A few days ago, MLB umpire Joe West was hit in the head by a baseball that apparently came from the stands. The incident delayed the Miami Marlins-Milwaukee Brewers game, as security attempted to find the person responsible. Reactions across social media varied, from laughter to shame. Let me tell you one thing, there is no place for that behavior in this game. Take your dislike for Joe West somewhere else.
“Cowboy” Joe West has been umpiring in the game of baseball for 40 seasons, including six World Series and two All-Star games. The man has been around for a long time. And with his tenure comes a certain reputation. No, Joe West is not unanimously liked by all players, teams, or fans. He has had his share of controversy, whether it be in his statements about players or the way he calls games.
However, you CANNOT assault someone that you don’t like. That’s not the way our society works. If you don’t like someone, there are plenty of ways to handle it. Yell at him, heckle him, take to social media and disgrace him. Do what you can, without hurting the man. I don’t much care for him myself. I think he is past his time in the game. But I’m not throwing baseballs at him either.
I hope that the culprit is found and handled accordingly. What he/she did was nothing short of despicable. Fans often get rowdy, and there have been plenty of fights between fans. You could spend hours on YouTube looking at the videos. It doesn’t give anyone the right to do it. And it certainly doesn’t give anyone the right to take their anger to someone on the field.
Players, coaches, staff, and umpires deserve respect from the fans. At the minimum, their safety should be secured and go unquestioned. Again, yell, heckle, curse, make a sign. Show your distaste for the umpires or opposing teams in that way. Keep your objects in your hands.
Major League Baseball is a sport loved by many. Constantly on the decline, in comparison to the National Football League, the sport doesn’t need anything to take away what fans are left. Let’s work together to save the sport we love. If we begin to act like animals, there won’t be any baseball left before long.
Follow Blake Cole on Twitter (@blakeacole) for more on MLB, Joe West, and more.