The Fan Died. ARod Saga Becoming Surreal

And so the comment someone (reader Willhelm Kaiser) wrote on espn — “I wonder if they will boo Arod today”.

ARod Saga Becomes Surreal

The ARod saga has become surreal. We Yankee fans are used to his comeback season by now — but fans in other stadiums are not — and are still voicing their passion against him playing and having used steroids.

When something like this happens, it’s horrific because — the man died and, he died over sports, which is supposed to be entertainment. And a lot of fan passion has been worked up by the media, who have covered steroids in the most self-serving way to sell stories/newspapers/espn readership. ARod is one of thousands of players who used steroids, but the media holds him up as the ultimate (current) boogy man to inspire readership.

The Horrible Event

It is almost too bizarre to be real that the fan flipped over the rail booing ARod — but from ESPN: “According to witnesses seated in section 401 behind home plate, the fan was screaming at Alex Rodriguez, who had been sent up as a pinch hitter by the Yankees, when he suddenly lost his balance and fell approximately 50 feet to the concrete below, striking a railing on the way down. A witness who asked not to be identified said she was seated a row in front of the man when he began shouting at Rodriguez. ‘All of a sudden, he just flew right over the rail,” she said. “I can’t even function right now.’ ”

Picture from ESPN

After the game, ESPN reporter Wallace Matthews said “it is one of those events that renders the game that you’re at absolutely meaningless.”

The Media’s Lack of Coverage

The game was being broadcast on national TV. The national television broadcasters mentioned the incident of the fan falling, then went on as if nothing happened, never mentioning it again that I heard. Watching on TV, you could only imagine that it was no big deal — looked serious at first, but guy was ok or something. This seemed to be bad journalism. Don’t distract anyone from watching the game. It reminded me of the Christmas tree lighting in NYC this past December (2014), when NBC covered the event and never mentioned that thousands of angry protesters were protesting the Eric Garner event only a block away, with intentions of disrupting the tree ceremony but the cops in riot gear were keeping them away. The protesters were covered in detail on NBC news as soon as the Christmas tree ceremony was over. As if the two events were in completely different parts of the world.

The Players Were Affected

While we fans watching on tv could only imagine it was no big deal, because the announcers said nothing more about the incident — according to interviews by ESPN, the players were certainly affected by the event. Didi Gregorius said it was difficult to concentrate on the game after seeing the man fall. Braves pitcher Matt Wisler said “We were all in the dugout paying more attention to that than the game.”

Misleading Headlines

Luis Severino pitching against Atlanta — picture from ESPN

ESPN’s main story on the game was headlined “On dark night in Atlanta, Yankees rookie Luis Severino shines“. This was misleading as Severino shined before the fan fell — in fact it was Severino being lifted for a pinch hitter, ARod, that caused the fans to rise up and initiated the event. It wasn’t as if the horrible event happened, and then Severino took the mound and pitched in a gloomy environment, which is what the headline implies.

They Should Have Paused the Game

One could argue they should have stopped the game when the incident happened. I would say they should have at least paused. To go on as if nothing happened seems uncaring — the game must go on, fan falls from the upper deck who cares let’s just go on as if nothing happened. With the media joining in as if nothing happened — as if a streaker took the field and the cameras purposely don’t show the streaker so as not to give him any attention — gives the big business of baseball more of a black eye than anything Alex Rodriguez did. Work the fans into a frenzy, make ARod the ultimate Boogy Man, and when a fan gets too passionate and dies — continue on as if nothing happened. All aboard the gravy train. Whatever you do don’t fall off.


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