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Voice of the 'Fan

The limit of greed

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I just read a blog entry on Yahoo! Sports that disturbed me.

Matt Carson, a September call-up for the Oakland A's, hit his first major league homer Sept. 21 at Oakland, but the fan who caught the ball isn't willing to hand it over unless he gets $10,000.

Let me repeat that. $10,000.

Talk about being greedy and selfish at the same time! Carson has played 7 seasons in the minors before the A's gave him a chance at The Show, he's worked his tail off to fulfill his dream, he hits his first HR in front of the home fans, and what happens? Some yokel wants a fat reward, as if Carson, 28, is going to eventually be a batting or HR champion some day, maybe even make a run at the all-time records. Carson is hardly Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter, so who does this punk fan think he is?

All the fan is, really, is a selfish, likely excessively besotted jerk looking for a quick payday, and if he didn't get it from Carson, odds are he'd try eBay. If I were A's management, I'd bar him from attending any further games for this show of me-first greed.

He's not the only one. Earlier this season, a Brewers fan tried a similar stunt after Florida's Chris Coghlan hit his first HR. This geek got a couple of bats and an autograph, this after he'd tried to get an autographed bat from Coghlan's teammate, Hanley Ramirez, as part of the deal for the ball.

This is the end result of people auctioning off milestone HRs hit by now-disgraced sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds in the last decade for megabucks, prizes that have depreciated in value in recent years after those players fell from grace. You have every nothing-happening jobroni hoping for the same thing, even if the HR comes off the bat of a career minor leaguer like Carson, or a journeyman like, say for example, the Mets' Fernando Tatis.

There should be a sign posted at the gate of every major league ballpark to dissuade such frivolous attempts at quick publicity. To paraphrase Quincy Jones, "Check your greed at the door!". Guys like Carson & Coghlan might not have long major league careers, so let them savor the moment of hitting that first bomb into the bleachers. You want a momento of the night? A foul ball should suffice, but if you should get lucky and catch a HR ball, be respectful, and make a singular exchange. The HR ball for a unused but autographed baseball, even up. No questions asked, no stupid, selfish demands just for the sake of being mentioned on "SportsCenter".

Just do the right thing.
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