For those watching the game on television, it is the most annoying of sights: some buffoon with no real interest in the game yapping away on a cellphone while waving obnoxiously toward a television camera in order to be seen. “It absolutely bugs the hell out of me,” says a candid John Henry, “and we’re going to put a stop to it.” Using special high-definition technology, the Red Sox plan to identify and punish those fans who engage in this loathsome habit and others.
“We’re very excited about this new technology,” says Larry Lucchino. “First of all, you really have to question the mentality of anyone who talks on a cellphone during a ballgame, beyond the two minutes it takes to call the babysitter and check on the kids or some such thing. We’ve developed laser sensors throughout the park that will actually melt a cellphone that has been in use for more than two minutes.” As punishment for obnoxious cellphone usage, the Sox plan to run a “Cellphone Nitwit” slide show on the video screen each night, which will identify and humiliate those fans whose idea of a good time at the ball park is to excessively talk on the cellphone, annoying everyone around them in the process. To combat problem drinking at the park, every person who consumes an excessive amount of beer during the course of a game will be shown on the video screen and identified on the P.A. system. “Think about it,” says Lucchino. “You’re a lot less likely to make a drunken idiot out of yourself if you’re shown on the screen with the P.A. announcer telling 34,000 people, 'And there’s John Doe making yet another trip to the concession stand. Folks, that’s his tenth beer of the evening. What a lush!'”
The plan is to also identify fans who arrive at the game in the middle innings, those who leave early during relatively close games, and anyone who seems more intent on trying to bat a beachball around than watch a game.
“What it all comes down to is we have a small park and we want the most deserving fans watching the game,” says Lucchino. “The cellphone addicts, the drunks, and the wannabe fans can take their tired acts someplace else. We now have the technology to make it happen.”