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Baseball operations officials meet to discuss security changes today

Apr 25, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Backpack

This meeting was planned prior to the Boston Marathon bombing, but the bombing will no doubt loom over today’s meeting of baseball operations officials, who will be discussing stadium security enhancements:

Among the security topics that could be discussed are backpacks that fans bring into ballparks.

Each team has different policies for fans, although the general major league limitation on bag sizes is 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches. Teams might talk about whether they want to cut that down from the size of a standard school backpack to something such as a laptop carrying bag.

There isn’t much in the way of coherence across the league when it comes to bag policies. Some places let you bring in big old bags and are relatively lax in checking. Some places, like Yankee Stadium, are far more strict.

One would hope that a single event, however tragic, will not cause sports leagues to engage in a crackdown which makes going to games a much more difficult and much less enjoyable experience, but after how the whole of this country has reacted to theats, real or imagined, over the past twelve years, I’m not at all optimistic.

  1. Ben - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    “One would hope that a single event, however tragic, will not cause sports leagues to engage in a crackdown which makes going to games a much more difficult and much less enjoyable experience, but after how the whole of this country has reacted to theats, real or imagined, over the past twelve years, I’m not at all optimistic.”

    Reposting, because it is the truth.

    Unfortunately, there’s a of bias at work here dictates that rather than rationally calculating risk, they’ll ban backpacks–from the perspective of the league, it’s better to be accused of draconian security policies than to have something happen (even if it’s extraordinarily unlikely) and be accused of lax security.

    • bfunk1978 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      I can see a situation that happens exactly as you say. It’s all in the name of keeping us safe, but in reality it’s a cover-your-own-ass kind of thing. It’s easier to say “just keep all bags out”. Not that it’s effective in preventing people from bringing stuff into the park that could cause real problems. Just that it makes the owners feel better.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        Why not just make everyone strip naked? They already walk around like that on South Beach anyway.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        Oh – heh – sorry. I forgot about Target Field.

      • Ben - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        ….yeah. There’s at least a couple years before the tater tot hotdish gets to you though.
        http://www.citypages.com/slideshow/minnesota-vikings-cheerleader-auditions-2013-39410277/

        (I swear I only saw this looking for concert listings)

    • bolweevils2 - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      And, oh buy coincidence, banning of backpacks would also force you to buy more food and drink at the stadium since you couldn’t bring it in anymore. They would never be so callous to take that factor into account in their decision making, would they? Nah!

  2. Joe - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t mind having my backpack searched to ensure that I’m not carrying a weapon of some sort. But when they make you get rid of an (empty) plastic water bottle because….you might use it to avoid paying $3 for a bottle of water? That pisses me off.

    • bfunk1978 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      No kidding, man. Staying hydrated in the summer heat, especially during day games, is an expensive proposition.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        Just tuck one of that flat wine bladders into your bag and fill it from the water fountain. Of course, next thing you know, they’ll start confiscating whoopie cushions.

      • chacochicken - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Do they even let you take camel paks into stadiums? I don’t know if it makes me a bad person I’ve got a carbon fiber flask that I strategically tape to my inner thigh.

  3. mybrunoblog - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Puffer bomb detection machines, pat down searches, no weapons policy, no backpacks or carry with bags, limited liability clauses……..Gee, I’ll just stay home and watch the game on tv.
    Americans have a much greater chance of winning the lottery AND getting struck by lightning than by being the victim of a terrorist attack. Just saying.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      I agree. And then I think of the guy who ran the Boston marathon and returned to his home in West, Texas.

      • chacochicken - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        That guy won the avoiding two life threatening disasters lottery.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        If that guy had been a cat, he would have been hit by a tractor pulling a haywagon the next morning.

  4. rcali - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Considering how amazingly concerned they are about people bringing in a bottle of water, this should be interesting.

  5. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Remember those snarky NRA inspired comments like “Maybe we should ban pressure cookers….” Well, someone IS talking about banning backpacks, so there goes that.

    The only way to beat back terrorism is to communicate, on a daily basis and in any form, the importance of life, and the acceptance of others to be as others accept yourself.

  6. jonirocit - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Here’s a thought …lets all stay home and never make contact never leave the house .

    • Jeremy T - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      but if you do that, the internet viruses will getcha

  7. sdelmonte - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    The Yankees’ level of security is probably about what someone would recommend to stop the most threats. I find it annoying and paranoid, but at the same time, it’s hard to blame them for it given that we’re in NYC.

    Then again, the Mets don’t go nearly as far, in the same city. Part of me thinks that the Yankees also go to extremes to make sure you can’t bring a sandwich from home.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Actually, don’t the Yankees let you bring in sandwiches and unopened bottles of water? I haven’t checked in a couple years, but I thought they were one of the teams that let you bring some food into the stadium.

      • sdelmonte - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Last time I went, I think they were somewhat strict, but I haven’t been there in a while.

  8. bigblue86 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    What none of these leagues realize is that they make life safer on the inside but make it that much worse outside. My brothers and have held for a long time that all a terrorist would need to do is go to an NFL game, get in line for security and blow themselves up and they take atleast a few hundred people with them.

    I’m all for making life safe inside as long as it doesn’t result in long lines and crowding outside.

  9. natslady - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    At Nats Park you are allowed to bring in one unopened bottle of water ($2 outside the park) which you can, obviously, refill at the fountain if needed. You are also allowed to bring in food as long as it’s in plastic bags so the contents are visible. The size of your bag/backpack is measured by a box they have at the entrance. If you can squeeze the bag in the box, you are OK–then they have you open it and they check it. Myself, I am not a light traveler, I bring binoculars, radio, tablet, cellphone, ipod, chargers, blanket, and I walk with a cane. Inspection takes maybe 90 seconds.They don’t wand–or at least, they haven’t yet. It would be pretty much impossible to get the type of bomb that was used in Boston into the park. Even if you got a car bomb into the garage, I don’t know how much damage you could do outside of the garage because everything is solid cement–and the wi-fi/cellphone service is so chancy good luck detonating it.

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