Consider former Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman David Freese among those concerned about the potential ramifications of the franchise’s first-ever West Coast playoff series against their chief rivals.
And no, he’s not talking about on-the-field shenanigans. At the first sign of trouble, this one could get ugly in the crowd, too.
While many corners of the country — alright, probably mostly Californians — are excited about the closest rivalry in long-term MLB history reaching the biggest stage for the first time since the Shot Heard Round the World, Freese had far darker thoughts to share on the eve of Game 1.
Even the most optimistic fan of their team has to admit his concerns could be warranted.
Freese tweeted on Friday afternoon that, especially with so much at stake in this best-of-five clash between 106+-win teams, hostilities could certainly spill over into something nasty, and security had better be ready to eliminate any tension quickly.
Ex-Dodgers infielder David Freese is worried about violence at the ballpark.
Of course, there has been plenty of recent documented evidence of playoff brawls, brawls at Dodger Stadium, and outright violence between these two communities.
During Game 1 of White Sox-Astros, a group of home fans wailed on some Chicagoans in the bleachers, continuing a post (mid?)-pandemic tradition of regressive fan behavior. Norms have often been tossed aside during this bizarre summer stretch of collectively reacclimating to society. We’ve seen nastiness time and again in the stands and bowels of Dodger Stadium this year.
And, of course, focus will always return to the horrific Bryan Stow attack of 2011, when a Giants fan was beaten within an inch of his life in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
Neither side is absolved in this battle; both fan bases might get tempted, at any point, to escalate the action, especially if this series between evenly-matched squads stretches on.
Freese’s concern is certainly warranted. A playoff series between these two teams is unprecedented, which means security must be prepared for everything to escalate, without a playbook from past experience.