This past Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers before a uniquely tense home crowd. The crowd was emotional, not because a Giants’ win against L.A. would have decided whether the team maintained its NL West Division lead (the Giants are in the driver’s seat with respect to the division, holding a 4-game lead over their closest competitor the Arizona Diamondbacks), but because a Giants’ foul ball went to its rightful owner.
For those of you who missed the fiasco that transpired in the Giants’ stadium Tuesday night, here’s a quick synopsis: In the fourth inning of the game, first baseman Brandon Belt zinged a foul ball into the upper deck stands. As the ball headed directly at an adult male fan, in true first, second or third date form, the fan sacrificed his left hand to snag the ball, and then gifted it to the beautiful lady that accompanied him to the game. Upon receiving the gift, the “damsel in distress” smiled and celebrated, while her man described to the people around him the pain he endured while seizing her prize.
Concurrent with this celebration, a young male child, sitting just one row behind the guy who snagged the ball, threw an absolute fit before his father and, unbeknownst to him, the viewers watching at home, at bars, and wherever else people watch baseball games in San Fran. Shockingly, this child’s reaction was not reminiscent of the childish fit you expect from someone his age—in other words, the fit most children throw when they can’t eat candy before dinner. This kid pressed his chin tightly into his chest, squinted his eyes, stared intently at the man and his date, and reminiscent of a scene from the 1988 movie Child’s Play, gave the couple the look of “Chucky” (i.e., death). Notwithstanding his father’s attempts to reason with him, the kid continued this spectacle for close to a minute and a half, until the Giants’ television announcers arranged for the stadium’s staff to deliver to him and the calm child sitting next to him two baseballs similar to the one in the lady’s possession.
Now, as a preface to what I’m about to say, I do like children. I even love certain children. In fact, I hope to be a father one day. Nonetheless, the manner in which the Giants’ announcers and stadium staff reacted to and dealt with this kid absolutely infuriates me.
I understand that at a young age, it’s natural for a child to have a strong, yet unrealistic sense of entitlement. However, those individuals around the child must curtail it immediately. Under the circumstances described above, even though the foul ball travelled and eventually landed in an area far from the pouting child, he still believed that he deserved the ball because of this unrealistic sense of entitlement. I can just imagine the thoughts that ran through his head after he didn’t receive the foul ball: “I’m seven. I usually get whatever I want from my family. I want this ball. I will pout until I get what I want.”
This line of reasoning and natural reaction is absurd—even for a child his age—and should not be rewarded. Here, I pat the father on the back for not succumbing to his son’s moaning and whining. The father generally ignored him, and when the child eventually threw his hands up in disgust, the father shook his head, as if to say, “your reaction is not okay. This is life.” Thank you, dad!
On the other hand, the Giants’ announcers supported, and essentially advocated for, a thriving generation of individuals who believe that they can obtain whatever they desire without earning it. For a case in point, look at all the Wall Street snobs and Ponzi schemers who defrauded Americans of their hard-earned money and still don’t quite understand why everyone, including the government, hates them. These guys and gals were probably raised with this same unrealistic sense of entitlement.
In final, let’s give it up for the boneheaded Giants’ announcers—the guys who fed the bear when the sign specifically said, “Don’t Feed the Animals.”