Friday, April 15, 2005

The Right Way

"I could kill you all, but I aint gettin' suspended for the whole year...we gotta beat you in October"


By Anthony Peretore

What transpired in the late innings last night at Fenway Park in Boston immediately caused me to think back to November and the “Malice at the Palace” incident. In case you missed it, while chasing a Jason Varitek triple down the right field line, New York Yankee outfielder Gary Sheffield was hit in the face by an overaggressive Red Sox fan. Sheffield retaliated by pushing the fan away from him with his glove to create enough space to get the ball back into the infield. After the throw sailed into shortstop Derek Jeter, I feared for the worst. Now first of all, whether the fan’s swipe at Sheffield was intentional is difficult to determine, but nevertheless, contact was made. And for those of you who aren’t familiar with Sheffield, let’s just say that if I had to choose five people on Earth not to mess with, he’d probably be in the neighborhood of three or four. The guy is downright scary and once that fan hit his face, I could not help but think we were going to have another Ron Artest moment. However, for the most part the rightfielder kept his cool. He did get in the fan’s face and let him know what he had to say, but no additional punches, beer, seats, hot dogs, etc. were thrown. And so it made me think, maybe Sheffield had learned from the mistakes of the Indiana Pacer forward, as he was quoted as saying: “Ron Artest was the first thing that came to my mind. Don’t react.” But on the other hand, maybe we have an athlete on our hands with enough respect for the game and himself to realize the proper actions one must take when confronted with such a difficult situation. Think about it, with the level of this Yankee-Red Sox rivalry growing each time these teams face off and that once that hit sailed down the line the Yankees were now facing an 8-5 deficit, well you can imagine how angry Sheffield must have been. But instead of pulling an “O’Doyle rules” move, Sheffield thought out the repercussions ahead of time and made the rational and correct decision not to take action. For that, I graciously applaud him and his courage to be the bigger man. Maybe he has Artest to thank in learning from that scary episode back in November, but maybe, just maybe he’s just that good of a guy. Whatever the case may be, Artest and all of the young, immature athletes across the country should take some time out and watch the replays of this incident. Because truth be told, it’s not every day we come across a prime example of what it takes to be a true gentleman in professional sports.

This article also appears on mlbsource.com

2 Comments:

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

"Sheffield retaliated by pushing the fan away from him with his glove to create enough space to get the ball back into the infield."
--Ant-- I watched this play about 419 different times on Tivo, and Sheffield was not merely "pushing away with his glove". He actually took a swing, a rather weak swing, and pushed away with his glove on his left hand. What happened was that his momentum all went forward and the guy he was punching at put his arm out and deflected the punch towards his girl who in turn was sent backwards because she was already trying to sit down. His glove actually knocked over her beer and the woman to her left was scared to all hell of what Sheffield might do.
In Sheffield's defense, it sure did look like that fan was doing something intentional because if he was trying to grab the ball, it was one of the most memorable half-assed efforts I've seen in my lifetime a la Mark Blount trying to grab a rebound. And if that was the case, then I don't think Sheffield was out of line in retaliating, and to word what happened as you did is a wee bit misleading. Don't get me wrong, I mean you know I barely even found fault in what Artest did, but for you to call Sheffield a "true gentleman" for how he handled himself, I mean c'mon man. There's nothing gentlemanly like about throwing punches at fans, even if they are called for.

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

Hey Paul why don't you write the same comment on both sites, that's necessary...

 

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