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Fosse and Kuiper Should Not Be Vilified

July 8, 2011

During yesterday’s game we all know now, a fan of the Texas Rangers lost his life. From all accounts he sounds like a great guy and it is a true tragedy, as he was doing what each and every one of us would do, reached out to get a ball thrown by Josh Hamilton to give it to his son – attending his first baseball game with his dad no less.

In the aftermath of such an event it is easy to look for scapegoats – the stadium wasn’t built safely, this guy himself “needlessly put himself at risk”, etc. These things simply aren’t true. This was an accident, an epic accident, the guy did something anyone would do in the situation. I myself misinterpreted what I had watched too.

To have thought this was serious from the get go from what we saw on the CSNCalifornia broadcast was not readily apparent as so many wish to make it seem. That is why what Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper said was not insensitive or inflammatory. We live in a culture where frequently we will watch clips of fans reaching to catch a foul ball and having it miss them hitting them in the mid-section, or falling out of the stands on the field and losing the ball in the process. This appeared to be another one of those situations. I haven’t been to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and wouldn’t have ever thought there’d be a gap like that, and from the booth they couldn’t have known it at first either.

It wasn’t until they showed that sideview that things became apparent that this could in fact be serious. The decision to show a replay of it by the producers put them in this strange spot and likely caused the light-heartedness to begin with because why would they show a highlight of someone falling to their death? This is such a rare occurrence, and the location of this accident so bizarre that Fosse and Kuiper had no way of understanding the seriousness, and despite that, within not even 30 seconds Fosse said that he hoped this guy was OK.

I am sure Glen and Ray feel awful about this, as does Josh Hamilton and many of the other people involved. But when tragedy strikes it is all too easy to lay blame at other people’s feet. In the booth, over 400 feet away they couldn’t judge the severity of it, me watching it at home, I was shocked when I read this morning he had died, because I too thought “its a 10 baseball” and figured the guy had some cuts and bruises and no harm no foul.

Some people don’t like their commentating and that is one thing, but these are good guys, they obviously care a lot about their families and seem amiable and aren’t cruel or mean in their telecasts. There is no reason to believe they would purposefully mock someone like this, they just didn’t know the severity of the situation.

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