In the second inning of yesterdays game, Josmil Pinto hit a fly ball into the stands, but James Loney had an opportunity to make a play. Take a look at what happened.
- Two women, one in the first row and one in the second row, showcase their tornado drill technique, ducking and covering their heads with their hands. That's an understandable and acceptable reaction.
- The man in the yellow shirt and the woman in the blue shirt behind him both shy away from the ball, doing their best T-Rex impression with their arms. It's not the most graceful maneuver, but there's a reason that T-Rexes aren't known for their fan interference, so no harm there, either.
- The man wearing a Sunday blue jersey actually tries to move away from the play, as far as the railing will let him (which is not very far). This is what all Rays fans should do, and I'm now convinced that Mr. Sunday is a Good Person.
- His goodness is undercut, however, by his neighbor with the purple shirt in the second row, who not only doesn't get out of the way, but also reaches out of his row and deflects the ball, stopping Loney from being able to record the out. That is not acceptable from a Rays fan.
Now, I'd like to think that simply pointing out the moral and immoral behavior would be enough to fix it. Would that everyone were a Shen Te. The world is full, however, with Shui Tas. Morality flows from economics, and if there is immoral behavior at The Trop, that means that the incentives are wrong. I get it. Baseballs are precious, and since you've spent all your money on front-row seats, how else can you get a baseball?
That's why DRaysBay is introducing a new program: DARE to keep Rays fans from interfering.
If you are at The Trop and you have an opportunity to make a play from the stands but you see that doing so might interfere with a Rays fielder, be like Mr. Sunday and get out of the way. Then come write a fanpost, pointing out your altruism. Give the inning, the batter, and explain which person you are, then prove you are that person by whatever means you're comfortable with (twitter, facebook, email, etc.).
If you do that and send me your address, DRAYSBAY WILL SEND YOU A BASEBALL. You can even have it pre-signed by any member of the masthead you like, or if you're feeling lucky, I'll get it signed by the most famous person I have access to at that moment (I work at a theater, so on the right day, that could turn out well, or you might just get the web programmer who sits next to me).
So Mr. Sunday, if you come forward, there's a signed baseball with your name on it (I don't mean that it's signed by you, although you could do that yourself once you get it, which would be weird). Mr. Purple, please do better next time.