In what’s somehow the wildest yet most unsurprising story from this week in baseball, the Yankees did something very Evil Empire-esque to one of their inexplicably-loyal fans.
I’ll start this off by saying that my general belief is that if you choose to be a Yankees fan, you deserve nothing but unhappiness, misery, and years of watching the Red Sox triumph over you. Having said that, even I think this situation is the definition of an extreme overreaction.
After a long rain delay during the final game of the Sox-Yankees series last week, a Yankees fan who often shows up on camera wearing neon ensembles was caught sneaking into seats he hadn’t paid for, in the Legends section.
He was escorted out of the section.
And he was banned from Yankee Stadium.
Personally banned by Yankees COO Lonn Trost.
Banned for life.
But wait! It gets worse.
He was also arrested, spent the night in a Bronx central booking holding cell, and not released for 24 hours.
Now, all this seems pretty extreme to me. It certainly would never happen at Fenway. I’ve moved seats a million times in late innings when the park gets emptier. In the 19-inning game against Toronto last September, one of the best parts was that by the last few innings, there were only about 500 of us still there, past midnight. We all moved down to the first few rows of the first baseline and sat together, talking about how crazy the game was. By the end of the game, we were bonded like old friends. Not that I think Yankees fans could ever have the same kind of experience; it requires having souls.
But I digress. My feeling is, if the stadium is fairly empty and you’re not actively taking anyone’s seats, who cares? MLB should be trying to bring fans in, not ban them for life. Even – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – Yankees fans. Fans pay so much money just to get into baseball games these days (don’t get me started on $15 beers), and they should be allowed to enjoy them. Yankee Stadium is one of the newest, fanciest, and priciest of the ballparks, too. The fact that their psycho owners won’t even let their fans move seats without having them banned for life and arrested? And after a rain delay when tons of people had left? It just seems so pointless and cruel. I never thought I’d feel bad for a Yankees fan.
Then again, like I said, you choose your lot in life.