The Dip: Crime and Punishment

Posted by The Dipsy, Tue, May 11, 2010 05:58 PM | Comments: 65
Posts, The Dip

Field runners have been around baseball for as long as I can remember. Usually they’re drunk kids who make a mad dash for the field, run around with no apparent purpose, only to be quickly lassoed by local law enforcement and hauled into the stadium tunnel. In the 70′s there were streakers. These were people that actually ran naked onto the baseball field only to meet the same fate. There was also the buxom Morganna, a head full of mad platinum blonde hair and enormous breasts, who used to run onto the field directly towards a player, kiss that player, and then go back to her seat. For the player it was considered an honor. I can’t remember a player ever being assaulted by a wayward fan who had run onto the field. But that was a simpler time. We listened to disco for god’s sake.

Then came 9/11 and the world changed and we could never take our safety for granted again. Shoebombs. Anthrax (not the band). Virginia Tech. Society has shown it can get a little screwy and scary so now, when a person runs onto a baseball field, where we all used to laugh and hoot, many of us become alarmed. This is because recent history has taught us that anything can happen. Simply put, for the safety of those on the playing field, what was once a little harmless fun, is now something to be taken seriously.

So, it was at the intersection of my youthful naivete and our restless future where I saw a waifish, 17-year old kid brazenly run onto the outfield wielding a hand towel, hopping around, and looking for all the trouble he could handle. What I saw next was surreal – perhaps absurd.

Look, I know the difference between danger and somebody doing something stupid. That said, that kid posed no more danger to a player, or anyone else on that field, than a windblown hot dog wrapper. The drill started as usual. The kid came on the field. He ran around. Everyone ran towards him. But dangit this kid was wiley and hard to catch. Now the Philadelphia Police Officer had decided he had seen enough and broke out his weapon and sent currents of electricity through the interloper’s body. Are you kidding? Is this what we’ve come to? I for one hope that, while field running can not be tolerated, tasers are not routinely pulled from holsters at first sight of an intruder.

My suggestion for the future? Why not employ a common sense approach. In the interest of those playing in the game, why not measure the use of force to be employed on a case by case basis? Stay with me here. For instance, if a guy that runs on the field has the Quran in one hand and a grenade in the other, or is the mohawk guy from the Road Warrior, then bring in the cavalry. But if its a 17-year old boy flouncing around the outfield for kicks, or someone jumping out of his seat along the baseline to get a baseball, or a monarch butterfly fluttering around the pitchers mound, please keep the weapon on your hip and catch the offender the old fashioned way: by expending the necessary energy to chase him down, tackle him, and roughhouse him down to the station.

Yes, it can be said that we live in dangerous times – so lets be vigilant and protective. But not careless. If shocking people with electricity is the way those smarter than me think that it should be handled, then I guess that’s the way it’ll be. But I can’t help but think what a sad commentary that would be on where this crazy world is headed.

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About The Dipsy

The Dipsy has written 29 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Very simple. After I tazed them I would have them beaten and Id show it on TV and the big screen.
    Sadly it will take a Monica Seles moment for this all to be taken seriously.
    I dont think its funny. I think its serious and should be handled in a very serious manner. Its nto a question of if but when. I still remember the 2 guys beating up the 3rd base coach. They shuold have been tazered then beaten.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Dipsy, I wholeheartedly agree with your post. It seems that many officers are using taser guns just as a means to expedite the normal process. I mean, there’s gotta be some common sense here. Catch the guy (you will –it’s a ballpark, he can’t magically run away!!), arm-lock or whatever… But tasering him in front of 45,000 people… in front of kids and families… c’mon have some decency.

    I don’t know what are the exact consequences of sending electrical shocks through someone’s body, but they sure don’t seem to be good for anybody. A ballpark is no place for taser guns.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    a ball park is no place to run on the field. I cant believe peopel think that automatic tazering isnt a good idea? they could have anything on them you need to take them down. Like i said when a player is killed sadly then tazering will be common place.

  • Posts: 0 Roy

    It’s always going to look like they went too far until some jackass tried to run at a player. Then people will be saying where were the tasers?

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Thank you Roy
    Sad that a player will have to be injured or killed for common sense to rule. Closing the barn door after the horse is gone desnt work.

  • Posts: 0 Heather

    @Roy: I agree with you. Pre 911: It’s just common sense that we shouldn’t have to lock the cockpit door. After all, who would want to take down the pilots?

    Same thing applies here.

  • Posts: 0 Heather

    I am actually reminded of that crazed fan who stabbed Monica Seles and pretty much ruined her career. I don’t want that happening to Ryan Howard or Chase Utley or whatever. Sometimes you don’t know who is a danger until it’s too late.

  • Posts: 0 Scotch Man

    As usual, I totally disagree with the Dip.

    Many of life’s great lessons are learned the hard way. If you don’t listen to the back of your ticket, you don’t listen to the ball girls video message, you don’t listen to your father, you don’t listen to the grounds crew, and you don’t listen to the cops, you are going to listen to the taser.

    That dope was told more than enough times to not do what he did.

  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    Once you step onto the field, you have broken the law. Once you attempt to avoid apprehension, you are resisting arrest. The taser is a tool that was invented for the purpose of gaining control of a suspect with the least amount of harm. The person that ran onto the field was looking for attention and he found it. I fully back the use of these tools and our police officers.
    Dipsy; FYI, terrorist organizations are recruiting people that look like you and me. If it were my call I’d have a few German shepards at the ready. Let’s see a drunken seventeen year old outrun that.
    Final point is this. If there is a civil suit and the plaintiff is awarded a settlement then what will stop anyone else from jumping onto the field with the sole purpose of a payday from the Phils and the city?
    GO POLICE!!!

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    You’re not resisting arrest until someone is actually trying to arrest you, until then you are merely avoiding apprehension. I can guaran-damn-tee you that someone will be severely injured by a taser gun before a player is injured by a dope running on the field. Just go catch the guy. It sounds like some people on this board are in favor of tasering every person that bursts onto the field. Could this be true. Why should cops act differently in a stadium that they do on the streets. In the vast majority of cases, people that are put up a fight or are running from the police are wrestled to the ground and cuffed or chased down and cuffed. Cops just don’t bust out tasers on the streets like they did at CB the other day. Believe it. He was just a kid. With a towel.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Wine Man

    ” It sounds like some people on this board are in favor of tasering every person that bursts onto the field. Could this be true”

    Ahem, Yes. Taser the shit out of anybody who is dumb enough to run on the damn field. Period. End of story. Case closed.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    You can guarentee? Are you serious? A tennis player has already been stabbed. A third base coach has been beaten and no one has ever been injured by being tazed on a playing field. Thats some guarentee.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    And yes EVERY person who runs on a playing field and interupts a game should be tazered.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Grab the person. Wrestle him to the ground. I don’t care about tennis players in other countries where people are freakin crazy. At soccer games in third world countries they carry automatic weapons. I’ll call it a “curve of reasonableness”, and the other night, when the PPD tasered the prancing ninny, they went off the res a bit. But hey, it is Philly, and there is a rich tradition to uphold.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 DD

    45,000+ fans stayed in their seats and enjoyed the game. One decided to “storm the field”. Take care of the problem. Parents, teach your kids a “life lesson” from this episode that you don’t run onto the field unless you are in the game or want to get tazed. Player safety is the priority, not some knucklehead who craves attention.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Tell ya what. Next time someone comes on the field and acts like that kid. He will NOT be tasered.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    One thing is to run in circles in the outfield waving a towel…

    Another completely different thing is to run towards a player and attempt to hurt them…

    It all comes down to training the officers adequately. Poor training = misuse of taser guns…

  • Posts: 0 steven

    this blog sucks and the writer’s blow

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    And, the only reason the kid got tased was because the 300 pound cop that got him couldn’t take another step and felt his chest tighten up, so he just said “eff it” and popped him. Either that or he mistook the kid for a cheeseburger.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Heres a video of the Royals third base coach who was beaten by some chicago fans. I bet he is in favor of tazing. They interview the guy and about a minute and a half in theres a video of him being pummeled. He says he still has emotional scars. I guess if it happened to Utley the Dip wouldnt want him to be protected. Maybe could have a chair and let them sit down and the dip could ask them their intentions before they run on the field. Then we will know how to handle it.
    Look at this video.


  • Posts: 0 AZHokie

    He won’t be tasered, but thats a PR move. Dipsy, I am not sure what your point is. I hate to break it to you, but people are “freakin crazy” here in the US too. I just don’t see how a security guard or police officer is going to effectively judge what someone’s intent is in a matter of seconds when they run on the field. Can you imagine if you were that guy that kept the taser at your side and then something actually happened. The worst thing that can happen to someone getting tazed is that their friends can watch the video on YouTube ad naseum. The worst thing that could happen if a fan can just run out and do whatever they want…do we really want to wait and see?

  • Posts: 0 AM

    Not to say that every fan who runs onto the field should tazered, but it can’t we agree that tazing might actually be safer not only for the players, but also for the kid. The kid is 17, skinny. A cop could tackle him and crack his ribs. I don’t think tazing causes any damage.

  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    Dipsy, you’re funny. It’s better that a policeman suffers a heart attack chasing a law breaker? I’ve read a lot of your posts and you are more intelligent than you are presenting yourself. I think you’re just poking us with a stick for entertainment until the game starts.
    GO PHILS!!!

  • Posts: 0 The Second John

    I really don’t mind the tasering at all. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if they started doing that to every guy who runs on the field. Dipsy, you responded to the Monica Seles incident, but what about the Gamboa incident? There are obviously lots of idiots out there and if you combine that with alcohol, then it doesen’t matter where you are, you might do something that’s dangerous.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    “He won’t be tasered, but that’s a PR move.”

    Sure its a PR move. Because 17 year old pixies, one who is actually running away from people, not towards anyone, shouldn’t be tasered. There is a reason why its a bad PR move and that because most people think what the cop did was unnecessary and the Phils probably don’t want it to happen again. If you have properly trained security personnel on the field, they will know when to use a taser and when not. Thats all I ask.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Tracey

    Dipsy, you may not have thought that the teenager posed a threat, but we all know that hindsight is 20/20. The PLAYERS thought he posed a threat. He jumped out of the stands right in front of Jayson Werth, who thought he was a threat. I admit, I didn’t particularly thinke he was a threat; I thought he was an asstard (he was). But the people in that stadium didn’t pay a collective million dollars to watch a pathetic loser seeking attention. (45,000 people X average $31 per ticket = almost $1.4 million)

    You seem to think that a taser is an excessive use of force. But apparently, it was so incredibly NOT excessive that a loser ran onto the field the very next night, after tweeting his intentions, just to get a little free publicity (he’s a DJ for hire).

  • Posts: 0 Tracey

    Actually, it was Cataldi who had the best line of all about tasering, the morning after the second guy, the fat slob of a 34-year-old DJ, ran out on the field. Cataldi said that if that second guy tried to run away from the police, they would need to use a taser… to defibrillate him!

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    This kid should have thought about the ramifications of running onto the field. It’s his own fault he got tazed. If he doesn’t run onto the field, guess what, nothing would have happened to him. The policy should be: if you enter the playing field you get TAZED. I think that should be warning enough not to do some foolish act like that.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Mother Teresa walks out onto the field – tazed. A woman runs onto the field to hug a player – tazed. An eight year old kid jumps over the rail to get a ball down the third base line – tazed. OK genius.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 therookie300

    If that was the policy and it was blatantly ignored, well, those are the posted consequences if it were my decision to make. I think a taser is safer than some of the results that I have personally seen event staff carry out at sporting events and concerts. What would they be saying if event staff or police tackled this kid and in the middle of the tackle they severely injured this kid? He was quite hard to catch so there is a good chance he could have fallen in some weird angle that could have led to a devastating injury that would be far worse than a zap of a taser.

  • Posts: 0 stevek

    Trespassing and Resisting Arrest.

    If the president was throwing out the first pitch and someone ran onto the field, what would be the appropriate response? I’ll give you a second to mull that over.
    Now tell me why anyone at a game deserves less protection in that situation than the president.

    Furthermore, I say drag them into the tunnel and taser them again.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Because they’re not the president, that’s why. The president is more important than you and me. I hate to break that to you. Unless you have the Secret Service with you 24 hours a day you might be the exception.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Jim

    The brilliant legal minds that populate this site seem to have some difficulty understanding that different parts of the criminal justice system have different jobs. You’d think that after 20 years of Law & Order reruns that some people would have figured it out by now, but let me recap for those that don’t understand: the police are responsible for catching criminals, the courts prosecute/punish them. There’s a really good reason why pretty much all civilized societies adhere to that sort of system. Playing the silly “what if” games are fun and all (what if Monica Seles jumps on the field? You’re not going to taser her are you? HASN’T THE POOR LADY SUFFERED ENOUGH ALREADY!!!) but police officers are responsible for exercising judgment based on the situation and it’s obvious that the kid was fast, the cop was fat and embarrassed, and so he used force where it wasn’t warranted.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Yes GENIUS a lady runs onto thte field and is coming at a player to hug him she better be tazed. Anyone running at one of the players should eb immediately tazed. Only in america where our poor people on government assistance are all almost always fat would you even have this arguement. Awful defense here dipsy. Way to try to put people down. when you are out on a limb here. the next time a player or coach is beaten up or stabbed just keep your mouth shut. Like the one guy said earlier this is a stupid column.
    Next guy that runs out lets let the dipsy come out hold his hand and sing kumbaya with him GENIUS.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Mother Theresa runs out on the field would be some story as she came back from the dead and dug her way out of a coffin. But yes when she ran out on the field she should be tasered.
    Do i need to post the video of the coach beaing beaten and the Seles stabbing again?

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Dips, I completely agree with you on this, as a matter of fact it was discussed at length on DNL, and they also took a poll. Surprisingly to me, results were 70% for the tasing, 30% against. And I see that very few people on here agree with us.

    I sent an e-mail to DNL which Michael Barkann read on air. I posed this question: Who do you think got the worse punishment, the jerk who vomited on the little girl, or the field jumper? Anyone who thinks the kid running around the field waving a towel was more of a threat than the drunken vomiter is just delusional. If the popo can’t tell the difference between a kid doing something stupid and a terrorist, maybe they need some more training. And if you’re too out of shape to tackle a kid running in circles in the outfield, you have no business doing that job.

    Obviously, the Phillies organization agrees with Dips, Manny, and me, because they changed their policy regarding “field jumpers” the next day. What is wrong with all you people, why do you think violence is the answer to everything? It’s just fine to get all drunked up at a game and act obnoxiously…what if they started tasing unruly drunks? Bet we’d have a different story then.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Andrew, your arguments are ridiculous and hold no water whatsoever….oh, and you’re not funny either, in case you were under the assumption you are.

  • Posts: 0 George

    Tasers are USUALLY somewhat harmless, but under certain conditions can cause DEATH. A few cracked ribs is certainly better than possibly killing someone. If one wants to speculate, one can’t just cite the possibility of harm to a ballplayer, but also has to consider the potential death of a teenage drunk. To me, that punk was really stupid, and deserves some kind of huge fine and mandatory jail time, but the cop used poor judgment and should be suspended until he completes some kind of better training. He should also be thrown off the force if he doesn’t lose some weight.

    One thing here which doesn’t make much sense: who the heck kept serving alcohol to someone under age? Shouldn’t that be a problem to be looked into? If he’d consumed liquor before the game, it’s effects would have worn off mostly–at least enough to make better judgments–by the time he was ready to make his dash. Some concession stand vendor was likely violating the law, and should be fired.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    George: I think the one who was drunk was the second, older “field runner.” I may be wrong, but the 17-year old wasn’t drunk… Drunk or not, he just made a poor decision which actually a lot of people in the crowd thought was funny at the time… and then he got tasered for that.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Georgie, your arguments are ridiculous and hold no water whatsoever….oh, and you’re not funny either, in case you were under the assumption you are.
    you are about as interesting as paint drying. You offer nothing. I can only hope you are out of line some day and get tasered. hardy har har

    Send off another email genius do gooder.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    If the popo can’t tell the difference between a kid doing something stupid and a terrorist, maybe they need some more training.

    Brilliant. Is this the type of email you send to DNL? You are really a go getter. You and dipsy can hold hands and sing kumbaya with the next field jumper. Haha

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    I sent an e-mail to DNL which Michael Barkann read on air.

    Stop the presses there is royalty amoungst us. Can I send away for your autographed photo? I mean really they read YOUR email?
    I am mighty proud of you.
    We got a big shot on little old phillies nation.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Uh oh, sounds like I might have hit a nerve there Andrew….are you related to the cop, or maybe you ARE the cop!

    At any rate, you should lay off the booze for tonight and hit the sack….you’re ranting and making a fool of yourself, which is probably nothing new.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew

    Georgie we cant all be as well versed or lucky enough to have our emails read on DNL. It makes you the premier authority on this topic I know. Watch the video of that poor coach beng beaten. Thats an innocent man doing his job. Not someone willingly breaking the law.
    Being proud of having an email read somewhere and thinking that makes you more relevant? OK you may be mildly retarded. I will leave you alone now. Criminals are good police are bad. You win.

  • Posts: 0 Lewisauce

    I disagree with Dip completely, for all the reasons cited above.

    I can’t believe I’m agreeing with him, but Scotch Man actually hit it on the head: you don’t listen to the back of the ticket, the ball girls, your father, security, etc., you deal with the consequences, and there’s no way to predict what the consequences will be, but you take that gamble when you break the rules. This moron got tazed and has only himself to blame.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Given the demographic this site caters to (men 25-55), it shouldn’t be that surprising that this is the reaction. And I’m not saying anything derogatory about the demographic, we’re just more “law and order” oriented. By a great majority, men are the cops, the fireman, the soldiers, the hunters, etc. As such, I think there is much less tolerance re: this topic. This is not merely sociology, of which I am no expert, but merely based on my experience and observation. While I recognize that tasers should be in the “tool box” for CB security (now that the PPD have been sh@tcanned), it should not be the first thing they go for when someone jumps on the field. I have no problem with its use when warranted. Its just that most people that have posted seem to believe that its not only always warranted, but should be deemed mandatory. And I think thats wrong. And its not about teaching someone a lesson. Its about getting a situation under control, and for this purpose, the only purpose that matters, a taser is not needed most of the time. Use it, don’t abuse it (I had to throw that in, sorry).

    The Dispy

  • Posts: 0 bfo_33

    It’s not easy to find good stats on taser safety. The anti-taser faction points to 277 deaths occuring when someone was tasered since 2001, but doesn’t go into the cause of death (drugs, heart attack due to exertion running away,…) or the total number of people tasered (is this 0.01% or 25%?). The pro-taser side states it is much safer than a baton, firearm, or other methods of being physically subdued (while it hurts, for most of the population, it is the fall that causes the damage, not the 50k volts), but doesn’t give a whole lot of stats either. Here’s the closest thing to objective I can find, but unfortunately, the study did not indicate who funded the research:

    A study led by William Bozeman, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, of nearly 1,000 persons subjected to Taser use, concluded that 99.7% of the subjects had either minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, or none at all; while three persons suffered injuries severe enough to need hospital admission, and two other subjects died. Their autopsy reports indicated neither death was related to the use of a Taser.

    The bottom line is fans don’t belong on the field, and in a split second, it isn’t easy to determine who is and who isn’t a threat (if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be soldiers dying every week due to suicide bombers). Personally, I’d have no problem stamping on every ticket that if you run out onto the field (note – falling over the rail to catch a foul ball is not running out onto the field), you risk getting tased on every ticket. Give them to police only (not security or ushers). Players and umps/refs belong on the field, fans in the stands.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy, great article and the commentary that follows is riveting. Rarely do I read the entire thread when it reaches 40 some odd posts, but I found myself doing that this morning.

    I agree with you on this….which I guess puts me in the minority with you, Georgie, and Manny. All I could think of when this thing went down was RIZZO’S BOYS…Yes…Frank Rizzo. His legacy lives on I suppose thirty plus years later. The Philadelphia Police Dept. took a page out of his playbook ….or the play book of the LAPD (Rodney King)….and tazered some jackass punk kid because he was waving a towel around the field.

    IF he really posed a threat…then, yeah, tazer him. That’s why the police have those things….to use as a LAST RESORT. But this seemed too much like a preemptive strike to me….or maybe it was laziness on the part of the fat cop that couldn’t catch him….or it was his way of elevating his own testosterone levels.

  • Posts: 0 The Original Chuck P

    I didn’t have a problem with the taser… truth is, a good old fashioned tackle has the potential to do more damage than a taser. Taser the kid in the arse and he’s gonna be fine after a short nap. If that kid was laid out by my brother (3 time D2 all-american LB), I guarantee you that he’s going to have at least a few broken ribs and a concussion. If someone is blatantly resisting apprehension and being warned, “I’m gonna taser you” in my opinion, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be tasered.

    What disgusted me is that they couldn’t catch the kid… can we get a couple of security guards that aren’t sloths?

    I also feel like you can’t assume that someone running on the field is harmless just because they’re not carrying a Quran and a grenade… we live in a different world and people do crazy things. There’s a lady that was arrested in Bucks County not too long ago for organizing a terrorist cell… Jihad Jane. Google it… blonde haired and blue eyed… my point, extremism and irrationalism come in all shapes and colors.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    I don’t have a problem with the taser either….if it’s used appropriately. It just seemed that with this case the kid was simply running around the field waving a towel trying to get some attention (guess he’s missing something at home).

    You are right about some tackles possibly doing more harm…but there is probably a way to wrestle someone to the ground WITHOUT breaking his ribs. Again…two words….POLICE BRUTALITY.

    It just comes down to the police having the proper training…which, apparentely, in a lot of cases….they don’t.

    Slamming into somebody unnecessarily hard with the intention to do damage sends just the same negative message as using a taser gun.

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