By now everybody's seen the video--not having access to NESN it has only reached me through the Web a day late. Surviving Grady described it as "NESN's own version of the Zapruder film." (The actual footage has finally shown up on YouTube, sure to be short-lived, but I've at least gotten to see it. Don Orsillo's uncontrollable laughter gave me my own fit of the giggles.)
It appears at least in my anecdotal experience that there's a rising trend of hostility among Fenway regulars toward fans who reach for foul balls. I say this because the Pizza Incident reminded me of what I overheard on opening day, when a man seated behind me in the right field corner let loose with a full-on, five-minute rant about a fan who reached for a ball along the right-field line with the Red Sox batting.
"Even if you're a re-tahhd and you're gonna reach for a ball, at least don't do it when YOAH team is at bat!!" he cried. It appears with the pizza-thrower, too, this was also the main bone of contention.
Manny wound up scoring on that play, no thanks to the ball-reachers. Clearly the Pizza Assassin took umbrage at those who profess to be Red Sox fans prioritizing a souvenir over a run for Boston.*
Could it be there's a secret society of season ticket holders conspiring to crack down on ignorant interference at the ballpark? Red Sox Nation's own internal police force?
If so, the Pizza Toss is a watershed moment for the Fenway Enforcers--a perpetrator of ball-reaching wound up soaked in beer and pizza sauce, smeared with melted mozzarella and repeatedly humiliated on TV and the internet.
They've been grumbling and heckling for too long. Now they're taking action. Ball-reachers of the world are on notice: reach for a ball at Fenway, especially when the Sox are at bat, and justice will be swift, terrible, and probably greasy.
That guy in the right field corner last week would've been proud.
*Excuses: I'm in California on business, only saw highlights of the game in bits and pieces and was posting this in the wee hours of the morning, so I conflated two plays that weren't the same. Guess I should've just left well enough alone if I couldn't pay attention, but there ya go.
P.P.S. Wily Mo doesn't hit any half-assed home runs, does he?