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His name is Steve
October 15, 2003 2:23 PM   Subscribe

His name is Steve, and he's a Cubs fan. The Chicago Sun-Times has outed the identity of the fan who snatched a foul ball away from the clutches of Cubs outfielder Moises Alou, contributing to (but by no means causing) last night's travesty. The Smoking Gun and ESPN quickly followed suit. As a result, millions of angry Cubs fans now know where Steve lives and works. Freedom of the press? Or reckless endangerment? You make the call.
posted by PrinceValium (59 comments total)

 
Get him into the witness protection program NOW!
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2003


And now, of course, PrinceValium has helped spread this man's identity to thousands of MeFi readers who might have well continued in ignorance. Ironic? You make the call.
posted by anastasiav at 2:26 PM on October 15, 2003


It should be noted that this was not a unilateral media decision. The AP has refused to name him, and the broadcasters on Fox have been very sympathetic (surprisingly so, since fan mutilation is certain to drive up ratings.)

Anastasiav, those who care who this person is have already found out through the Chicago media. There's no irony intended.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:29 PM on October 15, 2003


Poor bastard.

And, yes, I realize the Cubs haven't gotten this close since, well, ever, but it's just baseball.

It's. Just. Goddamn. Baseball.

Of course, I'm saying that from the safety of California. If I were in Chicago, I'd keep my mouth shut.
posted by RakDaddy at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2003


Yo. People. He was doing everyone a favor. What you don't realize is that Steve is really a time traveller who has come back to save the world from Nuclear Armageddon.

See, in Steve's timeline, the Cubs win the series, and as a result, every nuclear warhead in existence automatically is activated (some military weapons programmer's idea of a joke) and 99.9% of humanity is wiped out.

Steve's examined his history carefully and found the one moment that would have the greatest chance at averting the Cubs title hopes. He hopped into his time machine, found the ticket holders for the seat nearest that foul ball (which Alou caught in Steve-time), killed them, took their tickets, recruited a derelict to help him, went to the game, and blocked the catch.

I mean, this has gotta be true. Did you see the headphones?
posted by thebigpoop at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2003


Any team that gives up EIGHT runs in one inning doesn't deserve to go to the World Series.
posted by soren at 2:34 PM on October 15, 2003


can you ever intend irony anyway....?
posted by bluno at 2:37 PM on October 15, 2003


Irony is creating this thread while the Sox are imploding in the exact same way the Cubs did last night.
posted by PrinceValium at 2:43 PM on October 15, 2003


can you ever intend irony anyway....?

No, you can't.
posted by signal at 2:43 PM on October 15, 2003


Freedom of the press? Or reckless endangerment? You make the call.

Both.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:45 PM on October 15, 2003


Yeah, right, Steve Bartman made Alex Gonzalez bobble that double play ball and caused the Marlins to score EIGHT FREAKING RUNS.

Come on. Get some perspective.
posted by xmutex at 2:46 PM on October 15, 2003


I wonder what Tom Leykis thinks about all this.
posted by transona5 at 2:48 PM on October 15, 2003


It is never Irony when the Sox implode. Its fate.
posted by anastasiav at 2:50 PM on October 15, 2003


I am watching the Sox on ESPN's GameCast. Frustrating bastards. It's now 5-4 NYY.
posted by xmutex at 2:55 PM on October 15, 2003


Yes, this guy is soley responsible for 8 runs in an inning. The Cubs fans just want someone to blame. They can't pin it on a goat anymore, so let's nail some poor fan who did what ANY FAN would do in his situation.

The media shouldn't have reported his name. Period. Sports fans are way too fanatical and hysterical and someone will try to hurt this guy, I guarantee it.

I heard he was in tears after he realized what he did. He coaches a baseball team! He is a total fan who made a mistake. Sports fans need some perspective on the matter.
posted by aacheson at 3:02 PM on October 15, 2003


Boers and Bernstein on the Score (Sports talk radio station in Chicago) refused to name him, and refused to name the publication where his name was revealed.
posted by SisterHavana at 3:18 PM on October 15, 2003


Dusty Baker lost the game by leaving his starting pitcher in too long. I believe Alou would've caught the ball if Bartman hadn't gotten in the way, but the Cubs were still winning at that point. That the batter was able to hit it that far was a warning sign, and Dusty should've yanked the pitcher as soon as he gave up a hit right after the fly ball.

Steve didn't throw a wild pitch or serve up any meatballs, either.

This Bartman?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2003


Soon, saying "Steve Bartman" to a Cubs fan will get you the same thing as saying "Bill Buckner" to a Red Sox fan: a fat lip.
posted by tommasz at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2003


The real person to blame for the cubs collapse is Bernie Mac. During the 7th inning stretch he sang "root, root, root for the champs! for the champs!" instead of "root, root, root for the cubbies" and angered the baseball gods through his presumption of cub victory and his reckless, arrogant disregard of 7th inning tradition.
posted by kurtosis at 3:21 PM on October 15, 2003


Waxy has more on the privacy issue pointing out that the Chicago Sun Times article, for all practical purposes, reveals Bartman's address.

Why is nobody blaming Dusty Baker or Mark Prior?

Gonzalez made a crucial error

Prior was spent

Dusty should have called him in off the mound.

The Cubs lost. It was a team effort . But what a heartbraking inning. I've never seen anything like that terrible 8th.
posted by emptyage at 3:22 PM on October 15, 2003


I made this my desktop wallpaper image once upon a time. But not after I moved to Boston.

(See, Mets fans get to watch $120 million worth of losers screw up. We don't need people in the stands helping us out.)
posted by PrinceValium at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2003


This might get beer bottles thrown at me, but I'm a die-hard, genetic Red Sox Fan (my mother says my first word was "Pesky" shouted while watching a game on TV), and I'm proud to say that I'm also a big Bill Buckner fan. He's a great player who got his name blackened in history by a manager who shouldn't have let him stay in the game to 'have his moment'. Everyone knew at the time that he could barely walk - there's just no way he should have been in that game at that moment.

I was in the stands in 1990 when he made his comeback attempt with Boston. It was a hugely gutsy thing to do, and I have to say I wept when the Boston fans stood up an cheered for him.
posted by anastasiav at 3:28 PM on October 15, 2003


"Baseball? There's no finking in baseball." -- Tom Hanks, An Anti-Communist League of Their Own
posted by ed at 3:37 PM on October 15, 2003


i guess if Cubs fans are too stupid to keep home run balls, they're also too stupid to realize that a fan who tried to catch a foul ball in the stands (perhaps virtually in the stands - tough to tell from TV angles) is not the reason they lost the game.

sorry. i grew up in Detroit. i've never really gotten over that 1908 World Series loss.

i can't wait until the Cubs lose tomorrow, or lose in the World Series. i'd actually like to see them win World Series, so they'd stop their whining, but it's also fun to see them lose again and again. go Red Sox! (or Yankees! or Marlins!)

yes, i'm bitter about the Tigers.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:02 PM on October 15, 2003


SportsFilter? We don't need no steenking SportsFilter!
posted by billsaysthis at 4:05 PM on October 15, 2003


I'm a die-hard, genetic Red Sox Fan

That's OK. I believe you should have all the same rights as a normal human.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on October 15, 2003


They can't pin it on a goat anymore, so let's nail some poor fan who did what ANY FAN would do in his situation.


I agree it wasn't really his fault, but I take issue with the idea that any fan would have done the same. Any intelligent baseball fan knows if you can get out of the way of one of your own players making a play on a foul ball, you do. In the same sense, if someone from the other teams comes over to make a play, you damn well get in his way, reach up at the ball, hit his glove--whatever it takes.
posted by The God Complex at 4:26 PM on October 15, 2003


i also think you're misusing the word "travesty." i thought it meant "parody" or "distorted imitation," not a disaster. i guess you're thinking of "travesty of justice," but it wasn't that either. it was just a great baseball game. happens all the time.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:27 PM on October 15, 2003


In the same sense, if someone from the other teams comes over to make a play, you damn well get in his way, reach up at the ball, hit his glove--whatever it takes.

i heartily disagree with you here, TGC. it may be "the American way" to win at all costs, but i've worked a lot with coaches and players (soccer, basketball, and baseball) and i think most of them would disagree too. if you're a spectator, you have the responsibility of removing yourself from the gameplay entirely, no matter which side you're on. your only contribution should be to support your team audibly.

it certainly didn't help our case when they paraded that fuckface Jeffrey Maier all over the New York talk shows ...

if an opposing team's basketball player leaped into the crowd to save a ball, would you catch him or let him smash his face on the seats? come on, people. there are more important things than winning. what about the integrity of the game?
posted by mrgrimm at 4:36 PM on October 15, 2003


it certainly didn't help our case when they paraded that fuckface Jeffrey Maier all over the New York talk shows ...

That was an illegal play. Reaching onto the field of play to interfere with the game is absolutely uncalled for, but catching a foul ball is not. On such a play, it is perfectly legal. It's called homefield advantage--or do you suggest that football fans stop cheering when their team is on defense in order to force the opposition into a silent count? It is, of course, interfering with "fair" play, but is widely accepted and even lauded.

if an opposing team's basketball player leaped into the crowd to save a ball, would you catch him or let him smash his face on the seats? come on, people. there are more important things than winning. what about the integrity of the game?

This is a somewhat different issue, as it involves the health of another human being, not their ability to catch a foul ball.
posted by The God Complex at 4:50 PM on October 15, 2003


Irony is creating this thread while the Sox are imploding in the exact same way the Cubs did last night.

It is never Irony when the Sox implode. Its fate.


*cries, grabbing well-worn Red Sox cap. Remembers 1986, cries even more*
posted by matteo at 4:55 PM on October 15, 2003


Steve has issued a statement of apology.

And the Red Sox are winning.
W00t!
posted by PrinceValium at 4:58 PM on October 15, 2003


TGC, that's what i hoped you meant (anything that doesn't interfere with on-field or on-court gameplay), which is certainly better than my worst-case interpretation, but i still disagree. just a personal opinion, i suppose.

non-threatening (i.e. i dunno about the thundersticks) noise is OK with me. anything else, i try to avoid affecting the outcome whatsoever. just my 2c as a player/coach.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:11 PM on October 15, 2003


Poynter has a good story on his name getting out there.

Sox win.
posted by emptyage at 5:17 PM on October 15, 2003


(See, Mets fans get to watch $120 million worth of losers screw up. We don't need people in the stands helping us out.)

*cries*

As for the interference issue, for some perspective read about the nineteenth-century game—fans used to run onto the field of play and tackle players (not to mention beating up umpires). Things have improved a little since then.

Oh, and what elwoodwiles said.
posted by languagehat at 5:34 PM on October 15, 2003


Fair enough.
posted by The God Complex at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2003


PrinceValium and anastasiav, it must be hard to talk with your foot so far down your throat.

Oh, I do love a come-from-behind victory. Tomorrow's game is going to be fan-fucking-tastic, provided the Yankee fans don't kill Pedro.

Ah, I love baseball in October.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:54 PM on October 15, 2003


i don't buy it, languagehat. what about this (albeit limited) history of fair play and spectator involvement?

What was actually drawn up in the original fair play code was something as incredible as; "a fair spectator must be impartial".

cheers to those 19th century aristocrats! (something i can't believe i'm writing.) they didn't even *need* referees until 1871. i would say that "fair play" has certainly declined since then.

It was believed that professionalism would turn a game that was 'play' into work, thus destroying its very reason for existing.

i like it! amateur athletics, anyone? i've been putting my money where my mouth is for years, *except* for major league baseball. maybe it's finally time to give up the ghost. there are plenty of quality high-school teams that i could support. it's hard to avoid that wicked TV, however.

go Marlins!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:56 PM on October 15, 2003


it must be hard to talk with your foot so far down your throat.

No, I fully expected it to go seven games, to maximize the pain and suffering. Its possible they might go on and win the damned series, if only to meet the Cubbies and tempt armageddon.

I agree that game seven will be a sight to see. Too bad I won't be home (or near a radio). ::sigh::

No, really - I do want them to win - I just can't, well, get my hopes up. Again. Its too painful. If they lose, well, I expected it. And if they win, it will be a wonderful surprise.
posted by anastasiav at 6:10 PM on October 15, 2003


I'd just like to add that I (at the risk of jinxing) called the Cubs/Sox matchup in September. This is going to be the greatest series since the NY subway series when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2003


Bartman? For real? Was Homer with him? Hey, "Homer" is a good baseball name too! Spooky!
posted by rushmc at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2003


as much as i hate to admit it, the greatest series was 1991. just my vote, as an impartial spectator. ;)

allegiances and rivalries mean absolutely nothing. the play's the thing, my friends. get over your egos.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2003


If I were in Chicago, I'd keep my mouth shut.

Unless you're on the south-side, where they're probably erecting a statue in his honor. I don't follow baseball, but I still hate the "Cubbies".
posted by Eamon at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2003


DARYL...... DARYL........DARYL........DARYL....


etc.
posted by Eekacat at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2003


Although I detest all things Yankees, and especially their drunken-investment-banker-fans, I was impressed at the quality of the "ASS-HOLE" chant when Manny Ramirez came up in the first inning. If only the Fenway Faithful could sing in unison.

(Ah, yes, how could I forget: the "DAR-RYL" chant, the disgusting oversized chewing tobacco wad of Lenny Dykstra, the Teufel Shuffle. Technically, however, I was a 1988 Mets fan. Orel Hershiser ruined our October that year. But what a great team, and hella fun to watch.)
posted by PrinceValium at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2003


I was a Dodgers fan that year, Prince Valium. (Lost interest when they went corporate, and when I moved from CA). What a great team that Dodgers team was. A bunch of over-achievers beat those evil front-running A's. (And I lived in NORTHERN CA.)
posted by Eekacat at 7:50 PM on October 15, 2003


This exact problem seems to come up every few years in baseball, and there's a very simple solution: every time a fan directly interferes with a catch that could reasonably have made, the play goes against the home team. In this situation, for example, the rule would assume that the catch would have been made without interferance.

It wouldn't take very long for fan interferance to stop.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:00 PM on October 15, 2003


Unless you're on the south-side, where they're probably erecting a statue in his honor.

Heh heh. It could be fun to watch a million white-hatted 20-somethings cry.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:03 PM on October 15, 2003


It was believed that professionalism would turn a game that was 'play' into work, thus destroying its very reason for existing.

This is absolutely true. Money destroys sports. Ultimate frisbee, for example, is played even at the highest international levels without referees. There are "observers" that handle techincal rule issues, but the officiating of the game is left to the players. Every level and every match I've ever been involved in follows that example, and there's rarely a serious dispute.

Contrast that with the flag football players we sometimes share a field with; it's rare that they play a game without stopping at least once for a shouting match.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:04 PM on October 15, 2003


the rule would assume that the catch would have been made without interferance.

Err, nevermind. But you get the idea.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 8:21 PM on October 15, 2003


Cubs lost. I'm a Sox fan, but my deepest sympathies to Chicago fans. That friggin' sucks.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2003


Well, since it's here....

Go Marlins!!! WHOOOOOOO!!
posted by JaxJaggywires at 9:24 PM on October 15, 2003


O, and it seems that the great state of Florida has extended her hand in friendship and protection to good Mr. Bartman.
posted by JaxJaggywires at 9:27 PM on October 15, 2003


When my own (irrationally, I admit) beloved Astros did a nice, polite belly flop in the last week of the season and the Cubs sealed things away, I was reminded of an old (late 80s, I *think*) SNL news "editorial" by A. Whitney Brown. I don't remember all of it clearly, but it dealt with the state of things in America at the time and was sarcastically cheerful in a Dennis Miller'ish sort of way, and it ended with his warning: "When the small bears from the windy city capture the flag, Then - for sure - the end is nigh."

A funny bit, all in all.

My friends and I had been joking about the upcoming apocalypse the last few weeks while those same Cubbies throttled Atlanta and built a pretty convincing lead on Florida.

But in the back of my mind, I was serene that the world would indeed go on. Even if the comedian's prophecy was actual, magical truth plucked from some universal ether, and a real portent of the end of times... these were still the CUBS.

Unless the time traveler theory is true - and I am not prepared to say it isn't! - then this poor fan was an innocent pawn of fate. Somehow, someway, the Cubs were going to lose that game, and the series.

Sigh. Don't get me wrong, Cub fans - I like them too, and was rooting for them once my home team had packed it in. But sometimes you just have to bow to futility, you know?
posted by John Smallberries at 10:32 PM on October 15, 2003


But sometimes you just have to bow to futility, you know?

Never! To spit in the face of fate, to shake our fists and scream curses at the wind, to roll the boulder up the hill even when you know it's going to come down again... this is what makes a true fan.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:05 PM on October 15, 2003


This Steve fellow is probably screwed for life now. Poor guy. Unfortunately it would most likely be in his best interest to just get out of town.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:46 PM on October 15, 2003


Sad he gets any blame. The Cubs completely choked in the 8 th. The Cubs, mostly, admit it and everyone else should just let this guy alone.
posted by rudyfink at 1:21 AM on October 16, 2003


I don't think he's going to be left alone:

   Domain Name: STEVEBARTMAN.COM 
 
      Created on..............: Wed, Oct 15, 2003 
      Expires on..............: Fri, Oct 15, 2004 

Organization: 
      Paul Larson 
      (addresss omitted) 
      Hammond, IN 46324 
      US 
      Phone: (phone omitted)
  
posted by planetkyoto at 3:13 AM on October 16, 2003


mrgrimm: That link is about English soccer, for pete's sake! (Or "football," if you insist.) That has less than nothing to do with American baseball. I've read a great deal about the nineteenth-century game ("Old Hoss" Radbourn is my hero—he won 59 games for the Providence Grays in 1884!), and I assure you the things I describe were common. Unfortunately, my baseball books are in a box in a closet somewhere, so I can't dig out citations for you.

Sorry about the outcome, Cub fans. I sure hope this isn't going to be a Yankees-Marlins Series. Talk about boring.
posted by languagehat at 7:27 AM on October 16, 2003


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