MLB go ahead and use the taser |

MLB go ahead and use the taser

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … Major league baseball players, according to numerous stories in the national media, apparently had no problem seeing a Philadelphia Phillies fan get shot with a Taser this week after running onto the field. If Donovan McNabb could run like that 17-year-old kid he still would be a Philadelphia Eagle. The players have a point. It might be time to arm stadium security personnel all over the country with the electroshock weapons. Do you want to pay $25 for a ticket, $7 for a beer, $5 for a hot dog and $20 to park just to watch some goof run onto the field? A little neuromuscular incapacitation is needed on occasion to restore order and send a message to all the other clowns in the stadium. It’s too bad Dodger Stadium security didn’t have Tasers back in 1976 to deal with those idiots who tried to burn the American flag.


It was heartwarming to see the reaction from Detroit Tigers fans and fans all over the country after legendary Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell passed away this week from cancer at age 92. Harwell was truly loved by baseball fans everywhere. Which broadcasters working today have had an impact like that? Not many. Vin Scully is at the top of that short list. Maybe Bob Uecker of Milwaukee and Ron Santo of Chicago. There are a few others, like the Cardinals’ Mike Shannon and the Royals’ Denny Matthews, who have had a lasting impact on their fans. But none of them compares to Harwell and Scully. The days of baseball announcers having that sort of lasting impact are disappearing.


 Tim Tebow’s No. 15 Denver Broncos jersey is the hottest selling jersey in the NFL. Amazing. The guy could be the next Ryan Leaf and fans can’t live without owning his jersey. Amazing. What is wrong with this country’s football fans? Of course, you must understand, that this is coming from a guy who still has a No. 8 Cade McNown Chicago Bears jersey hanging in his closet.


 Former Oakland A’s, Arizona Diamondbacks and, yes, Reno Aces outfielder Eric Byrnes is currently in Menlo Park, Calif., playing softball with his buddies. He has to be the highest paid softball player in history. The Diamondbacks are still playing him $11 million this year. Guess who is buying the post-game refreshments in Menlo Park? Byrnes, though, was always a ton of fun to watch. The guy probably used to dive through the air for that last muffin at the dinner table when he was 6-years-old. The Oakland A’s should bring him back before there are more fans in Menlo Park for a rec league softball game than there are for a Mariners-A’s game at the Coliseum.


 Just about every NBA mock draft on the internet has former Nevada Wolf Pack player Luke Babbitt going in the first round next month. It looks like Babbitt will be taken anywhere from the 20th to the 26th pick, to either San Antonio, Minnesota, Atlanta, Memphis, Oklahoma City or Portland. Ex-Wolf Pack Armon Johnson’s name doesn’t appear in most mock drafts. But does have him going to Oklahoma City with pick No. 21 and has him going to the Milwaukee Bucks with the No. 7 pick in the second round. Here’s what you should know about mock drafts on the Internet: They are absolutely worthless. But they are a guilty pleasure to those of us who consider the draft the highlight of the NBA season.

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 The NBA fined Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge $25,000 for tossing a towel in an effort to distract the Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.J. Hickson who was shooting a free throw. A $25,000 fine for simply tossing a towel? Hey, that’s why it costs $1,000 to sit courtside at a NBA game, folks. If the NBA would equip all players with a Taser, Ainge’s little towel-tossing incident never would have happened. Hickson could have simply zapped him. End of distraction.

Joe Santoro is a freelance writer for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.