Anger, to get my blood moving
You know, four out of five doctors recommend that you do something at the start of the day to get your blood moving. You know, get the heart pumping. For a few minutes. Strengthens the heart and the blood vessels. Betters the circulation. Wakes you up.
Well, I'm far too lazy to do anything like that on a regular basis. Sometimes I ride the stationary bike. Other mornings, like this one, I wake up, eat a piece of cold pizza and find something on this here internet to make me angry.
Today's Angry-Making story is that of Neil Pakett, of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, who is suing the Philadelphia Phillies
baseball club as well as the city of Philadelphia because he got hit with a foul ball at a Philadelphia Phillies game.
Now, some of you have probably heard about this. Hell, I may have heard about this and forgotten. The bovine spongiform encephalopathy is wiping huge portions of my memory out.
But, to update:
A dentist who lost some of his vision after he was beaned at a Philadelphia Phillies game is suing the team, alleging that not enough was done to protect spectators.
Neil Pakett, of Elkins Park, would have been protected during the June 25, 2001, game at Veterans Stadium if the backstop was wide enough to meet the recommendations of the Architectural Graphic Standards and had been angled differently, according to court documents citing an expert hired by Pakett's lawyer.
Pakett was struck when a foul ball flew off the bat of the Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who was batting left-handed. Pakett attempted to catch the ball, instead of protecting himself, according to court documents.
Okay. Now, if I'm the judge, and I hear that last statement, I throw the whole kit and kaboodle out of court, I make Pakett pay court costs and I have him summarily executed via firing squad.
But wait! There's more. This is an appeal by Mr. Pakett. The first judge dismissed the Phillies, saying they'd done enough...
Among the protections cited by Philadelphia Judge Joseph I. Papalini were warnings by the public announcer, on the back of every ticket, on signs posted on walkways and between concourses, and by a video cartoon that is played in the middle of the first inning.
In my imagination, this is how it goes:
The Attorney: Mr. Pakett, you were sitting, watching the game, correct?
Mr. Pakett: Yessir.
The Attorney: Jimmy Rollins fouled the ball, and hit it in your direction, yes?
Mr. Pakett: Yessir.
The Attorney: And you tried to catch the ball?
Mr. Pakett: Umm...Yessir.
The Attorney: You tried, and failed, apparently.
Mr. Pakett: Yeah. It hit me in my eye. I'm part blind in it now.
The Attorney: Partly
Mr. Pakett: Yeah.
The Attorney: Let me review. You were at the game, sitting in proximity to the
safety net. So you were sitting in the lower bowl?
Mr. Pakett: Yessir.
The Attorney: Why?
Mr. Pakett: Because I can afford it. Because I don't went to sit with them dirty smellies up in the upper sections. Because I want to be seen sitting in the expensive seats.
The Attorney: Wow.
Mr. Pakett: I hate them people. I went to school and got edjucations so I'm better than them. I make loads of money, or at least I want people to think I do, so I sit in the expensive seats at the baseball game.
The Attorney: Okay. Have you ever been to a baseball game before?
Mr. Pakett: Yeah.
The Attorney: So you know foul balls go into the stands, right?
Mr. Pakett: I had no idea!
The Attorney: And people try to catch them, right?
Mr. Pakett: Ludicrisp!
The Attorney: Jimmy Rollins hit a foul ball into the stands, in your direction.
Mr. Pakett: That's right! I'da sued him too if they'd let me. For assault.
The Attorney: Do you have a normal person's reflexes, would you say?
Mr. Pakett: Yeah, I guess.
The Attorney: You stated earlier that you tried to catch the ball, am I right?
Mr. Pakett: Umm...Yeah.
The Attorney: Instead of utilizing those normal person's reflexes to do something, like, protect your face girly style, or perhaps duck or dodge?
Mr. Pakett: But I wanted the baseball. It was pretty. And it would have made me better than the people around me.
The Attorney: Your status symbol seats aren't enough?
Mr. Pakett: Nope. Gotta catch the ball.
Judge (that's me.): Waitaminnit. I was watching TV up here. You're at the game?
Mr. Pakett: Yes, your honor.
Judge (that's me): And you try to catch a foul ball, instead of getting out of the way?
Mr. Pakett: Yes?
Judge (that's me): I don't see how this is the Phillies' fault. They didn't make you try to catch the ball.
Mr. Pakett: Ummm....
Judge (that's me): Mr. Pakett...did you hear the announcer sayit might be dangerous? Did you read the signs? Did you watch the cartoon they ran that probably showed some dope getting beaned with a baseball?
Mr. Packett: I didn't know it could hurt me....
Judge (that's me): With that statement, you've proven yourself too stupid to swim in the gene pool. Bailiff [my guard staff would be Clancy Brown and Richard Moll]! Take him to the Execution Chamber!!!! Where's my punishin' gun?
I've probably displayed an amazing ignorance of legal procedure, but I was trying to illustrate my point. It seems to me that anybody who's got an ounce of brain in their head, and who's seen a baseball game in their lives, who's been sitting close enough to the action for long enough to see at least one foul ball fly into the stands, should know that there's a risk or two sitting in those status symbol seats.
To me, that's part of the fun of sitting in those seats. But I've found that I don't like sitting close to the action at a Major League game for a couple of reasons. One, I feel like I can see the field a little better if I'm up higher at a Major League game. Not top deck, necessarily. But I just like a vantage point.
But two, the five or six times I've gotten to sit that close, a goodly number of the people aren't there to watch the game. They're there to be seen. Which means they aren't watching the game. They're talking on their cell phones and talking to their friends, and getting drunk on 8 dollar a cup beer.
For the most part, they're not paying any attention to the game.
I'm just running off at the mouth here.
Mr. Pakett, a note from your old pal BSTommy: I'm sorry that you're partly blind. But you took your destiny into your hands when you decided to sit close at a ball game, and especially when you tried to catch the foul baseball. Nobody forced you to do either of those things. There are no guarantees in life, slick. You took your chances.
We've gotta get a handle on money-grubbing guys like Mr. Pakett, and people like him who've sued baseball for similar things. We've also gotta get a handle on the people who don't know how to behave in public when they've been drinking. You know, the ones who do things like attack sports stars on the field.
I don't think we will. I'm fairly pessimistic about it. Baseball is going to change in the next few years. We're gonna have hockey style barriers, before too long. Or nets, all the way around the field. The little things that I like, that there is little separating us in the stands from those on the field, physically or metaphorically...those things will go away.