Baseball calms my soul whether I’ve played it watched, or simply meditated on it for inner meaning. I would never expect that this pastoral game played on a dusty dirt diamond surrounded by inviting green grass would ever become the setting for a deranged assassin. Yet today would defy my lofty expectations of this sport as a bloody scene of carnage took place at a baseball practice of Republican Congressmen near Alexandria, Virginia today. How do you explain to a child attending their first baseball game today that serious danger might lurk beyond their sight to spoil their innocent fun? Why should a family attend a live game when baseball becomes the setting of attempted mass murder?
Coincidentally, me wife and I chose this infamous day to attend our first Miami home game on a hot and rainy Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park. Proceeding to the entry gates, ninety minutes before game, I immediately noticed an alarming number of armed policemen patrolling along the stadium perimeter. Sensing it might be wise to it make it easier for security to inspect my small backpack now, I calmly placed it on the designated table, unzipped the bag, opened my binocular case, and flashed my cellphone in front of security personnel.
Unexpectantly,showing them such contents did not suffice as I was curtly told then to remove (or perhaps dump) everything from my backpack on the table. Hearing conversations take place about the content of these items, it seemed my apple and bag of chips became immediate items of security concern. I then patiently awaited for several minutes for them to make their momentous decision. The silence broke as my apple fell on the floor and I received an aloof directive from one of the officials resulting in their decision to disallow it in the ballpark today.
Reloading my bag, I spread my arms for the next wave of security. Displaying my cellphone for the third time in this ordeal, I was now told to empty my pockets. All of this activity took place as I felt surrounded by blank police stares, impatient, inspector body language, and an eerie feeling that something would get lost in the item removal shuffle. No doubt, my anger and confusion would eventually subside as I finally gained access to the fun distractions awaiting me in this air conditioned, indoor facility.
I reason that we might have chosen the wrong day to see live baseball in Miami. Witness today’s Virginia tragedy then as an unwelcome sign of distrust amongst our American populace that has escalated in the divisive political environment we experience today. Yet this scene took place for this fan who simply wanted to enjoy a Major League baseball game. Don’t tarnish the game for fans who attend baseball contests to relish the light hearted spirit and peaceful escape from harsh reality today.
What an ordeal. I don’t know how long people can tolerate this level of fear and the attending security efforts needed to protect us from madmen and/or terrorists.
Other issues are intwined here. Why was my wife whisked through security then when I was roughed up so to speak?. She had a carry on bag and an apple just like I did! I went out of my way to assist the security inspect my bag and they seemed to enjoy making me squirm. This is the site of the 2017 MLB All Star Game. Not exactly good karma for the fans who will enter these same gates to attend the game.
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Some kind of underlying competitive macho thing going on?
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I have had such bag and body searches too many times at airports, at any London venue during the peak of the IRA activity, at large gatherings in India .. get used to it as it is common in many places and is for our own protection … not that I ever felt the need 😦
Sorry to disagree but I saw this incident as racist intimidation. It is not just immigrants that are being vetted today.
Beautifully stated. I feel the same way. The world is a scary place right now and the things we cherish seem to be hanging on by a thread. 😢
Yes even a harmless apple becomes an object of being vetted.