Thursday, September 16, 2004

Congratulations, you miserable prick

Craig Bueno won the lottery a couple days ago courtesy of Frank Francisco's stupidity. Bueno's wife was hit by the now infamous flying chair.

Wait a second, before I get into this, let's pause for a second and lay out a disclaimer so that there is no misunderstanding. Frank Francisco was an idiot. You don't throw chairs into crowds. You don't go up into a crowd to confront an unruly fan, no matter what they say. He'll be suspended for a long time, as he should be.

But now back to the OTHER jackass in this story. Bueno is more than your standard ballpark asshole who shouts creative taunts at the other team. He's now the official king of ballpark assholes. He actually got the entire Rangers bullpen to come confront him. He should have been kicked out long before the fight happened, but Oakland's security refuses to acknowledge that anything out line was actually said, and that Bueno and his white trash wife did nothing to warrant ejection. The implication is that a bunch of professional baseball players, who have been heckled probably at every road game since they left rookie ball, collectively had a moment of insanity, and spontaneously turned on an innocent fan. These guys have thick skin. "Hey, Broacail! You smell! And your pitching leaves a lot to be desired!" isn't likely to raise an eyebrow.

You know something? I hate hecklers. I really do. They bug me. They bug me a lot. There are very few things that are more annoying at a ballpark than a loud, obnoxious, drunken, vulgar jerk a couple rows away. Sometimes, I secretly wish that a foul ball would clock them on the side of the mellon. A little divine justice, if you wish. I didn't picture that justice coming in the guize of a plastic folding chair. With that in mind, I have no sympathy for Jennifer Bueno. She defends her husband, and it's clear that she participated in the heckling. She got what she deserved. And she'll probably get a six figure check from the Rangers and Francisco. Bully for her. A few hundred thousand dollars will make the pain of a bloody nose well worth it.

What I'd like to see the media and MLB focus on in the aftermath is how to prevent things like this from happening again. The answers are pretty simple, but they have a monetary price. You need more training for ushers. The ushers and security personel should be proactive. If a fan is drunken, obscene, and rowdy, they should be kicked out. If MLB wants a family friendly atmosphere, they should realize that it takes more than a playground behind the right field wall and discount hot dogs and drinks on tuesday nights. You have to have the balls to punt a season ticket holder who is shouting four letter words at the other team. Maybe you even arrest one every so often for public intoxication.

Anyways, congrats to the Bueno family. You're in the hunt for a nice little payday AND you get automatic induction into the Asshole Sports Fan Hall of Fame, which will probably be built somewhere in Philadelphia one of these days. I salute you with one finger, and one finger only. I'll leave it to you to guess which finger that is.

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