Fields of Folly

Must Adam Jones suffer fools gladly?

Must Adam Jones suffer fools gladly?

By Tom Warner (Baltimore Or Less)

Today Major League Baseball announced that it is investigating Orioles All-Star center fielder Adam Jones‘s comments about fans who venture onto playing fields for their 15 minutes of fame. That means Jones might face some sort of disciplinary action by the High Sheriffs of MLB, which would be more idiotic a response than the actions of the drunks and egotistical idiots who interrupt televised sporting events for their own self-glorification. Jones is an outspoken, larger-than-life personality who tells it like it is, which is one of the reasons he’s a fan and press favorite, not to mention a clubhouse leader.

Jones was reacting to an incident earlier in the week when two fans ran onto the field in the eight inning of a game at Yankee Stadium; it was not the first time Jones has witnessed goofs trespassing on his outfield turf – Baltimore’s “Batman” streaker (aka Mark Harvey of Severn) interrupted the O’s 2012 season opener against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards, as shown below.

Watch Batman run wild at O’s 2012 season opener.

Other Camden Yard turf invaders that season included Zachary Gregoricus (who ran onto the field and slid into second base and was fined $500) and Christopher Fatkin (who was tackled by an umpire after eluding security and was also fined $500).

For the record, here’s what the O’s franchise player had to say after Tuesday night’s Yankee Stadium shennanigans:

“I think it’s idiotic for people to run on the field and I think the punishment needs to be a lot harsher and they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on. Cause it’s stupid. I get it, you’re drunk and you want to be on Sportscenter. Your [expletive] is going to jail with a fine, you might not be allowed to come back to the ballpark. That’s heads up. And I remember a couple of years ago, one dude broke his ankle in Baltimore. I was laughing at him. I wish he shattered his femur. Because it’s stupid, it’s just point blank stupid. And anybody who does it, I wish the cops tased the living [expletive] out of them. I wish that.”

Watch Jones talking about free-range fans on ESPN Sports Center:

And Jones elaborated more on what he thinks MLB should do about fans running on the field when talking to SiriusXM radio’s Adam Schein.

Interviewed by the Washington Post’s Scott Allen, Jones suggested MLB should fine offending fans (“…where you really hurt people nowadays is you hurt their pockets…”) and pointed out a better way for fans to be rude to opposing teams: “Cuss us out, let us have it, give us a ribbing, remind us of our last five at-bats if they’ve been terrible, please do, but just stay off the field because you’re just causing a problem that doesn’t need to be caused.”

As CBS Sports writer Matt Snyder later commented:

On one hand, the players shouldn’t discuss harming fans. After all, fans are why the players are able to get paid so handsomely to play a game.

On the other hand: Sigh.

Jones didn’t discuss harming just a garden variety group of fans (plus, read what I wrote earlier in the week about how generally great he is to fans). He targeted morons who decide to trespass by running onto the field. It’s a threat to player safety and it’s illegal. The field is the domain of the players and random fans in this day and age can’t be trusted to simply run around at will. This is unacceptable.

I really hope MLB doesn’t discipline Jones here. He spoke his mind and characters are always good for the game. Derek Jeter, for example, is one of the all-time great players and an unbelievably respectable human being — but if every single player answered every single question the way Jeter does, it would be pretty boring, no?

Let’s not try and shut the Adam Joneses of the world up. They provide an extra layer of fun when there isn’t game action.

Hear, hear! Adam’s a fun guy, who doesn’t just pie his teammates in post-game interviews but also makes fun of himself, as witness his antics eating donuts “Off the Bat” on MTV2′s MLB’s Fan Cave.

The thrill of victory, the agony of Police.

The thrill of victory, the agony of Police.

Of course, the O’s aren’t the only team in town to be visited by Baltimore Batman. The same year he fan bombed the O’s season opener, this man of all seasons turned up at a September football game between the Ravens and the Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium, as shown below.

Watch Baltimore Batman streaking at Ravens game.

Mark “Batman” Harvey considered himself a hero fighting for the rights of the oppressed, specifically bullied kids. He not only runs around fields with an anti-bullying slogan painted on his chest, he also runs a web site (biggerthanbullying.com) selling anti-bullying t-shirts, wristbands and stickers.

“Kids are dying because kids are picking on kids,” the Caped Crusader said at the time of his arrest. “I thought, ‘I can make a difference.’ ” (Hmmm, just like Rainbow Man, “Rockin’” Rollen Stewart, aka “John 3:16″ made a difference with his multicolored Afro wigs and kidnapping antics?)

Of course, some would say he’s bullying the professional ballplayers and season ticket holders by interrupting their games for shameless self-promotion – even for a noble cause.

(Harvey’s live sports venue options are dwindling; he’s now banned from Camden Yards and M&T Stadium, but suggested he would make an attempt at basketball if Baltimore ever got a team back. He has not yet been sported at a Blast indoor soccer game at First Mariner Arena).

Technically, one could say Donald Kroger fan-bombed our dearly departed Memorial Stadium back on December 19, 1976, but at least he crashed his plane in the stands after the game – a disastrous day all around, as the Colts had just lost a playoff game to the Pittsburgh Steelers by 40-14.

da plane, da plane! Donald Kroger crashes the playoff party at Memorial Stadium, Dec. 19, 1976.

Crash Test Dummy: Donald Kroger crashes the playoff party at Memorial Stadium, Dec. 19, 1976.

Of course, Baltimore’s most famous – and dangerous – turf invasion happened in 2000 at the Pimlico Race Course during the running of the 125th Preakness. That’s when a drunk 23-year man named Lee Chang Ferrell stumbled out of the infield during the running of an undercard race, the Maryland Breeders Cup Stakes, and tried to punch champion horse Artax!

For those who have forgetten this classic moment in Baltimore Babylon lore, here’s ESPN writer Bill Finley’s recap (“Preakness Puncher Won’t Be Back“):

ArtexBefore a stunned crowd of 100,311, Ferrell vaulted from the infield, where he had been drinking heavily, ran across the turf course and planted himself on the main track while the horses were coming down the stretch for the Maryland Breeders’ Cup Stakes. Risking his own life, as well as those of the jockeys and horses in the race, he took a wild swing at Artax, who would go on to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the 1999 Eclipse Award for outstanding sprinter. With Jockey Jorge Chavez able to steer his mount out of the way at the last second, neither Ferrell nor any of the horses or jockeys were seriously hurt.

Ferrell was arrested and charged with first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, trespass and alcohol-related offenses. Able to avoid jail time, he was sentenced to a three-year suspended sentence and five years of probation. He was also ordered to continue psychological counseling and to enroll in a vocational skills training program.

While idiots like Ferrell are now banned from Pimlico, the Preakness still attracts its fair share of boobs, as shown below.

And speaking of boobs, I really don’t think Adam Jones or any other Birds would complain if the volumptuous Morganna, baseball’s Kissing Bandit, planted one on them at home plate, like she did to Cal Ripken, Jr. at Memorial Stadium back in 1988.

Morganna the Kissing Bandit steals a kiss from Cal Ripkin, Jr.

Morganna the Kissing Bandit steals a kiss from Cal Ripkin, Jr.

That’s right, the exotic dancer who as a teen used to strip at the Flamingo Club on Baltimore’s Block, bussed Junior before more than 50, 000 fans as he came to bat May 2, 1988 during “Fantastic Fan Night” at Memorial Stadium. (Read more about it in Frederick Rasmussen’s Baltimore Sun report, “Back Story: The night ‘Kissing Band’ came to town.”)

Watch Morganna kiss Cal Ripken, Jr.

Now that’s what I call an intentional free pass to First Base! (Or perhaps a walk-off boner?)

See also:

MLB Investigating Adam Jones after comments about fans” (CBSSports.com)

Camden Yards Streaker Was Clad in Undies and a Cape” (Deadspin.com)

Batman Streaker Strikes at Sunday’s Ravens Game (Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore Batman Strikes Again (Deadspin)

Morganna rushes infield and kisses Cal Ripken, 1988 (Baltimore Or Less)

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Posted in 2010s, Baltimore Babylon, Baltimorons, Bikini, Booze, Horseracing, Orioles, Pranks, Ravens, Roadside Attractions, Sports, Uncategorized, Vices | Tagged , | Leave a comment

LETTER FROM BALTIMORE: This Is My Jail

CV1_TNY_04_14_14Blitt.inddHello Baltimore! Once again, we’re in the national spotlight for sex, drugs, murder and corruption!

In this week’s New Yorker magazine (pictured left), legal columnist Jeffrey Toobin rehashes the embarrassing scandal of Tavon White, the Black Guerilla Family gang (and their extensive “Framily” cell phone plan), and corrupt female correctional officers at the place a former state attorney general once called “the innermost circle of hell in the Maryland prison system”:  the  Baltimore City Detention Center. – Tom Warner, BoL

Where gang members and their female guards set the rules

By Jeffrey Toobin (New Yorker, April 14, 2014)

While awaiting trial, the gang's leader fathered  by four guards.

While awaiting trial, the gang’s leader fathered five children by four guards.

On January 5, 2013, Tavon White, an inmate at the Baltimore City Detention Center, had a cell-phone conversation that was intercepted on an F.B.I. wiretap. “This is my jail, you understand that,” White told an unidentified friend. “I’m dead serious. I make every final call in this jail. . . . Everything come to me. Before a motherfucker hit a nigga in the mouth, guess what they do—they gotta run it through me. I tell them whether it’s a go ahead and they can do it or whether they hold back. Before a motherfucker stab somebody, they gotta run it through me.” White was a leader of a gang called the Black Guerrilla Family. The gang had such control over inmates in the facility that, as White put it in another phone call, “I got elevated to the seat where as though nobody in the jail could outrank me. . . . Like, I am the law. . . . So if I told any motherfucking body they had to do this, hit a police, do this, kill a motherfucker, anything, it got to be done. Period.”

White, who was facing trial for the attempted murder of a fellow gang member in a dispute over drug turf, controlled B.C.D.C. inmates by directing an underground economy, based principally on the sale of drugs. The B.C.D.C. holds between two thousand and twenty-three hundred inmates at a time, and the authorities estimate that about half are addicts of one kind or another. White and his gang supplied the demand by smuggling and selling tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs, and food. Most important, though, was the Black Guerrilla Family’s control of cell phones inside the jail, because money changed hands through the use of the phones. Inmates paid for drugs and other contraband by texting fourteen-digit numbers to load money onto Green Dot MoneyPak cards belonging to Black Guerrilla Family members inside and outside the facility. Gang leaders, in turn, used the Green Dot cards to pay their suppliers and enjoy their profits. White bought a BMW and a Mercedes-Benz while he was an inmate.

Gangs and drugs have plagued prisons for decades, but the problems at the B.C.D.C. were extreme. Notably, too, many of the crimes were perpetrated by women. Seventy-five per cent of the six hundred and fifty correctional officers in the facility were women, and, according to one inmate witness, between sixty and seventy-five per cent of them were involved in “contraband smuggling and/or having sexual relationships with inmates.” According to the government, Tavon White had sexual relationships with four guards and fathered five children by them. (One of the guards had “Tavon” tattooed on her wrist; another had the name on her neck.) An inmate and gang member named Jamar Anderson was involved with five guards. Female guards smuggled the contraband into the facility, concealing it “in their underwear, hair, internally and elsewhere,” according to a government filing. The guards were subject to cursory or nonexistent searches when they entered the premises, and they also brought in the cell phones for the inmates to use, even though correctional officers were forbidden to carry phones while working. . . .

Continue reading “This Is My Jail” at www.newyorker.com.

 

 

Posted in 2010s, Crime, Inner City, Murder, Roadside Attractions | Leave a comment

Play Ball: Joan Jett Talks Orioles 2014 Season

[Punk icon Joan Jett grew up in Rockville, Md., and has been an O's fan since the very first game she attended on August 13, 1969, when Jim Palmer threw a no-hitter against the Oakland A's (Joan: "So how can you not be an Orioles freak after seeing that for the first game?"). Jett was a guest of honor when Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played record, and sang the national anthem the day he tied it. She sat alongside President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and baseball greats like Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays. She's also been known to take her iPad on stage so she can check O's scores while touring. And I love her even more because Joan bought her Gibson Melody Maker guitar from Eric Carmen following the breakup of my beloved powerpoppers, The Raspberries!  She plays it on “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll,” “Crimson and Clover,” “Do You Want to Touch Me,” “Bad Reputation" and all those other early records. - Tom Warner, BoL]

Joan loves the Orioles almost as much as she loves rock ‘n’ roll

By Chris Payne (Billboard.com, April 7, 2014)

joanjettoriolesbw

Home is where the Blackheart is!

You’ve been an Orioles fan since the late-60s, right?

Joan Jett: Yeah,’69. We used to live in Maryland and my dad took us to see the Baltimore Orioles several times. But my first game was Jim Palmer against Catfish Hunter of the Oakland A’s. Jim Palmer threw a no-hitter. [Actually, the Oakland pitcher that day was Chuck Dobson.] So how can you not be an Orioles freak after seeing that for the first game? It was the team with Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and the 4 20-game winners. [Actually, the O's team with four 20-game winners - Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Pat Dobson - was the 1971 edition that lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series; it was the last team in MLB history to have four 20-game-winning pitchers.] It was quite a learning experience at the time.

What sorts of things have you done with the team over the years?

JJ: I’ve sung The National Anthem before the game six or seven times. I got a chance to go out on the field during batting practice in the 80s. That was when Cal Ripken, Jr. was going to play his first game. I was on the field joking with those guys, like Eddie Murray. It was just nice to be a fan and be on the field with them.

joan jett

Go O’s!: It’s all part of her Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy!

I also went to Fantasy Week. We would go down and spend a few weeks before Spring Training started. Each team has it and you can go. I did it in ’92. There were 105 people and 5 women including me. You form teams and play baseball for two weeks. You get Major League coaches. My coach was from Baltimore. They would teach you what to do. I played second base; those throws are far! When you’re on a major league diamond, it’s a whole different deal. I had real people teaching me out to pitch. Mike Cuellar, who was a 20-game winner for the Orioles, taught me how to throw a screwball. If you’re a baseball fan, that’s one of the best things you can do with yourself.

What’s it been like to see the Orioles become a winning team again over the past two seasons?

JJ: It’s really exciting to see, seeing someone like Buck Showalter come in and make some changes. I think the general manager, Dan Duquette , is making some moves. I pay attention from Spring Training on.

How do you think the team looks this year? They’re in an awfully tough division.

JJ: They are in a tough division. They’ve got plenty of bats. It’s about the pitching. It’s about making sure the pitching is good. So far, we’re doing okay. I’m sure we’ll be in it. I have a feeling Baltimore will be in the mix.

Watch Joan Jett talk Orioles on MLB Network.

Chris Davis repeating last year again would be pretty big.

JJ: That would be big but I don’t think you can expect that. I’m sure he would like that to happen but you can’t count on that. All of your hitters have to hit. Our defense I think was the number one defense so that has to stay at number one or two. We had great fielding percentages. They need to perform to what we know they can do. Nick Markakis needs to play the game he can play. Adam Jones playing the game he can play. Manny Machado was a rookie last year. He hurt his knee so I don’t know if he’ll be starting the season. But we have some back-ups who will hold the 3rd base position until he gets better. I’m excited to see what can happen. We have plenty of ammo.

How many games will you make it out to this season?

JJ: I’m going to try to make it to at least a handful down in Baltimore. I’m also going to try to go to a few in New York. I really do enjoy going to Camden Yards. It’s a beautiful ball park to see a great game at.

ballgirl 51312

This swinging rocker sure can belt one out!

See also:

Joan Jett Writes Love Letter to O’s (Baltimore Or Less)

Joan Jett Still Loves the Orioles (Baltimore Sports Report)

Joan Jett a hit on diamond, too (O’s Fantasy Camp, Argus-Press, 1991)

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Posted in Baltimorons, Entertainment, Music, Orioles, Punk / New Wave, Sports | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment