In the eighth inning of yesterday's Orioles' blowout of the Yankees, a pair of fans rushed the field. They were quickly swarmed by more security guys then I've ever seen on a ballfield:
Coming off the heels of the pierogi race-crashing shirtless dude in Pittsburgh, the young baseball season projects to be a banner one for drunk morons storming the field. I'm of two minds on these people—on one hand, they delay the game, are clearly just seeking attention, and help make gameday the security theater it's become. On the other hand, sometimes they're really funny.
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones doesn't have mixed feelings. After yesterday's game, he told the Baltimore Sun,
"I think it's idiotic for people to run on the field, and I think the punishment needs to be a lot harsher, and they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it's stupid."
"I remember a couple of years ago, one dude broke his ankle in Baltimore. I was laughing at him. I wish he shattered his femur because it's stupid. It's just plain old stupid. Anybody who does it, I wish the cops tase the [hell] out of them. I wish that."
Jones's comments caused a bit of a stir, and he was asked to expand upon them on during a radio interview this morning. He clarified that his main issue with fans on the field is not knowing their intentions—if they're having fun, or looking to hurt someone. Given what happened to Tom Gamboa in Chicago in 2002, that fear is totally understandable. "Obviously I don't condone violence or want to inflict any pain on anybody," Jones said, "but if you put me in danger, I have no choice."
It's honestly a miracle that nothing like the Ligues' assault on Gamboa has happened since, and the scary part is there's probably no way to stop it besides erecting plexiglass around the field. But to discourage the average drunk out for a lark, Jones suggested hitting them where it hurts—in the wallet. "You slap them with a nice $10,000 fine, $20,000 fine, I'm pretty sure that's going to hurt the modern American," he said.
Finally, Jones gave advice for how fans can continue to be nuisances but in a safe, noninvasive way:
"Cuss us out, let us have it, give us a ribbing, remind us of our last five at-bats if they've been terrible, please do, but just stay off the field because you're just causing a problem that doesn't need to be caused."
These are all eminently reasonable (and funny!) comments from Jones. So naturally MLB is reviewing them and will decide if he crossed a line.