Monthly Archives: April 2012

foul ball

have you guys seen this video of a kid at the baseball game, sobbing his little eyes out because the people next to him caught the baseball?

if you haven’t, go watch it here, because this write-up is a perfect example of what i think about it.

probably not in the way you think, though. i cannot believe the anger over this couple who caught the ball instead of the kid. i’m floored by it.

read the headline: not only are they mean, they are thieves. they robbed this kid. and then gloated. the author says they are “heartless” and showed “bad behavior.” they “should be ashamed.”

are you kidding me? the guy caught a baseball. when a baseball comes up into the stands, what do you do? do you sit there with your hands down? do you rely on the dubious catching skills of the toddler next to you? nope. you catch it.

would it have been cool if they decided to give the kid the ball? sure, if that’s what they wanted to do with it. are they obligated to? not even remotely.

the thing that kills me is how outraged people are that this guy would DARE keep the ball for himself and deny this poor child what he wanted. what a selfish prick, right??!?

we know nothing about this man who caught the ball. he may be the biggest baseball fan of all time, and he may have been waiting his whole life for a chance to snag a ball at a game. maybe he attended games with his dad since the time he was small, and he’s been trying for years to catch one and this was the first time it ever happened for him. maybe he has a young son at home who he can’t wait to give the ball to.

none of that really matters to me, because i don’t think this kind of justification is required for the dude who caught the ball to feel fine about keeping the ball. but for people to judge him so harshly without a shred of back-story is pretty lame. people label this couple as assholes and lob personal attacks, commenting on the apparent age difference between them, throwing barbs about how the guy’s gonna be in trouble when his wife at home sees him on tv with his young mistress. really??!? all he did was catch a baseball, people!!

and then the commentators say they’re gloating about it? taunting the kid as he cries? um, did they watch what happened? they’re clearly holding up the ball for a photo op. yeah, the woman happens to be facing the kid as she poses with the ball, but to infer that they’re somehow intentionally taunting this child who they’d just finished “robbing” is preposterous.

the story does have a happy ending of sorts, however, as another player takes pity on the sobbing child after seeing it broadcast around the stadium, and tosses him a ball.

except that now, what was previously a teachable moment from those parents to their child is totally shot. instead of the parents consoling their child and saying “it’s ok, we’re not going to catch it every time. let’s keep trying!” the kid has now learned that sobbing will not only get you what you want, it’ll get you a viral video and a spot on the today show the following morning.

cheers to his parents who describe in the today show interview how the couple had actually been quite friendly to the toddler, and even offered him the ball later on – which the parents declined because they’re trying to teach him that he doesn’t get everything he wants all the time.

just another fascinating example of how quickly something blows up and spreads around the world, without a shred of back-story, but how quickly everyone rushes to judgment about it.