Comment of the Day

For those of you who don’t scroll down much, you may not have seen that I had a rare Sunday post yesterday. Subject: Rick Reilly’s story about a guy who crashed the Phillies’ World Series celebration. While I devoted most of the post to the notion that, if you look like you belong, you can get into a lot of places you shouldn’t, I’ll admit that when I first read Reilly’s account, I wondered if someone was taking him for a ride. Why? Because we live in a pretty intense security environment these days and no matter how easy it is for me to get into a state office building, surely Major League Baseball paid greater attention to these things, right? It appears I wasn’t the only one thinking that, as this comment from Ron Rollins makes clear:

I have to question the fact that this actually happened. I used to work security for the Mariners, and the chances of this happening are slim to none.

I had a badge, a uniform, and was licensed by the state, and there were still places I couldn’t go to without an escort or prior approval. Like the locker room, for one. There is security at every door, and someone checking badges. There is a pass list and someone from the club (known to all) who escorts and accounts for all personnel going in and out of anywhere. And the players are all well aware of who belongs and who doesn’t.

As well as security roaming looking for anyone who doesn’t belong. And it’s easy to spot them.

And no one just walks through a gate into the dugout. Have you ever seen the amount of police and security that ring the field for important games? Ain’t gonna happen.

I’m calling bulls**t on this story.

My understanding is that ESPN has about 137 layers of editors between the writer and the final product, so I find it hard to believe that anyone could actually pull off a hoax the sort Ron is alleging, even if someone was trying to sucker Reilly. That said, Ron makes a good point, and in light of it, I would like to have seen Reilly try to get a comment from the Phillies explaining the apparent security breakdown.

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Comments

  1. Charles Kitchen said...

    These guys were able to move around at a Nats game which was on national TV and featured the President of the United States.

    http://natsopener.blogspot.com/

    I would also like to hear from Ron how security changes during the really big events, when random celebrities and power brokers might wander into the club house.

  2. MooseinOhio said...

    Oprah has been suckered in several of these type of scenarios with books she has recommended and she has her own media conglomerate to vet stories, books and authors.  Is Reilly and ESPN immune to such things?  I suspect that can be fooled as well.

  3. Ron said...

    Everyone wants to believe what they want to believe. Probably in the hopes that they can do this themselves one day, or to make a hero of someone who defied authority.

    No on wanders into the locker room. It doesn’t happen. And, if it did, the person would be found out and arrested within minutes. I’m not going to explain the security procedures here. I still have friends doing the job.

    I’ve also worked Presidential visits. No one just wanders in anywhere.

    I don’t care if anyone believes me or not. I’ve done this. And I don’t believe the story.

    But you guys go ahead. Next time you’re at a game, go ahead and wander down on the field, or randomly walk into the lockerroom.

    I believe the standard punishment is arrest for trespassing, $5,000 fine, possibly community service, and a lifetime ban from that particular stadium.

    Go ahead, guys. Let me now how you did. Send me some pictures.

    Please, someone try it.

    Please.

  4. Richard Barbieri said...

    I’ll buy that it happens, anyone remember the Streaker at the Super Bowl a few years back? (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/football/nfl/specials/playoffs/2003/02/01/bc.fbn.superbowl.streak.ap/index.html)

    He just had a regular ticket, changed into a Ref outfit and got onto the field. Now obviously, doing something as obvious at streaking will get you noticed. But if he had pulled off the ref out and into say, a Panthers polo and some khaki pants, and stood on the side line, I bet no one would’ve bothered him.

  5. Ron said...

    He ran on to the field and was caught. He didn’t get into the lockerroom. He didn’t get into the dugout. He bought a ticket and ran onto the field.

    I used to love it when guys did that. It was pretty much a free shot at an a!!.

    And it seems to me the police carrying him off the field, and mention of an arrest, means he got caught.

    Or did I miss the part where he fooled security and got away with something?

    Still calling bulls**t.

  6. Richard Barbieri said...

    Right, but he got onto the field. No one stopped him. No one checked his pass, no one wondered why someone wearing a ref outfit that was velcor’ed together was wandering around before the second half. And that’s for the Super Bowl in a post-9/11 world, never mind an ordinary game in August.

    That would seem to belie your statements that security is vice-grip tight and those who shouldn’t belong are spotted easily and instantly.

  7. James F said...

    Um, there is a photo posted along with the Reilly story of the person in question in the Phillies dugout wearing a championship t-shirt and holding a bottle of champagne, courtesy of Comcast.

    It seems pretty easy to me to either confirm or deny the accuracy of a photo, and as the person in the photo is identified by name, either the image is a fraud, or the story is clearly true.

  8. Ron said...

    I never said he didn’t get in. I don’t believe that he just walked behind someone and got in by following them.

    If he’s in there, he had a pass or permission from someone, somehow, to be in there.

    Anything is possible, but I’ll never believe this guy just walked out of the stands and into the locker room. Never.

    As far as the streaker, yeah, he got onto the field. Happens all the time. And security snatches them up right away. That’s got nothing to do with any of this. He didn’t get away with anything. He went to jail. That story has no relevance to this post at all, becasue he “didn’t get away with anything. He went to jail”. I’m not sure how to make that any clearer.

    As far as wearing a “costume” to the game, I’ve seen Elvis, Santa Claus, aliens, and what can only be described as a very confuse man strugglingi with his identity, who badly needed a shave.

    Additionally, there are no cages on the field like in soceer in South America. Anyone can walk up to the rail and jump over it onto the field. They are then going to go immediatley to jail.

    One last thing on this. Ever heard of PhotoShop?

    I don’t buy it. No way, no how, no chance.

    Unless his name is Sidd Finch, then you’ve got me.

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