Following last week's incident at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, when a fan attempted to tackle umpire Laz Diaz during a Royals-White Sox game, commissioner Bud Selig told SI that he would like an attorney from Major League Baseball to attend all courtroom proceedings that involve fans who trespass on the playing field. Selig wants to persuade judges to hand down the maximum penalty for offenders. In addition White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, in a repeat warning, was urged by Major League Baseball to outfit his stadium security officers with more distinctive uniforms than the nondescript gray polo shirts they currently wear. "The more security stands out, the better," Selig said.
The most effectual change, however, must come from lawmakers. All fans who trespass on the field—let's not pretend to know their intentions—should face mandatory jail time. The father and son who attacked Royals coach Tom Gamboa during a game last year are still free; the father's case is pending while the son was sentenced to probation and 30 hours of community service. "What happened to Tommy Gamboa was awful," Selig says. "I hope it doesn't take something worse to happen. The toughest penalties should be meted out. These people should be prosecuted and sent to jail."
While the Yankees were outhomering foes 39-5, no player better represented the depth of their power than Raul Mondesi, a .232 hitter last year. The erstwhile $13 million albatross, whom New York tried unsuccessfully to trade last winter, was slugging like Reggie Jackson, primarily out of the eighth spot in the lineup (.352, five homers). And why not? Jackson served as Mondesi's mentor in spring training.
"Reggie made him his personal project," says manager Joe Torre. "I thought a fast start was more important to him than anybody else. When we got him last year, it was too late for him to salvage his average, so he tried to hit the ball out of the park all the time. Now he can relax and let his ability take over."
THREE STRIKES FOR...
Devil Rays rookie outfielder Rocco Baldelli
Q: What's the biggest difference between Class A California League pitching and major league pitching?
A: California League pitchers give you pitches you can drive. Here you get pitches you can put in play. [In the majors] you see a lot fewer pitches over the middle of the plate.