A Public Crime, or a Bad Publicity Stunt?

 
 
Deadspin/ M J Morning Show

Got to say, the recent story on Deadspin about the kid being offered a (alleged) beer during a Tampa Bay Rays game had me thinking the worst until I noticed a  glitch in the second picture from the next seating section. If this photographer had taken both pictures (not) of a child holding the (alleged) beer in his hand with no photos of any motion towards his mouth in any of the photos.

There has been more than one mention in a local circle that a local Morning Show from a Tampa-based radio station first posted and provided these photos, are probably the culprits in this whole sham episode. How many Rays fans remember a few years back when M J and a show cohort pulled off a possible marriage photo in the local fish wrap, The St. Petersburg Times weekly Wedding section. No one was any the wiser before the Morning Show came out and confessed that it was a staged stunt and that it was done to attract listeners.


I suspect this is another dysfunctional adventure in the ever-changing escapades of M J and his bunch of co-hosts. There are too many holes and inconsistent actions by the photographer (Gabriels wife) who took these photos to be anything but either a staged event, or one where the cooperation and participation of the two subjects (one a minor, the other an adult) might have netted them a bit of notoriety, but not Internet stardom…sorry.

First, it was stated that Gabriel (if that is your real name) saw the young Rays fan during last Saturday night’s game with a golden-colored beverage in his hand after the adult in attendance with him at the game came back with two beverages. The first thing that puzzles me is the positioning of “Gabriel” to the two subjects in question ( 1 row behind them). If you are that close, wouldn’t you as an adult question the other adult for making such a blatant mistake in judgment as to giving a child a beverage he can not have for possibly another 11 years?

According to “Gabriel”, the adult told the child “Here is yours”. That in itself doesn’t bring  a huge amount of credibility to it being an alcoholic beverage at all. And gold-colored drinks are not always what you might expect. If you really take a sharp look at the photos, there is not presence of beer bubbles lining the sides or bottom of the cup at all, which as all adults know, is the fun additive of CO2 to perk up our favorite concoctions.

The St. Petersburg Times article states that “Gabriel” did not confront the adult in question even though the action itself is considered  a crime called “Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor”. But another neighboring Rays concerned fan contacted a member of Rays Security, probably after some prodding and chatter from “Gabriel”.


Secondly, Rays Security did look into the situation and probably found that the beverage was not what it appeared to be, and left it at that. If it had been a alcoholic beverage, you can be sure there are Rays game day procedures in place for a Rays Security Supervisor to investigate the situation, then make his recommendation to either discard the issue, or consult with the multitudes of St. Petersburg Police Department personnel at every Rays game.
 

Deadspin/M J Morning Show

If the beverage in question was (allegedly) beer, the proper authorities, like the St. Petersburg Police and Rays Fan Host personnel would have escorted both the adult and child to another location to conclude their evaluation of the event.


Third, as a former Pepsi Special Events Coordinator who had Tropicana Field as one of my major accounts for many years, I know that the bar areas of Tropicana Field do not put Ginger Ale, Club Soda or Tonic Water in regular Pepsi paper cups that are used primarily for  Pepsi carbonated soda beverages. The Trop. does however use a clear plastic 16 oz cup for beverages purchased in the bar locations in conjunction with a fountain gun system connected to either to a 5-gallon post-mix Bag-in-the-Box, or a 5-gallon pre-mix tank located somewhere in that bar area.
Lastly, if it was truly an adult beverage, surely the Rays fan to the right of the child in question would have at least mentioned the fact or accosted the adult for their inappropriate actions. The fact that Rays Security decided not to press the issue shows that it was investigated, and deemed to be a beverage other than a cold Coors Light or Miller Lite.

I sometimes personally buy a cranberry and pineapple juice from one of the bar locations in Tropicana Field. It doesn’t have a lick of alcohol, but does have a indication of being a mixed drink. But if I was to let me daughter or a small child drink from that beverage, I can see it being misidentified as an adult beverage and the level of concern would rise accordingly.

Centerplate
also used to buy from my Pepsi location Ginger Ale, Tonic and Club Soda by the case in 10 oz glass bottles for use mainly in their party areas as mixers for adult beverages. But they have also been put into cups and given to children who might have upset stomach or ate too much cotton candy. 
This could be a secondary origin of the (alleged) adult beverage in question.

 
Deadspin/ M J Morning Show

Glass bottles are not permitted in the seating bowl of Tropicana Field, so it could have been poured into that size cup by a stadium concession stand worker or a Rays bartender. In stadium beer vendor in the stands do not carry that size cups with them, or have access to that size cups for beverages. Either way, it is highly unlikely that with more than one adult near this child that a (alleged(beer) would have been given and consumed within plain sight at a Rays game.


Also, we are forgetting that it might have been a beverage, like apple juice brought in by the adult since sealed juice items can be brought into Tropicana Field for consumption by the Rays young fans. The adult could have gotten the cup from a bar stand vendor after purchasing his own adult beverage. My personal opinion, it is another promotional sham/scam by M J and his cronies, and this one is not funny at all.

Under age drinking is a crime, and carries some heavy penalties and future restrictions for adults violating such restrictions. No one in their right mind would give a full cup, or even a sip of their beer to a minor in a controlled environment like A Rays game unless they either wanted to be caught, or were trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. Sorry M J, the sober Rays fans see right through you……clearly.

12 Comments

This is just… weird. I smell a sham… a sham WOW perhaps. BAM!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
Sometimes it is a shame that an aging disc jockey has to resort to such trickery toget people to listen to his broadcasts. Usually that is a sign that you have lost touch with your audience. But then again, why would a guy older than 50 want to be on a Top 40, bubble gum pop station?
I truly think there are enough safe guards and also adults who are firm in their belief systems for a kid to not be swigging a beer in the stands at a baseball game.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Thank you for the comments. And, even more so, for being so gracious in the face of some of my offhanded remarks about your guys. It IS magnified within the division.
kind regards in baseball,
Michael
http://thomasox.mlblogs.com/

Michael,
Everyone say things in the heat of battle, or within the guest of contests that can be taken either with ot without a grain of salt.
I am not teflon to comments about the Rays, but I also recognize and accept that everyone doesn’t see the world or even my part of the globe in the same way.
You are welcome. I do not get on a huge bandwagon of rants and raves unless the spirit moves me.
But then again, it is a divisional fight, and those are vital to each of our teams successes past the first week in October.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

As someone who can knowingly put almost anything in almost anyone hand or put almost anyone in almost any situation and make it look real, I have to say these look set up, fake like an ex’s smile…. they need better pr not picture playground….

-peter
Phillies Outside

Peter,
I would never have thought of you as the prankster or the guy to put someone in a ackward position…but you learn something every day.
I agree totally that if you wanted to make it look real, then you make sure you have a confrontation at some moment in the situation to draw attention and a bit of clarity and reality to it.
Could have been worse…..They could have given him a glass of merlot that they sell in the stadium. Wine would have sealed the deal…

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I see you’ve added another dimension to your blogging, Renegade. In addition to being an expert in baseball, music and travel, you’re now a full-fledged detective! I love how you tried to get to the bottom of this story and reveal the facts!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Btw, I love your profile pic with David Price!

Jane,
I am just a jack of all trades, and a master of none. Plain and simple.
But because I know the beverage industry, it was easy for me to decypher this one to be bogus and not an issue.
But, the worst part is it made a national website and a blog column on the “St. Petersburg Times”.
Guess this blog shows that things are not always as they appear……most of the time.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Jane,
It was taken recently, and I loved that he wore an “Josie Altidore” English Premier League Hull City jersey to the event.
I suspect this was the soccer jersey of choice for the Rays recent soccer jersey flight to Atlanta. I am still a bit miffed no one wanted to wear my Tampa Bay Rowdies old style Rodney Marsh jersey….He was the “Clown Prince of Soccer”.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Marissa,
I am not totally sure, but I would think that if it did anywhere, it would be in that small stand just after the escalator coming up to the First Base Food Court area.
Still the photo shows not bubbles or even the froth that most beers tend to leave on the plastic.
I truly think we will find soon enough that this is a ruse and that the St. Pete Time took it hook, line and sinker.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Does the Trop sell non-alcoholic beer ? Just thought that could be another answer to the beer-colored beverage in a plastic cup only used in the bar areas.

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