Oh man, there’s so much juicy stuff in this story about foul behavior at the ball park that you don’t even have to be a baseball fan to be riveted. In case you haven’t heard the basics: a man and his date caught a foul ball during a home game for the Texas Rangers vs. the New York Yankees, tossed into the stands by Rangers’ first baseman Mitch Moreland. The couple was seated next to a boy, about 3 years old, who began to cry after he missed the ball. Rather than toss the ball to the kid, the couple took photos of their prize and completely ignored the child. This was all caught on tape by the Yankees camera crew, and their announcer, Michael Kay, mocked the couple on air. Take a look:
As you can see from the footage, the little boy did get his own ball in the end, which I think is great. But I want to talk about two things:
1.) This couple is being vilified all over the web for keeping the ball, and though I understand why people find it strange that they wouldn’t let the kid have it, isn’t there an opportunity here to teach children they can’t always get what they want?
2.) Why isn’t anyone outraged over the fact that Michael Kay’s co-anchor called the woman who kept the ball a golddigger … on television?!
It turns out, this couple is getting married this weekend, and will be a blended family of seven. They say they love children and never meant to hurt anyone. (It should be noted that it’s obvious from the video footage that the couple was not taunting the child next to them, rather they were living in their own world of small celebration. Maybe, oh, BECAUSE THEY’RE GETTING MARRIED THIS WEEKEND?)
Strollerderby’s Katherine Stone wrote a piece during the Hilary Rosen/Ann Romney affair about assumptions, and what happens when we make them. We all do, certainly; I’m guilty of it as well. But these announcers knew nothing about that couple before they started to completely shit talk them on national television. What if the woman had cancer? I mean, she didn’t, she doesn’t, but you understand what I’m saying. What if she had just lost a parent and this was the first outing she’d been on to cheer herself up? What if this was her first date after a horrible divorce? “Don’t worry, kid. Once his money’s gone, so is she.” Ugh.
The lessons here are myriad and confusing, but so far this is what I think they are:
1) Sports culture is still misogynistic. So if you’re a woman going on a date to a baseball game, look as butchy as possible so you’re not called a golddigger on national TV.
2) If you catch a foul ball and you’re not a kid, give it to a nearby kid, because as my pal Sully notes on his baseball blog, that’s who the players are trying to toss the ball to anyway. If you don’t, you’re the worst person ever.
3) The same rules do not apply to home run balls hit into the stands, apparently. But I don’t know, don’t ask me, I’m a woman. I don’t care about baseball, I JUST WANT YOUR MONEY.
4) If you’re a kid, we parents want you to know that you can’t always get what you want. Sometimes life isn’t fair, and you don’t always need to cry about it. Unless you’re in a baseball stadium. Then you can cry and melt down and everyone should give everything they have to you. With a side of Cracker Jacks.
If you think there are any lessons that I’ve missed, leave them in the comments.