Friday, April 27, 2012

Foul Ball and Media lessons from Sully

A lot has been made about that event in Arlington the other day. A ball was tossed into the stands by Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland. A parent and his son tried to catch it. Instead Sean Leonard caught it and gave it to his fiancee Shannon Moore. And while they grinned and posed with the ball, the kid was crying his eyes out next to them.

All the while it was being captured on the YES Network with Yankees announcer Michael Kay trashing Leonard and Moore. Eventually someone on the Rangers got wind of this and made sure the kid got a ball. While the kid was smiling, Leonard and Moore were oblivious and still in Kay's doghouse.

Since then, the event when viral on line and Leonard and Moore have become villains. And they have tried to counter attack by demanding an apology from Kay and trying to get sympathy through the media about them getting married soon.

So let me give Leonard and Moore a few pointers.

First of all, why the hell do we know your names now?
How stupid can you be to have people know who you are? You two did interviews? Told people where you were from?

Have you ever been ON the Internet?

People already think you are awful people. And when people think you are awful and go on line, they can attack you with the safety of anonymity. Before you were just two douches at a Rangers game. And today you are Sean Leonard and Shannon Moore.

Nice job. I'm sure people sending you stuff on line will be very sympathetic.
I could post a picture of one of my sons kissing a baby duck and someone would write an obscene comment. (And someone else would go on a Ron Paul rant.)

What part of this seemed smart?

News cycles move so fast that everyone on the planet was going to forget about you before I finished typing this sentence.

So what did you do? You prolonged it by going on TV to tell your side of the story and demand an apology from Michael Kay!

Oooh, I'm sure Michael Kay just wet his pants. He's been an employee of the YES Network for over a decade which means for a while he was taking orders from George Freaking Steinbrenner. Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing a dopey engaged couple in Texas isn't going to get an apology from a seasoned New York sports figure.

Secondly, what is to gain from "Getting your story out." Every time the story is told, people are reminded of who the heck you are and see the video clip again. Nobody will listen to a word you say. They are already swearing at you and calling you unrepeatable names. Do you really think anyone is saying "Wait! Let's hear what the douchey couple has to say!"?

The best thing you could have done after the game was to lay low, say nothing and in a day or two it would have passed.

The worst thing? Everything you did.

The one positive thing you DID do was you didn't trash the kid.

As for catching a foul ball, the protocol is quite simple.
You give the ball to the kid. When a ballplayer or a ball boy or girl throws a ball into the stands, they are looking for a kid and will toss it directly to them.

It's THEIR ball. Fork it over.

I've been to more Major League games than I can count. Do you know how many balls I have caught from my first game in 1977 to now?


Do you know where that foul ball is?

I gave it to a kid.

In 1993, I was 21 years old and went to a Reds/Mets game at Shea Stadium. A ball came my way. I got it. I held it up so everyone could see I got it. Then I looked around, found a kid, handed him the ball, and that was that.

If you don't know you are supposed to do that then why the hell are you at a ballgame?

Finally, let me give you one more tip, Sean and Shannon.
If you two ever have kids together, you will find out that the act of staying at a ballgame with a young kid is tenuous.

It usually is late, they don't understand the game and they get antsy sitting there.
And as a baseball fan, you hope to enjoy the game as much as you can without the kid becoming unbearable.

Do you know what is unbearable?
Having the kid cry.

Simple solution. Fork the ball over.

It's not that complicated.

Have a nice wedding. I hope you don't interfere with anyone trying to catch the bouquet.

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter


  1. Well (and hysterically said), Sully!

    1. Anonymous9:39 AM

      I can assure you that knowing the couple, they are very self centered and every comment is correct. The father of these kids, can not even work with Shannon. So really don't think all this stuff about how bad she feels and all the talk about praying is anything more than a poor attempt to make her look good.

  2. Anonymous3:51 AM

    I agree with everything you have to say. And I also look forward to 4ch or someone going to town on these two trashy idiots since they put their names out there. My first thought when the names came out was "oops, they'll regret that".

  3. Anonymous5:04 AM

    The woman is LYING. Watch the video. "Shannon Smith Moore" made eye contact with the mother of the little boy, not just once, but two or three times while the boy was bawling. She KNEW EXACTLY what was going on. I loathe liars.
    What happened was, they got caught on camera acting like themselves.... selfish yuppie idiots, for all the world to see, and now they dont like how they "appeared".

  4. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Just correcting two points of the article, since you decided not to do any research:
    They didn't come forward until their identities were disclosed by someone other than themselves.
    They have five children between them already.
    Not saying what they did was right or wrong, juts correcting your errors.

  5. If they have 5 kids between them already them they are bigger a--holes than I thought!

  6. Here's my question: Has anyone asked Mitch Moreland about this? Did he (as I believe) intend to toss that ball to the couple with the kid? Even if he didn't, it doesn't forgive what Sean and Shannon did. But I'd really like to know.

  7. What player DOESN'T throw it to a kid?

  8. Anonymous3:15 PM

    So they are saying they were too dumb to know what was going on? Yeah right.. They were heartless trying to put on a good spin now. NO APPOLOGIES accepted.

  9. I've seen some parents USE their kids to get baseballs for themselves -... that doesn't seem to be case here, but Mny belief is if you get the ball then it is yours and you can do whatever you want with it.

  10. Anonymous4:39 AM

    fitness centers minnesota

    Hi Sully. Thanks for educating me about the basic information on Baseball. I really learned a lot from you.

  11. Anonymous11:41 AM

    I have caught 4 balls in MLB ballparks in my life, and would NEVER EVER give away the ball to a kid. NEVER. No matter how much they whine.

    So what the couple did was PERFECTLY acceptable, even if we ignore the fact that they were taking the ball for one of their OWN kids.

    And obviously they're right to demand an apology from Michael Kay who acted like the douchebag that he is.

  12. I take it you are Sean Leonard.

    What exactly did Michael Kay do that warranted an apology?

    (This should be good)

  13. wow I would so love to run into a hot chick like that in the picture, I think I would freeze by her beauty though haha