During the seventh inning of a Cardinals-Giants game on Monday, a fan was arrested for shining a laser beam at Giants’ pitcher, Shane Loux . I was watching the game on the tube and the announcers talked about the delay, but no one really knew what was going on, and eventually the game resumed. As it turns out, the fan was a 17-year-old teenager who was with some friends in an expensive private suite along the first base line and maybe thought he was just having a little fun.
My story’s not about the 17-year-old mis-guided laser-pointing fan. It’s about a follow-up blog written by Craig Calcaterra on NBC’s HardBall. The post shows a supposedly comical picture of a cat wanting to catch that “red dot”. In the article Calcaterra says he sure hopes it’s not illegal to use those things or else he’ll have way less fun with his cat, making light of what could have been a really serious situation.
My immediate concern was for the pitcher ~ that he could be blinded by the laser and throw a wild pitch, injuring the batter, catcher or umpire. When you consider the speed of some of those pitches, upwards to 100 mph, you have a potentially deady combination. And that can be true even with perfect conditions, which doesn’t include having a laser flashed in your eye.
But according to a Cardinals’ security spokesman there are other situations that need to be considered. With laser-pointing, there is no way to distinguish a prank from a gunman aiming a laser-equipped firearm. Joe Walsh, Director of Cardinals’ Security puts it this way, “… when you go into what’s been going on in the country right now, it’s totally irresponsible to pretend you’ve got laser sights on somebody”.
The details of the incident are linked here, in a well-written article for the Post-Dispatch by Christine Byers of STL Today.com, and no matter how you want to spin the story, it’s no laughing matter.
I sure don’t want Calcaterra to miss out on any fun with his cat, but hope he has the common sense to leave those things at home when he ventures out to the ballpark and other public places.