Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Net: What will it mean.

This interaction  between players and fans at Uni-Trade
goes away when you install a screen extending
past the dugouts.
Last night at the Laredo City Council meeting, Councilman Roque Vela Jr. continued his discussion on adding a screen to Uni-Trade Stadium to prevent some foul balls or other flying objects from entering the stands.

Vela Jr. wants to add to the existing screen which stretches from just short of the first base dugout to just short of the third base dugout.  The screen is vertical only, and has no horizontal connection to the upper deck in the stadium.

Vela Jr.'s desire for the screen is based on an incident where a small girl was hit in the eye by a foul ball last year. ( Just added this at 3:00 pm: Not that it makes any difference to the debate, but for disclosure purposes, the little girl who got hit in the eye is ex-Laredo Councilman Johnny Rendon's granddaughter.  At the meeting last night, no decision was reached and council moved to have some sort of "public meeting" where they will measure the number of people showing up and what they have to say as being how they will determine whether or not to install the screen.

I have a different approach to determining whether a screen is wanted, or not,  by the baseball fans.  Let's let them decide.  Post a survey inside the entrance to the ball park on game day.  This way you get people's opinion that have paid for a ticket, and eliminate the opinions of those that do not use the park.  The first home game is a week from this Thursday.  If the fans want a screen it can be installed when the Lemurs are on the road, the next week.

I personally have conducted my own poll of those that I know go to the games regularly and the numbers come out 8 to 2 against additional netting.  Contrary to what Councilman Vela Jr. says, Laredoans are not different than other baseball fans, and they do know how to pay attention during a baseball game, and they do make sure they are watching their kids for the entire game.  They understand that baseball is a game where interactions of fans and players are normal and that the interaction should not be hindered by fences and screens.

This kid will not get to interact like this
if a net is installed.
I want you to look at this photo carefully.  I took this panorama last year, look at where the fans are sitting.  There are many more fans sitting outside the screen than behind the screen.  Note that box seat pricing extends from behind home plate to the far sections at the dugouts.  So, this is not a pricing issue you see in the photo.

I have this on my Facebook page also.  You can see it a little better.
Tom Wade Laredo on Facebook.

Anyway, I would suggest you call your councilperson if you have an opinion and let him/her know what it is.

I ask you to comment here, and let me know your thoughts.


  1. Roque is an idiot. He is just doing this at the request of Johnny Rendon, who by the way is another idiot. I hope the rest of the Council members don't support this.

  2. Just make sure the survey includes a picture of the little girl with the eye swollen shut.

    And apparently ticket stubs have a disclaimer on the back that tells attendees to watch out for flying objects. (Possible side effects include concussion, or death)

  3. That's crazy..... Ask him if he is willing to pay out of his own money... and see how quickly he changes his mind.....

  4. Keyrose is an idiot. Why would you show the girls eye? Why not show the other hundreds of foul balls that people actually avoided? Why don't we just enclose the seating area, put seat belts on the seats, wear padded clothes and helmets to the game? This way everyone is sheltered and coddled just like having their mommy in the stand. Or how about watching over your kids when your supposed to instead of getting drunk on the $1 beer nights and letting everyone else supervise your kids. Such a dumb mentality.

  5. Not that it makes any difference to the debate, but for disclosure purposes, the little girl who got hit in the eye is ex-Laredo Councilman Johnny Rendon's granddaughter.

  6. Yolie,,,, FOUL BALL!!!

  7. Yes Mr. Vela Jr.,should I put this on your Visa or Mastercard? All kidding aside, I do feel sorry for that little girl that got smacked by a baseball, regardless of her associations. On the contrary, because of her associations, we have a city council prepositioning a net to protect fans from flying balls. I'm pretty sure they would do the same for your kids too, right? To be honest, I don't believe that they would. For that matter, I don't believe that the idea of placing a net to protect/obstruct fans is such a great idea. Fans go to a ball game to watch it and at times participate in it. What little kid or grown up kid doesn't want to catch a ball? Isn't that the reason they bring gloves with them? The net idea just seems something that will be counterintuitive in gaining or retaining fans, and it will continue reaching into the pockets of those who pay taxes. I would suggest for the city council to pay for such endeavor, but I don't think fans want this. So, Mr. Vela Jr., please keep politics away from our entertainment and put it to use where it belongs. You're starting to look like a politician with a personal agenda. I mean, what's the point of having power is you can't use it for personal reasons, right? Keep it real Laredo.

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