Tampa Bay Rays fans might be new to this whole playoff baseball experience, but they are starting to catch on: the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that seven fans were arrested during Game 2 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. Although it’s a nice start, we certainly aren’t at the level of civic disturbance that we’ve come to know and love/loathe from the fans of the Rays’ opponents.
Most of the fans were arrested for minor, alcohol-related disturbances such as people getting too rowdy in the stands or drinking open containers of whiskey outside the stadium. But the winner has to be Brian McHugh, who tried to sneak into the dugout and…wait a minute, he’s from Sarasota but was born in Massachusetts? Which means he’s probably a Red Sox fan! No matter what the result of the series is on the field, the Red Sox are owning the Rays in terms of fan idiocy. (It even happened in Game 1.)
Back to McHugh, who must have been inspired by that wannabe Dodger a few weeks ago when he tried to pull of his little stunt:
Police said McHugh snuck into a tunnel leading to a dugout and somehow managed to steal a bat. At 10:30 p.m., a St. Petersburg police officer found McHugh, bat in hand. McHugh was taken to jail on a charge of commercial burglary.
He later snuck into the Red Sox’s bullpen, stole a uniform and tried to disguise himself as Mike Timlin, but was caught when he accidentally threw too many strikes. Although when I read that someone tried to steal bats from the dugout, my thought was that I didn’t even know that Albert Belle was back in baseball, much less with the Red Sox.
To be fair to Rays fans, they’ve never been to the playoffs before, and they don’t have the experience making asses of themselves that the Red Sox do. Plus, when the fan culture you’re trying to promote includes arresting anyone who dares chuck a home run ball back to the field from the stands, you’ve got a long way to go.