It is beyond Carmickle's power, no matter how many baseballs he sells. It is even beyond the admittedly powerful images of Stone's widow and their young son, who watched his father fall to his death.
Frankly, it's in the hands of baseball's powers that be. Well, mostly.
"The incidents, days apart, have committed and casual fans alike debating who's responsible for preventing ballpark accidents," opines the Fort Worth Star–Telegram. "The quick answer is everyone. The harder question is how."
There are those who decry the so–called "nanny state" — and, believe me, I understand their position. I, too, worry about unwarranted intrusion on individual liberty.
But there are some places and some situations in which those in charge must step in to make sure the environment remains manageable — and sports events are at the top of the list.
There was a time in my life when I went to sports events frequently — especially during (and even after) my college years. There is an undeniable excitement that comes with being there, and, most of the time, I think people are content simply to savor the moment.
We've all seen crowds that got out of control. It would be nice if we could always be sure that good sense will prevail, but we have seen too many Carmickles — they're usually the guys who are shirtless in sub–freezing weather.
Safety truly is everyone's business — but, until we can be 100% certain that fans will always behave maturely, management must shoulder most of the responsibility.
I got my bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas, and I got my master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. Most of my adult life has been dedicated to writing and editing in one form or another. Most recently I have taught writing (news and developmental) as an adjunct journalism professor at Richland College, where I advise the student newspaper staff. Go, Thunderducks!