Tuesday, September 14, 2004
I watched this unfortunate incident on Fox Sports Southwest. While the fans who started this in Oakland are at fault, the Texas Rangers aren't immune to blame either. Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco was way out of line. He threw a chair into the stands, hitting a defenseless woman. It was one of the ugliest things, if not the ugliest, I've ever seen at a ballgame, in person or on television.
I know a thing or two about the Oakland fans, considering that I have attended a few games in the Coliseum in my day. While small in numbers, the A's fans that do show up are passionate. However, there are nights like last night that puts a black eye on the fans in the Black Hole. I will refrain from using any tasteless jokes about the Raider fans, because they're simply not needed here. The situation last night was tasteless enough.
Say what you will about Safeco Field and its atmosphere, but you have to admit, the gameday staff is pretty solid. No way in hell would this type of stuff happen at Safeco Field. I'm biased here, because I was a member of the gameday staff for two seasons (sold merchandise at the Safe). But I just can't believe that the A's and the Coliseum didn't have more ushers and/or security down by the Rangers' bullpen. Needless to say, if the A's ever get around to building a new ballpark, the bullpens will be behind the outfield fences, especially after last night's ugly incident.
The fallout from this incident has begun. Francisco was arrested today in Oakland for a charge of aggravated battery. He was released on $15,000 bail. There's no question that Francisco will be suspended for his actions.
In the least important news of Monday night in Oakland, the A's won 7-6 in 10 innings. The A's are 2 games ahead of Anaheim in the A.L. West and 6 up on Texas going into tonight's action.
Let's hope that nothing like this ever happens again. There's no room in sports for this type of stuff. Play ball and behave like adults.