Throw a beer, catch the book

14 08 2009


Victorino catches some beer as well as the ball.

Victorino catches some beer as well as the ball.

 By now, you’ve probably seen the highlight of Shane Victorino getting doused with a cup of beer (Bud Light? Coors Light?) while making a catch at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.


You may also have noticed that the beer thrower has had simple battery charges filed against him by Chicago police. Two misdemeanor counts actually, one on battery and the other on illegal misconduct within a sports facility. (Bet you didn’t know the second one existed. I sure as hell didn’t.) 

Frankly, the police report filed by Victorino followed by the official charges are quite irritating. Why is this being brought to a legal level?

Couldn’t the Cubs simply ban the fan for the rest of the season, even the rest of his life if they feel they must do so? To label these charges as ‘battery’ just goes beyond the realm of logic. Victorino got hit by a plastic cup. I find it better to simplify events, to break them down to their basics, when people attempt to blow events way out of proportion. He got hit by a plastic cup and some beer.

You’re not thinking in a clear and level-headed manner if you think it’s appropriate to throw a beer at anyone, much less an athlete trying to do his job. That much almost all of us can agree. But, again, why take it to the legal level to enact punishment? Victorino wasn’t harmed and wasn’t going to be harmed by a thrown cup. After all, one of the reasons stadiums sell beer in plastic cups instead of bottles is so fans can’t pose the combined threat of drunkenness and broken glass. 

Yet instead of using common sense to simply ban the beer thrower, John Macchione, from Wrigley Field, the police, the Cubs and Victorino have to take it to an unnecessary level of legality. Isn’t there a better way for the Chicago PD to spend their time and money? This Macchione fellow doesn’t pose a threat to society. He might’ve thrown a beer bottle at Victorino if given the opportunity, but again, that’s why teams don’t sell anything in bottles. 

In the end, his punishment will go too far. Too much time will be spent prosecuting this guy. And for what? Because he threw a  plastic cup of beer at someone? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s hardly on the list of things we should be worried about.

Update: I just read Rob Neyer’s take on the Victorino incident. We more or less have similar takes, although he thinks the fan should be prosecuted. In any case, if anyone who reads Neyer thinks I was trying to pawn off his thoughts, that wasn’t the case. The link to his story is below:–not-beer.html




One response

14 08 2009

I’m glad you feel the same way, I thought I was the only one. This seems like a big waste of time.

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