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Baseball fans should keep in mind that it’s only a game

August 7, 2011
Morning Journal News

Just about everyone knows an annoying sports fan whose enthusiasm borders on fantacism or downright craziness.

Usually we just laugh off their actions, but when their enthusiasm becomes a threat to others, it's no longer humorous.

When an umpire recently blew a call at home plate in the 19th inning, costing the Pittsburgh Pirates the game, all of their fans were justifiably upset about the call.

But we knew things had gone too far when we learned that the umpire in question was Jerry Meals of Salem and that his family had begun receiving harassing phone calls at his home at 3 a.m., about an hour after the game had ended.

What is wrong with people? First off, it's just a baseball game, and bad calls are part of the game. Besides, who among us is perfect in their job performance or anything else we do, for that matter? If you want to avoid making any mistakes you better not get out of bed. And after looking at the replays, it was not as easy a call as everyone first believed, especially from Meals' angle.

And we have to wonder, is this harassment of umpires, or referees in any professional sport, commonplace? Did we learn about it this time only because the umpire resides in our county? We certainly hope this is not the case.

Being a sports fan is one of life's joys, but everyone needs to keep things in perspective. It is, after all, just a game.



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