if we were at the airport.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4643517)
If you ban guns at the ballpark, only the bad guys will have guns at the ballpark.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4643518)
The sort-of-proximate motivation for these policies (which will be at every park soon, not just Seattle) is the Boston Marathon bomb


Which is ironic, because few things create a more target-rich environment for a bomber than security checkpoints. Just set off your bomb in the middle of the line of bored people waiting for their turn at the wand.
   17. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4643521)
Which is ironic, because few things create a more target-rich environment for a bomber than security checkpoints. Just set off your bomb in front of the line of bored people waiting to get wanded...


Exactly what I was going to say. Same way with Airport security. You could probably take out as many or more than at the final destination that the security checkoint is purporting to protect. And when that happens? Security point to get into the security line.
   18. BDC Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4643522)
So far this thread wins for greatest percentage of posts I agree with, ever

I think I'm at 94% right now. I draw the line at #10 unless they have a very special security guard, a private screening booth, and about half an hour set aside for the experience.
   19. God Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4643525)
Are they going to be checking people for pot? Will there be a special section at the ballpark for toking it up?
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4643534)
This is going to make roughly zero difference in terms of how safe we are at a ballpark but it will be a PR winner.

No, I don't think anyone was hoping they would do this. They just got convinced to waste money by some vendor of security supplies.
   21. NattyBoh Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4643536)
How can this be reconciled with concealed permit laws in say Arizona or Texas? Who will stop the next Pancho Villa raid at the ballpark?
   22. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4643539)
The sign reads:

For your protection, entry requires a harmless vivisection to detect ingested explosives and chemical agents. Thank you for your cooperation, and please enjoy the game!


edit: ATTN MODERATORS: Please prefix this thread's subject with "OTP" before it's too late!
   23. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4643542)
Traveling back home from Chicago after Christmas I apparently triggered some security protocols as they swabbed my hands and luggage down. The guy was all set to let me go until the machine beeped at him and he "aw, ####\". They then had to get a special guard who looked like he was suffering from a gland problem (he was as short little guy who was almost as wide as he was tall) to come and escort me to a private room where they were to pat me down. The explanatioan of what they were going to do actually took longer than the pat down. In the end I think it was the Nueske bacon I had carried in my luggage and handled in Chicago that set the machine off. Anyway the whole time it was happening I was thinking of how I could possibly have beat these security measures should I have gotten popped with something I didn't want them to know about and I have to say I liked my chances at getting away with it.
   24. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4643550)
Anyway the whole time it was happening I was thinking of how I could possibly have beat these security measures should I have gotten popped with something I didn't want them to know about and I have to say liked my chances at getting away with it.

You do realize that by divulging this publicly the D.H.S. will be knocking on your door shortly, right?
   25. BDC Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4643551)
How can this be reconciled with concealed permit laws in say Arizona or Texas?

There are numerous exceptions to concealed carry in Texas. (I'm not sure about Arizona, they're all crazy there.) Schools, places where alcohol is served, public buildings like libraries and such: I believe there's even an exception for private businesses that simply post signs forbidding handguns (they're private property, after all, even if public accommodation). The fact that they sell beer at ballparks alone would entail no concealed carry, even if the Rangers or Astros were insane enough to allow it.
   26. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4643556)
Do they still use the old Astrodome graphis after a home run? Would kind of be cool if a bunch of people pulled out their guns and started shooting in the air in sync with the scoreboard.
   27. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4643569)
Mariners to screen fans with metal detectors in 2014

well, I would certainly screen any fan who had a metal detector
   28. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4643578)
This might keep the Queen safe.
   29. NattyBoh Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4643583)
places where alcohol is served,


Forgot about those "If you want a six pack then leave your six shooter at home." signs.

A lot of this paranoia dates back to the Cowboys @ Jets match a couple of years ago when a Boys fan smuggled in a taser and used it. Of course there is no search of the vehicles in the parking lot for firearms or explosives. You could smuggle an army and an arsenal inside a bus.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4643587)
Of course there is no search of the vehicles in the parking lot for firearms or explosives. You could smuggle an army and an arsenal inside a bus.

Yeah, that's what I don't understand. Unless you're going to have heavily armed security at every entrance, the metal detector would just cause the terrorists to start shooting/blowing things up sooner.
   31. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4643589)
That's the city's problem not the team owner's.
   32. John Northey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:17 PM (#4643591)
Ah, but if you get them to blow stuff up earlier then it won't disrupt the game itself. See, there is a logic there. Sort of.
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4643596)
This might keep the Queen safe.


Reggie pulled the gun out from under second base. Until guns under bases are banned, we are not safe.
   34. Gamingboy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4643622)
Ichiro could beat the metal detectors, if he wanted to.
   35. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: January 21, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4643629)
That's the city's problem not the team owner's.

So, instead of team owners being NIMBYs they're being NOMBBDs?
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2014 at 06:06 PM (#4643635)
That's the city's problem not the team owner's.

I can't think a suicide bombings at the entrances, or truck bomb in the parking lots, is going to be good for attendance.
   37. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: January 21, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4643637)
BOOO!

Ironic that the ground is already named SAFECO field....
   38. Christopher Linden Posted: January 21, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4643639)
Metal detectors, aggressive purse-size limitations (and no-exception confiscations*!), and magic-wand searches have been policy at all NFL games at all NFL stadiums this year, and the same was true at the two Pelicans games I've been to this season.

This will be at all sports by the end of this year or next, depending on when some of the smaller venues can get the appropriate equipment.

Happy Base Ball

* For the Saints season opener, before the purse-size policy was well-known, my 68-year-old mother was denied entry unless she either turned over her purse or brought it back to the car a mile and a half away. She turned it over and it was thrown into a garbage barrel filled a good three feet high with purses. Even by season's end they were seizing hundreds upon hundreds of purses a week.

   39. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: January 21, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4643671)
For awhile I refused to go through anything besides the metal detector at the airport. So I always requested the pat down but only in the private room. It would take me double the time to get through security, since they always had to fine a second person to go into the room with me, but it was my small act of protest against security theater. I never knew who it was more uncomfortable for, them or me.

If the majority of people opted for the private screening you'd basically bog down the system to the point where things would have to be changed...I think.
   40. Traderdave Posted: January 21, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4643693)
In the meantime you'd be real high on the security guards' union's Christmas list.
   41. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4643710)
* For the Saints season opener, before the purse-size policy was well-known, my 68-year-old mother was denied entry unless she either turned over her purse or brought it back to the car a mile and a half away. She turned it over and it was thrown into a garbage barrel filled a good three feet high with purses. Even by season's end they were seizing hundreds upon hundreds of purses a week.

Did they search the purse at least? Seems like a good way to get a bomb into the stadium.
   42. John Northey Posted: January 21, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4643712)
That purse size policy sounds like a good way to keep women away from football. Seems really, really dumb unless you want it to be an all-male place.
   43. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 21, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4643720)
Seems really, really dumb unless you want it to be an all-male place.


"It's not a purse! It's European!!"
   44. Christopher Linden Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4643773)
Did they search the purse at least?

The b*tch of it is, yes they did. And after verifying the contents posed no threat they still wouldn't let hers and I don't know how many thousands of others in because it was too large. She, my girlfriend, and I wound up loading our pockets with her stuff, but the purse itself was not allowed in the Superdome. Turns out that that maximum size for a bag other than a clear PVC/plastic tote -- and does the NFL sell logo-branded plastic totes? Yes, it does! hooray! -- is 4.5x6.5. There were many, manymanymanymany women who were furious that day. And my "So let me get this f***ing straight. We pay [amount] a f***ing ticket and in return we hand over our personal property?" didn't go over well, either.

Like I said, this will be de rigueur at every sporting event soon, and who knows where else. I can't imagine MLB would be resistant to it.

Happy Base Ball

   45. SteveM. Posted: January 21, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4643779)
I would give anything for them to do this at SEC football games if only to stop Mississippi State fans from bringing in their damn cowbells.
   46. Andy McGeady Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4644047)
Security Theatre: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/08/security_at_spo.html
   47. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4644061)
I would give anything for them to do this at SEC football games if only to stop Mississippi State fans from bringing in their damn cowbells.


But then they could sneak up on you and eat your corn.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4644080)
I've reached the age where it is hard to distinguish real life from Monty Python, which is a good thing.

I've reached the point where everything that professional sports does seems like a self-parody that wouldn't survive the first cut of Fawlty Towers. Its origins are probably lost to history, but a good guess would be when "Up With People"** performed at the halftime of the Colts-Cowboys Super Bowl.

**"Self-parody" is the politest term imaginable for this group. See for yourself.
   49. BDC Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4644099)
Andy, why do you hate today's youth? You are so square.
   50. cardsfanboy Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4644474)
This is going to make roughly zero difference in terms of how safe we are at a ballpark but it will be a PR winner.

We have turned into a nation living in fear.


It's a piece of security equipment at the front door to a public place. I do not get with this hatred of these things or why this stuff equates to even being newsworthy.
   51. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4644487)
I do not get with this hatred of these things or why this stuff equates to even being newsworthy.

Probably in large measure because Americans collected in massive gatherings at sporting events and otherwise for decades without incident -- and without all this stupid ####.

Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that this stupid #### is invasive, unnecessary, and indicative of rampant paranoia.
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4644501)
It's a piece of security equipment at the front door to a public place. I do not get with this hatred of these things or why this stuff equates to even being newsworthy.


Because it is an unnecessary and useless inconvenience. Like many people I have to rush from work to get to a game. Right now I get to a 7:10 game between 6:55 and 7:05. The current ridiculous bag searches get me right up against first pitch when I walk in and I'm pretty sure that metal detectors are going to slow that down.

On top of that I keep score at baseball games, I love to take pictures and I am working hard on a diet. When I attend a baseball game I typically have a bag with me that has a scorebook, a camera and a turkey sub inside it. I've got a really useful bag for these purposes and if MLB makes me exchange that for an inconvenient plastic baggie I'm going to be irritated.

And to be clear, none of this is end of the world stuff. It's hardly a terrible thing but at the same time I think it has zero benefit from a security standpoint and it creates an unnecessary inconvenience.
   53. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4644512)
It's hardly a terrible thing

It actually is a terrible thing, for the reasons you state. It's terrible to unnecessarily inconvenience people (*) and deprive them of their time, their peace of mind, and their belongings to carry out a phony charade.

(*) "Bludgeon them" is probably a better way to put it.
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4644513)
I would give anything for them to do this at SEC football games if only to stop Mississippi State fans from bringing in their damn cowbells.




Or to prevent Mississippi State fans from attending games period.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: January 22, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4644572)
Because it is an unnecessary and useless inconvenience.


Really? How inconvenient is it...you walk through it. Not that big of a deal.

People who will spend 10+ minutes looking for a parking spot, who will stand in line for 30 minutes to enter are complaining about 30 seconds added to their life.... I just don't get it. It's like people are just looking for a reason to whine.


   56. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4644583)
Really? How inconvenient is it...you walk through it. Not that big of a deal.


I once ended up walking a mile and a half to my car, and then another mile and a half back to the stadium, on crutches and wearing a cast up to my shin, because the security gate at PNC Park was upset that I had a bottle opener keychain on my house keys. They said that it was a security risk.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4644593)
Really? How inconvenient is it...you walk through it. Not that big of a deal.

Yeah, cause they'll never be a long line at a security checkpoint. That's unpossible.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4644790)
complaining about 30 seconds added to their life.... I just don't get it. It's like people are just looking for a reason to whine.


If this only adds 30 seconds to my trip through the line I'll eat my hat. My experience at airports is that it adds considerable time.

Also, if this is the first step in making it impossible for me to bring my bag through the checkpoint to get into the ballpark that is going to reduce my enjoyment in going to the ballpark.
   59. Andy McGeady Posted: January 24, 2014 at 06:53 AM (#4645486)
55. cardsfanboy Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4644572)

Because it is an unnecessary and useless inconvenience.


Really? How inconvenient is it...you walk through it. Not that big of a deal.

People who will spend 10+ minutes looking for a parking spot, who will stand in line for 30 minutes to enter are complaining about 30 seconds added to their life.... I just don't get it. It's like people are just looking for a reason to whine.
30 seconds? Nope. Not a chance. The effect of any delay or bottleneck is magnified to a surprisingly high degree in a crowd dynamic. Add the "security moron coefficient" - which is the technical term, I believe - and... yeah... 30 seconds is dreamland stuff.
   60. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4645505)
I spent about 40 minutes in a security line waiting to be screened for the Eagles-Cowboys season finale last month. Got to the Stadium an hour before kickoff, and by the time I got upstairs and in my seat, it was kickoff. I'd planned for that, naturally. People routinely miss much of the first quarter of Cowboys games because they figure ten minutes before gametime is reasonable.

Baseball involves fewer fans and a more leisurely atmosphere. I like to get to the park when the gates open anyway, 1½ or 2 hours before game time. All the lines are shorter then. I just hope I can still bring a book. Got to have something to read while the fifth reliever of the day is taking 30 seconds to choose from his vast arsenal of fastball or cut fastball.

   61. McCoy Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4645515)
I once ended up walking a mile and a half to my car, and then another mile and a half back to the stadium, on crutches and wearing a cast up to my shin, because the security gate at PNC Park was upset that I had a bottle opener keychain on my house keys. They said that it was a security risk.

You walked 3 miles on crutches for a bottle opener?
   62. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4645516)
Really? How inconvenient is it...you walk through it. Not that big of a deal.


Out of curiosity, how old are you?
   63. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4645529)
That purse size policy sounds like a good way to keep women away from football. Seems really, really dumb unless you want it to be an all-male place.


When my dad and I attended a Michigan football game a few years ago, a friendly security guard pointed out (before I got in line to go in) that the camera I had clipped to my belt (in a small camera carrier) would not be allowed in...if it was in the camera bag. I could bring in the camera in my pocket, but the carrier would not be allowed in. Given that we had walked about a mile from the parking area to get to the game, I really didn't like the two options available: walk back to the parking lot or throw away the bag. When I expressed my concern, the security guard said "You are not allowed to bring in that bag, and if we find it you'll have to throw it out."

Getting the hint, I walked behind a post, took the camera out of the carrier, took the carrier and flattened it out as much as I could, slid it inside the arm of my winter coat (wrapping it around my arm), and walked back to the security post.

The same guard then searched me with the wand, saw my camera, did no real pat down of me, and let me in.

Security theatre at its finest.
   64. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4645534)
because the security gate at PNC Park was upset that I had a bottle opener keychain on my house keys. They said that it was a security risk.

This points out the ridiculousness of it. Supposedly they are trying to prevent a terrorist attack, right? OK, fine, screen the bags and use the metal detectors. But what kind of terrorist attack am I going to set off with my pocket knife? I sort of get it at an airport, where I could theoretically threaten a pilot with a pocket knife. But at a ball game? Fine, try to prevent the bombs from coming in, but there's no reason for the whole bags and other stuff.

Also, a ballpark isn't locked down like an airport is. Someone could walk by Wrigley field at 3 AM the night before a game and toss 3 pipe bombs over the walls. Then someone enters the game through security and picks them up.

These checks will prevent nothing, and cause inconvenience.
   65. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4645541)
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4645657)
complaining about 30 seconds added to their life.... I just don't get it. It's like people are just looking for a reason to whine.

It'll only add 30 seconds to your life if you're the first person in line. Every person in front of you will add another 30 seconds.

I'm not whining about it for the simple reason that I figured out about 12 years ago that the Extra Innings package had every advantage over going to games except the smell of hot dogs and the ability to say that you were "there".

Since I'd already been "there" many hundreds of times before that, in far less intrusive and more fan-friendly environments**, I can't see much need to add to my "I was there" resume. But if I were in my 20's or 30's I'd be severely ticked off about all this BS. It's truly amazing how the fan experience over the past 60 years has declined in almost perfectly inverse proportion to the improvement in the quality of play on the diamond.

**Much cheaper seats with no auction pricing; nearby free neighborhood parking or cheap public transportation; stadium noise provided by the crowd rather than by a PA system jockey; policies that let you bring in food and drink; much less extraneous BS in general; etc.
   67. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4645665)
I can't see much need to add to my "I was there" resume. But if I were in my 20's or 30's I'd be severely ticked off about all this BS.

Last year I reached my goal of seeing each team play in their home stadium. In my early 20's I did a couple of road trips with my friends, but since the family and kids came along, it's only been when I happen to have the chance to go. I've extended a few business trips here and there to make it. So I've seen all 30 teams play in 39 different stadiums.

Anyway, by this time it's really become a "well, I might as well finish it" kind of thing. Mostly for the reasons that you've listed. I'll probably try to hit the newer stadiums that I haven't been to yet (where I already saw the team in their old stadium). But it's a hassle and not really a great experience anymore.

The kids like minor league games, though.
   68. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4645675)
I still think going to a game is a better experience than watching on TV. You can see things (particularly defensive positioning and base running) that TV doesn't pick up well and with smart phones you have access to stats. The communal experience of being a part of an enthusiastic crowd is a real appeal.
   69. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4645719)
This is going to make roughly zero difference in terms of how safe we are at a ballpark but it will be a PR winner.

When was the last time someone actually killed another person inside the ballpark?

I know there have been some horrible incidents in recent years, but I thought they were all out in the parking lots and streets.
   70. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4645723)
I still think going to a game is a better experience than watching on TV. You can see things (particularly defensive positioning and base running) that TV doesn't pick up well and with smart phones you have access to stats. The communal experience of being a part of an enthusiastic crowd is a real appeal.

I've gotten to the point where I follow baseball mostly through print/web media. Going to games is too much of a hassle, and the pace on TV is increasingly unbearable. It's almost like 1928 for me; I spend much more time reading about baseball than watching it played.
   71. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4645727)
When was the last time someone actually killed another person inside the ballpark?

I can't remember a single incident. People have died in falls, but no homicides to my recollection.
   72. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4645745)
You walked 3 miles on crutches for a bottle opener?


It was my great grandfather's.
   73. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4645751)
This points out the ridiculousness of it. Supposedly they are trying to prevent a terrorist attack, right? OK, fine, screen the bags and use the metal detectors. But what kind of terrorist attack am I going to set off with my pocket knife? I sort of get it at an airport, where I could theoretically threaten a pilot with a pocket knife. But at a ball game? Fine, try to prevent the bombs from coming in, but there's no reason for the whole bags and other stuff.


Yeah, exactly. If I wanted to get in a fight, my bottle opener posed a threat, but the two giant wooden clubs I was using to propel myself didn't?
   74. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4645763)
When was the last time someone actually killed another person inside the ballpark?


Someone was shot (not fatally) at Kauffman Stadium once in the 90s I think.

Of course, they were shot from someone outside the stadium from across the highway. So perhaps we need metal detectors everywhere!
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4645768)
I still think going to a game is a better experience than watching on TV. You can see things (particularly defensive positioning and base running) that TV doesn't pick up well and with smart phones you have access to stats. The communal experience of being a part of an enthusiastic crowd is a real appeal.

I agree with the part about the communal experience, but the problem now is that the crowd noise is competing with all the other extraneous BS that's supposed to "enhance" the "fan experience", but instead diminishes it radically. Obviously it's all subjective, but I've found that while only a few idiotic old coots fantasize that the game on the field was better BITD (meaning the 60's or earlier) than it is today, it's hard to find many people who went to games in the pre-BS era who think that the 21st century "fan experience" has been "enhanced" in any way beyond better food and beer selection and wider seats for fatasses.
   76. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4645802)
I agree with the part about the communal experience, but the problem now is that the crowd noise is competing with all the other extraneous BS that's supposed to "enhance" the "fan experience", but instead diminishes it radically. Obviously it's all subjective, but I've found that while only a few idiotic old coots fantasize that the game on the field was better BITD (meaning the 60's or earlier) than it is today, it's hard to find many people who went to games in the pre-BS era who think that the 21st century "fan experience" has been "enhanced" in any way beyond better food and beer selection and wider seats for fatasses.


Maybe Fenway is different from other places (and I doubt that) but I don't feel overwhelmed by the extraneous BS. The music thumps out for each batter intro and after a play of substance but it's not a constant intrusion and generally is not so overwhelmingly loud as to be a problem. I can chat during the game and between innings with no problems. The only times I've had problems being heard is when the crowd noise is insanely loud (e.g. after the Ortiz/Victorino grand slams).

I don't go as far back as you do but I also think there has been a MAJOR improvement in security that has nothing to do with the BS measures being suggested here. In the 70s and into the 80s fights and drunken rowdiness were a constant presence at games. They have all but been eliminated now and every park seems to have a hotline that if someone truly is making the experience a bad one I can get that person removed pretty quickly.
   77. BDC Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4645842)
I go to a lot of games alone. Sad, I know, but OTOH I just ignore the noise, which is admittedly oppressive but only really a damper if you want to talk to the person sitting next to you. Or if you want to keep your hearing into your 80s, but who knows what advances in medical science we'll have by then.
   78. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4645850)
I go to a lot of games alone. Sad, I know,


I do the same, it's rather fun. I keep score and inevitably wind up chatting with the folks around me, usually after they ask me if I'm a scout or work for the team.
   79. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 24, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4645866)
I go to a lot of games alone.

Not sad, but I don't enjoy it at all, unless I'm working - and it's been a long time since I've done that.
   80. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4645870)
Yeah, exactly. If I wanted to get in a fight, my bottle opener posed a threat, but the two giant wooden clubs I was using to propel myself didn't?


Not only that, but you could have fit a dozen pocketknives in the crutch if you were so inclined and modified it, and probably even more lethal weapons. The Jackal had a sniper rifle modified to fit in one.
   81. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4645897)
I agree with the part about the communal experience, but the problem now is that the crowd noise is competing with all the other extraneous BS that's supposed to "enhance" the "fan experience", but instead diminishes it radically. Obviously it's all subjective, but I've found that while only a few idiotic old coots fantasize that the game on the field was better BITD (meaning the 60's or earlier) than it is today, it's hard to find many people who went to games in the pre-BS era who think that the 21st century "fan experience" has been "enhanced" in any way beyond better food and beer selection and wider seats for fatasses.

Maybe Fenway is different from other places (and I doubt that) but I don't feel overwhelmed by the extraneous BS. The music thumps out for each batter intro and after a play of substance but it's not a constant intrusion and generally is not so overwhelmingly loud as to be a problem. I can chat during the game and between innings with no problems. The only times I've had problems being heard is when the crowd noise is insanely loud (e.g. after the Ortiz/Victorino grand slams).


I strongly suspect that Fenway is one of the very few exceptions to the extraneous BS overload. I know that Washington and Baltimore sure aren't.

But then in 1980 the Fenway box seats were $17.67 and $18.38 in today's dollars, and the bleachers were $5.65 after inflation. You can't turn back the clock, but that's still a hell of an indication as to the direction the game in the stands has gone since then. Everything's a ####### auction.

I don't go as far back as you do but I also think there has been a MAJOR improvement in security that has nothing to do with the BS measures being suggested here. In the 70s and into the 80s fights and drunken rowdiness were a constant presence at games. They have all but been eliminated now and every park seems to have a hotline that if someone truly is making the experience a bad one I can get that person removed pretty quickly.

That sort of stuff varied by park. I remember some dicey incidents at Candlestick during Dodgers games in 1971, when fans instigated fights by walking in front of a group of opposing fans and burning the other team's pennants, but I also went to well over 100 Orioles games in the 70's and 80's and don't remember anything incendiary in the beer guzzling Section 34 that I used to sit in.

But then the sort of security you describe today blanketed Dodger Stadium in the early 70's, with fans ejected merely for cursing loudly in reaction to a bad call, whereas in recent years it seems as if I've heard about a lot of much more serious problems than cursing with the crowds there. I'm sure your overall point is accurate, but even back in the 70's and 80's I don't think that violent incidents in the stands were all that common in the great majority of ballparks.

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