Is it a common occurrence for fans to get ejected from baseball games? In the past month, i’ve witnessed it happen not once, not twice but thrice! The third time occurred last night at the Durham Bulls game.
Our seats were way down the 3rd base line, near the opposing team’s bullpen. One of the relievers was warming up, and someone in the neighboring section to ours began heckling him. “You’re never gonna make it! You suck!” I don’t particularly like this kind of behavior, but from my observations, it’s pretty standard fare at baseball games. Fans yell at players.
The reliever is no rookie. I won’t malign him by naming names, but we discovered he has spent five years in the majors and logged a bunch of major league innings. His star has winked out, though, and now he’s playing triple-A ball.
The reliever said something to the heckler, such as “Dude, why don’t you tone it down, i’m just doing my job, here.” The heckler, a 30ish frat type, stood up, and they had a conversation/confrontation.
Pitcher: Dude, i am just doing my job. Won’t you tone it down?
Heckler: I will not. I’m a fan and i bought a ticket, and this ticket says i have the right to say whatever i want.
Pitcher: You wouldn’t like it if i came to your job and threw insults at you.
Heckler: You want to know what i do for a living? I’m retired!
Pitcher: You look like you wash cars.
It went on a bit longer, and the pitcher threw in some profanity, at which point other fans started yelling, “hey, there are kids here!” Security came and ejected the heckler from the park.
As i said, i don’t particularly like the people who hurl insults at the players. But i do recognize that it is part of the game. I am surprised the pitcher decided to engage – surely the players have been told not to interact much with fans? I don’t like the fact that it was the pitcher who introduced the profanity. I think the heckler was out of line, but i think perhaps the ballplayer was more out of line. I don’t know that i agree that the heckler should have been thrown out, although i did get a kick out of watching it happen.