Saturday, May 23, 2015

How bad does behavior have to get before ball club becomes responsible?

It has been 36 years since I first attended a ball game in Chicago, and the closest I ever came to having an incident was one White Sox game I went to with my brother and cousin when I was in high school.

Sometimes, the beatings come outside the ball park
It was the end of the game and the three of us were waiting outside Comiskey Park for our pre-arranged ride home to show up. We became aware of the fact that a couple of guys appeared to be eyeing us a little too closely.

BEFORE ANYTHING COULD happen, the three of us decided to walk around and mix in with the crowd that was leaving the stadium. We literally took a lap around the ballpark – which put us right back in the same spot.

By then, our potential attackers had moved on. Our ride wound up arriving a couple of minutes later, and the night ended without incident.

It stands out in my mind solely because it reinforces the fact that the stadium crowds usually are harmless. Some people overserve themselves. But, by and large, they are a hazard solely to themselves.

So what should we make of an incident that occurred at U.S. Cellular Field last season that has resulted in a lawsuit recently being filed.

FOR IT SEEMS that a couple attending a ball game last year left the ballpark, only to find that a trio of men were publicly urinating in the parking lot – and chose their car as the place to spray their piss.

When the couple tried telling the men to get lost, the men allegedly took offense and started beating up the couple.

As it turned out, the three men were arrested a couple of days later. They all now face criminal charges in Cook County court. Those cases are still pending.

Where the legal fight is now taking place
But the couple has now filed their lawsuit against the White Sox and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority – the state agency that owns the stadium. Admittedly, they’re also suing the men who allegedly did the beating – claiming they incurred medical expenses because of the incident.

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE reported that the couple said in their lawsuit that the ball club’s security did absolutely nothing to try to intervene to prevent the beating from taking place. They argue that since it was ballpark property, the ball club is responsible.

Now aside from those whiny losers who look for any excuse to take a White Sox pot shot, what amazes me is to read some of the (anonymous, of course) Internet commentary that implies the couple themselves should have known better.

As though they should have let the trio finish their public urination and go staggering away, then drive their vehicle to the nearest car wash to have the stink of piss removed.

There are those who think the couple got what they deserved.

OF COURSE, THERE also were those who felt the need of the multiple stories of public urination that has taken place throughout the decades outside of Wrigley Field. Which is about as irrelevant to this incident as is possible.

Personally, I’m inclined to think of anyone who can’t control where they piss as something of a loser. Particularly at U.S. Cellular, where there are actually public restrooms accessible from outside the stadium.

I can see where a couple would be upset to see nothing being done about such a scene being made all over their automobile. Why security would deliberately ignore such actions is beyond me. But it will be intriguing to see how the courts ultimately rule with regards to this lawsuit.

Do we need to have the Piss Police patrolling the areas outside of both of our ballparks? Or is an occasional coating of urine on our automobiles now an occupational hazard, so to speak, of attending a ball game and watching our hometown teams get their butts whomped once again?


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