Re: question about foul balls given to fans
From what I've seen at other games, ball persons don't just willy-nilly chuck balls into the stands. It's usually the ones that are down the 1st or 3rd baseline that sit right next to the crowd. They field a foul ball, go sit back down, and hand the ball to a fan. This seems a workable thing and I don't know why the Reds don't do this.
Our season tickets are down pretty close and I've watched the interaction between the ball boys, umpires, and the fans over the years. The ball boys around home plate are pretty busy chasing down various fouls and missed pitches (when noone is on base), getting balls for the umps, collecting bats, gloves, etc. They really don't have time to be tossing balls around and there is no place to easily hand the ball to someone.
Invariably, when they retrieve a ball, a few dozen people stand up and holler "me me me me". The ball boy either shakes his head or just avoids eye contact. Usually, many of those peope grumble and carp about it. I feel a little bad for the ball boys, I know it's not their call.
I've seen many player or coach chuck a ball into the stands. Usually, they'll point to the kid/person and that kid/person gets the ball. But often, some idiot decides he needs the ball and dives across 3 rows and over some kid to get the ball. *That* hacks me off.
Bottom line: I think the Reds should let the baseline ball-boys hand over the ball. The home plate ball boys should tend to their job and avoid it.
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