A Drunken Fan Plunges to His Death at a Baseball Game. So Why Aren’t We Canceling Baseball Games?

bravesgame

August 29th, 2015.  A drunken fan plunges to his death at an Atlanta Braves game (vs. the New York Yankees).  The fan, Greg Murrey, fell from the upper deck while wildly screaming at Alex Rodriguez, who was stepping up to plate.  Murrey died almost instantly after hitting his head directly on concrete stairs 50 feet below, one of several deaths that have occurred at Turner Field over the years.

Result: The Braves game is momentarily delayed, then resumed after Murrey is stretchered out.  The next day, members of the Braves observe a moment of silence for Murrey.  Nobody even mentions cutting back on baseball games, much less restricting alcohol sales at the stadium itself.

 

harddeath

 

August 1st, 2015.  Two women in their young 20s die at HARD Festival in Pomona, CA, one of cardiac arrest and the other from seizure-related symptoms.  Drug overdoses are strongly suspected in both cases.

Result:

(a) September 10th’s ‘HARD Presents…A Night at the Fairplex’ is outright canceled.

(b) ‘HARD Day of the Dead,’ which starts October 31st, is scaled back from a 65,000 capacity to a 40,000 person show.

(c) ‘Day of the Dead’ is also changed to a strict 21-and-over admission policy, hours are scaled back, and both cooling stations and drug education centers are mandated.

(d) Further measures are threatened, including additional cancellations.

42 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Because Darwin Award winners should not dictate consequences for the rest of us.

    Or, if you want to look at it in a more objective way, how many people have fallen off baseball stadiums, when compared to all the people who have ever sat by a railing at a baseball stadium.

    Reply
      • Anonymous

        Uh…I did…

        If you’re saying anything other than the MLB should be doing more after that incident, please correct me. Because they shouldn’t. One out of probably hundreds of thousands of people that sit on upper decks fell off. It’s basically like you trying to ban stairs since I’m sure someone fell down some and died today.

        Reply
        • Willy

          Just to be clear, there’s not actually any “article”. There are two captioned photos and a sort of outline.

          But I think the author’s point is not about MLB safety. Rather he’s arguing that there should not be a double standard for the continuation of an event after an intoxicated fan’s death.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            wait wait wait wait.

            Nice try Paul. You’re the one calling for festivals to have all sorts of repercussions and shut downs when people die. SXSW should be shut down because some crazy person drove through barriers. EDM festivals should be shut down because dumb people take too many drugs. Don’t act like all of a sudden you’ve been defending festivals’ rights to stay open. I don’t think HARD should have closed either. Not their fault people make bad choices.

          • Paul Resnikoff
            Paul Resnikoff

            Respectfully, I think you’re conflating about three different topic areas, and attributing opinions to me that I haven’t made.

            The root question I’m asking is this: why aren’t baseball games being given the same scrutiny and rough treatment as EDM festivals? This isn’t the first time this has happened at Turner Field for example: several years ago, a father plunged to his death – in front of his son – after trying to grab a baseball that was tossed out by one of the players.

            In other baseball stadia, other incidents have occurred, resulting in death or injury. At Fenway recently, a fragment of a bat hit a fan, for example. So, you have shards of wood and baseballs flying out into the crowd at extremely high speeds, with regularity, and fans plunging to their deaths. Sure, the probability overall is extremely low, but then again, so is the probability of an overdose at a rave.

            Is the percentage higher at a rave? Probably. Does that make it okay to ban a rave, and not a baseball game? I’m not so sure.

            But beyond this, we have incidents involving seriously bad decision-making. Plunging over a railing is either an extremely freak and unfortunately accident, or the result of extreme stupidity. OD’ing on Molly is tragic, but also the result of extremely bad decision-making.

            Do we blame the events, especially if there are reasonable precautions put into place (ie, limits on beer sales, guardrails, warnings posted, drug tents and water at EDM events, etc.)?

          • Anonymous

            So are you saying the EDM punishments were too harsh cuz you’ve been the one calling for that..?

            Otherwise, not sure what the point in even bringing up baseball is.

          • jw

            Jesus, Paul. That happened at GLP in Arlington at a Rangers’ game. Not at Turner Field.

            The only other accidental death at Turner Field was a drunk guy trying to slide down the staircase railing.

            Why should anyone believe anything that you write? You don’t bother to fact check even the tiniest thing. You could just wikipedia this shit.

            You have no clue what you’re talking about when it comes to this stuff.

            But between these two incidents there was almost 600 games played at Turner Field with 25-30,000 people at each game. That’s over 15 million attendees without any accidental deaths. (One suicide in 2013, but those are largely unavoidable.)

            If one person was dying per every 15,000,000 EDM festival attendees, no one would be trying to shut anything down. But that’s just not the case.

            So what does it say when baseball is a sport where projectiles are flying around at 100mph with tens of thousands of fans in striking distance, & where fans are perched hundreds of feet in the air in these giant stadiums, & yet it’s 100x more safe than attending a lights & sound EDM festival?

            By comparing EDM festivals to baseball, the point you’re making is actually the opposite of what you’re intending.

          • jw

            There’s a GIGANTIC difference between allowing for people to do something stupid every now that’s out of control of the venue, & a venue creating an atmosphere that encourages dangerous things to happen.

            And the difference is in the way people are dying (i.e. if it’s the same thing each time) & how often they’re dying (deaths per attendees). And you don’t seem to have considered either of these points, which are really the only points you should’ve considered.

            And you still haven’t retracted your bogus, entirely unsubstantiated hunch that this guy was drunk.

            What a joke. DMN is a total joke.

    • Vail, CO

      Doesn’t sound right. If you’re ill, passing out or suffering nausea or something, you don’t get up an scream like a maniac then fall over unless you’re trying to kill yourself (another possibility). Probably drunk, but autopsy will tell.

      Reply
  2. anon

    Because there are more drug-related deaths at music festivals then there are deaths at baseball games. Compare the number of deaths at music festivals in the past 5 years compared to number of deaths at baseball games in the past 50 years and you have your answer.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      This was going to be my point. Not that I agree there should be scrutiny at festivals, but music festivals (i’ll bet) has a higher amount of illegal narcotics on site than a sporting event, where alcohol is legal.

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Considering the configuration of many of the stadiums, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. And considering the cheapness of human life, this situation is more funny than tragic.

    Reply
  4. Rickshaw

    Oh crap, Paul. Is this how you start up another discussion around the SXSW driver who ran people over? These are two different things. Stop using a tragedy to validate your stance on another one. Sheesh

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      huh? That was a totally different situation, which raised serious issues of law enforcement policy (ie, pursuing a suspect in a high-speed chase in a densely-crowded area, for starters).

      Reply
      • Rickshaw

        Exactly my point. The situations are different, yet Paul chooses to use this one to make a “point” and try to dredge up the previous situation.

        Reply
    • Name2

      Yeah, the SXSW driver was black, so Paul’s never gonna let that one go. Might as well pour yourself a tall cold one.

      Overall, looking at recent articles, I’d say Resnikoff FINALLY got laid by a 19-yo at an EDM festival, so it’s now the best genre ever on DMN. And specifically, the more intoxicated females at EDM shows, the better Paul’s chances, so he’s REALLY not gonna let this one go.

      Reply
  5. jw

    Toxicology reports are pending & will not be available for several weeks. Where the hell is your source that he was drunk?

    >> Arnold says he watched Greg Murrey nurse one beer over the seven
    >> innings they sat next to each other at Saturday’s game between the
    >> Braves and the Yankees.

    The stuff you do on here now is pure shit, Paul. Just pure shit. You used to just be mostly wrong. Now you write like an asshole with no regard for truth or people, just petty agendas.

    Reply
    • jw

      But just to humor you, there are 2430 baseball games played per season, with about 30,000 fans attending each game, so like 70 million per season. And the league averages fewer than .5 deaths per year.

      So how many folks attend EDM festivals in the US per year? A few million? There are only a handful of festivals that draw more than the average baseball game. And yet how many folks are dying each year? Of drug overdoses & poorly assembled equipment & heat strokes? A dozen? Two dozen? More than that?

      I don’t know what the statistics are. Let’s ballpark it with what seems like very generous numbers… 5 million festival attendees per year (considering day’s attendance an “attendee”), & 18 deaths. That’s .5 per 70m vs 17 per 5m, or .00000003 vs 0.000003 per person. So using that math you’re like 100x more likely to die at an EDM festival than a baseball game. Not twice as likely or five times as likely. 100 times more likely. (Anyone with the real numbers about EDM festivals who wants to correct my math is welcome to.)

      The reason that baseball games aren’t cancelled is because there’s no reason to believe it would save any lives. In fact, it statistically wouldn’t. There’s never been an instance of two fans dying in two days at pro baseball stadiums, much less two games by the same team. Whereas canceling an EDM festival, or downsizing attendees so that security & resources can keep people more safe, could very well save one or two lives. Baseball is inherently dangerous… there’s dozens of foul balls flying into the stands at each game. And yet when anyone dies, it’s almost always a freak accident (like this one). No one with half a brain buys your bullshit about this guy being drunk. (I mean it’s totally fucked up for you to suggest several times in this article.) Whereas EDM isn’t inherently dangerous, & yet reports of deaths are supposed to just be considered a cost of doing business.

      That’s fucked up. It’s cold & it’s calloused. You write as if you’re getting paid by these festivals. If you were a real journalist you’d be calling for better organization & stricter security. More festivals with smaller, better managed crowds. But you’re siding with the business guys who are just trying to cash in on the EDM trend & milk it until they run it completely into the ground. It’s fucked up.

      This site is just horse shit now.

      Reply
      • jw

        Also, in googling for stats, I came across Nina’s calloused DMN coverage of the HARD festival deaths, wherein she makes completely ridiculous arguments.

        >> Belligerently drunk individuals are part of sporting events.

        >> Did you know that around 6.2 people die at baseball
        >> games every year? Should we prohibit baseball games
        >> until an investigation is conducted?

        If 6.2 people die at baseball games every year, it’s not MLB games. That’s got to include little league games & high school games & college games & minor league games… I don’t know where she got her statistic, but I’d love a citation. (Then again, a citation on DMN??? Keep dreaming.) The reality is that, since the MLB began building major stadiums in the 60’s, less than two dozen fans have died at baseball games. In 50 years. Playing thousands of games per year. And yet that number is eclipsed in just the last couple of years of EDM festivals.

        What a stupid argument.

        Should sports stadiums be safer? Absolutely. But are they unsafe? Only 1/100th as unsafe as attending an EDM festival.

        For what it’s worth, only 1 of the 3 deaths at Turner Field involved alcohol. And I don’t really think the death that was ruled a suicide should be used to justify EDM concerts.

        Reply
        • Name2

          It is when your level of debate/argument is that of an innumerate college sophomore.

          In case you haven’t noticed, DMN…. not good with numbers.

          Reply
          • Name2

            Oh, or intellectual honesty. Phew! Almost forgot that one!

          • jw

            Well I mean I wouldn’t expect Nina to know her ass from her elbow when it comes to baseball, or even statistics in general. Everyone knows she’s just a sassy blogger with no real journalism experience. But I at least believe that she thinks she’s right. Even if she’s only seeking out data that supports her presupposition, I think she believes that 6.2 is a meaningful statistic.

            But consider it. Yes, every now & again someone reaches too far to catch a foul ball or has a medical emergency next to the railing or even gets struck and killed by a piece of equipment, but these are freak accidents that are difficult to plan for & each time they happen, thousands of games go by before they happen again. And all sorts of safety measures have been continually implemented over the years. Whereas each time there’s a huge EDM festival, you EXPECT 1 or 2 deaths & nothing significant changes. If people died at baseball games like that, there would be 50 or more deaths per season and NO ONE would go to games. Even if 6 people died at MLB baseball games per year, DRASTIC & SWEEPING changes would be implemented at baseball stadiums across the U.S. And not only that, but football stadiums & basketball arenas. Because those teams just can’t afford for people to be scared to show up at their games. But the EDM festival owners know that the deaths aren’t scaring kids away. Even though they aren’t freak accidents. They know that kids with no experience with drugs & no supervision are going to be showing up at their festivals & taking drugs for the first time. And they may be caught in the middle of 100,000 people & they might be disoriented & they might not be able to find medical help should they need it. Or there could be an equipment failure & half the stage may fall on the crowd. Those types of things DO NOT & WOULD NOT happen at a modern pro baseball game. There is just no comparison whatsoever.

            But at least she found a statistic from somewhere to cite, even if it’s a dumb one. Paul just makes shit up out of thin air to support his agenda. This isn’t the first time & it won’t be the last. It’s offensive. I don’t know people take this site seriously. I used to show up to disagree, but lately it’s just too much. It’s too petty, & it’s offensive how Paul is pushing the agendas of monied interests. I’ve unsubscribed from e-mail, unfollowed on social media, & I regret checking in out of pure morbid curiosity. The callous calls for profits above safety & above the value of the lives of kids who clearly don’t understand the risks they’re taking.

            I’m not against drugs at all, but a packed EDM festival is just not the place to experiment if you don’t know what you’re doing. And until the EDM accepts that, even at the cost of profits, there will be calls for change. Comparing these festivals to pro baseball just makes DMN look like callous idiots.

          • jw

            I mean that’s not even strong enough words. This article is fucking disgusting. The premise, the execution… to smear a dead baseball fan in defense of giant EDM festivals… it’s sad.

            You need to SERIOUSLY rethink how you’re handling this site, Paul.

          • jw

            Are you not even going to TRY & defend this site’s recent reporting, Paul?

            Not going to address your multiple assertions that this guy was drunk, despite it being repudiated elsewhere by 1st hand sources, & also with official word that toxicology reports won’t be available to confirm or deny for several weeks?

            Not going to toss out a source for a major piece of your headline? Or maybe name the other 3 or 4 fans who should’ve already died at baseball games this year according to Nina’s 6.2 per year statistic?

            Not going to correct that you attributed the 2011 Shannon Stone death at Globe Life Park in Arlington to Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta?

            Just going to go on pretending all of your shoddy journalism… didn’t happen?

            Is it just a better story for this guy to be drunk, & for the other fan to be a firefighter & father, rather than a drunk Mets fan sliding down the stairs? Are you just hoping that no one notices you’re making things up & swapping things out as if the true stories of these deaths don’t really matter?

            Why should anyone trust anything that’s written on DMN? Why should anyone assume that anything’s been fact checked? Or that there’s any legitimacy to the reporting at all? These are serious questions I’d love to hear a response to. And I’m sure there are others who would love to hear your justifications, too. I’d love to hear from you & from Nina, since you don’t seem to be exercising any editorial control whatsoever, on what criteria you guys use to judge what is & isn’t a reportable story, & to judge the quality of your pieces before you click publish. Because I’m operating under the impression that you guys are just operating on a combination of 1) being mouthpieces for individuals with financial interests in how these stories are reported in exchange for access & 2) just trying to rack up page views with sensational headlines, completely regardless of any shred of journalistic veracity.

            I think you owe it to your readers to defend your practices.

          • Nina Ulloa

            Here’s my source for the statistic. The book that this article references: http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2009/05/youre_out.html

            I should have included the source in my story.

            “1) being mouthpieces for individuals with financial interests in how these stories are reported in exchange for access”

            No one has paid me anything to sway my writing. In fact, companies and publicists have often been unhappy with the negatives in my reviews of their products and festivals.

          • jw

            >> …in exchange for access.

            I wasn’t suggesting anyone paid you. It’s the festivals & products I’m talking about. And the fact that you may have given a poor review here & there doesn’t change the fact that you’re outrageously pro-EDM festival.

            Also, you’re WAY less critical of products than you should be as a journalist, to the point where you’ve recommended products that could potentially open DMN readers up to privacy invasion or credit card theft.

            But if you read that article, it’s talking about ALL of baseball.

            >> They chronicled 850 baseball deaths in Death
            >> at the Ballpark, spanning professional, amateur,
            >> Little League, and even backyard pickup games.

            This is all of baseball. So your follow-up, (“Should we prohibit baseball games until an investigation is conducted?”) makes about as much sense as banning all dancing in the United States based on overdoses at an EDM festival. And you’re comparing tens if not hundreds of thousands of baseball games to a year’s worth of weekend EDM festivals. And EDM festivals are STILL more dangerous. Far more dangerous. This seems like an indictment of EDM to me.

            It seems to me that you either believed that these were Major League Baseball deaths (i.e. something that could actually be suspended & investigated) or, far less likely, you intentionally misled readers to believe that they were MLB deaths, omitting the source & setting up a comparison where some responsible party is assumed to exist. But the fact remains that you found this statistic & looked no further… seemingly not even taking the time to understand the statistic, let alone spending another 5 seconds googling “baseball deaths 2015,” because you already had the point you were trying to make. Your conclusion drove the “facts,” rather than the other way around. This is shamelessly pro-EDM reporting. It would’ve taken about 5 seconds to fact check this figure.

            I do really appreciate you responding, though.

          • Nina Ulloa

            Maybe you’re just outrageously pro-baseball and anti-EDM?

            I never said I was a journalist, that’s on you.

          • jw

            I’m pro-reasonable comparisons & pro-getting the facts right & anti-people dying & anti-making up lies about the recently deceased because it suits your agenda. (I’m looping Paul’s transgressions into this because he seems unwilling to participate.)

            Maybe this could all be solved by changing the site name to Digital Music “News”.

          • Name2

            Can’t stand sports myself, but I live in ‘Murrica, where sportsball fans are the most special snowflakes of all. Meanwhile, I can count on one hand the number of music festivals which have taken extra measures to ensure the comfort and safety of attendees. One of these life forms is cheap by our society’s standards and practices.

            And people getting crushed to death like at Electric Daisy? That’s just contempt on a scale not seen in the US since the Who in 1979. Accidents happen anywhere, but sportsball fans generally don’t get treated like animals.

          • Name2

            Can’t stand sports myself, but I live in ‘Murrica, where sportsball fans are the most special snowflakes of all. Meanwhile, I can count on one hand the number of music festivals which have taken extra measures to ensure the comfort and safety of attendees.

            One of these life forms is cheap by our society’s standards and practices. But people getting crushed to death like at Electric Daisy? That’s just contempt on a scale not seen in the US since the Who in 1979. Accidents happen anywhere, but sportsball fans generally don’t get treated like animals.

  6. Name2

    An update to the old Grateful Dead joke:

    Q: What do EDM-heads say when the drugs wear off?
    A: This music sucks.

    Reply
  7. jD

    You’re right. Ever been to a ball game? It’s ridiculous. Buncha WASTED children & families, seated in chairs, staring at a giant lawn for 3 hours. There’s a mascot promoting everyone to just be SILLY. It’s RIDICULOUS. It’s crazy they didn’t cancel the game, such hazardous activity all over the place. Security people stationed at every section of the stadium? NOT ENOUGH.

    Not like a rave, where mostly everyone is entirely aware and peacefully enjoying music. In fact, everytime I go to a festival, I feel 100% safe when I look around at the giant sober mob engulfing me. Where are the exits? Who cares! I’m in my hippied-out peace zone, man. Someone died a couple feet away from me? Musta been from too much love, bro. Keep the show going! Is that person doing coke? Na, security would have surely kicked them out, right?! It’s rock n roll time, not stop n frisk!

    … Thank you JW. I’m sick of this site’s lack of professional coverage. Who is funding DMN anymore? More clickbait than your promoted content below. I think I’ll read “11 People Who Died Shortly After Taking These Selfies” below… at least there will be some truth there.

    Reply
  8. William McDaniel

    Hey. To whomever defined this man as a “drunken fan” and a “victim of darwinism”, I ask…from where did you gather your facts?
    Inflammatory articles? The always accurate Internet? Or were you driven by your own self loathing?
    Did you get any information from people sitting alongside the man who died? I mean direct information, Sparky? Did you speak to the gentleman that were his guests at the game? How about the family and friends that knew the man well? Did any of you making said, above comments speak to any of these folks? Did you know this man?

    Victims of Darwinism don’t start companies that have lasted nearly 40 years (and continue on).They don’t make constant efforts and strides to build a better life for their family and friends. They don’t embrace new folks into that fold with open arms.
    You people speaking of drunkenness and Darwinism didn’t speak to anyone who was there or even close by when this man died. Where are the facts? Send me a credible link. Did you read a shitty article that had no insight or knowledge about the incident. A stupid fool of an author trying to cash in on the death of a son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many?
    If you can refute a word I’ve said with any direct personal knowledge, lemme know.

    Reply
  9. William McDaniel

    Wow. I was so ticked about this article from Paul,whatever his hack-ass name is, that I didn’t see all the posted comments calling out Paul/Captain Douche Knob for his uninformed and shitty article.
    Thanks guys! I knew Gregs friends and family. I knew him for a couple years. Not as well as them, obviously. The true loss is on those closest to him. He was a good guy folks. Really.
    Paul, you’re an idiot. You really are. Fuck off and leave good people alone.

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Why is everyone still assuming Gregory was drunk or even drinking for that matter. The toxicology reports will take weeks. He died of blunt trauma to head and torso after accidently falling 50 feet and hitting concrete. Please let this man’s family mourn his terrible death without all the callous speculation. If this was your family member would you be so quick to judge. Let the results of the tests speak for themselves and in the meantime try and have some empathy!

    Reply
  11. Writer is a moron

    First, your “article” is obviously skewed with your own crooked point of view. You allege, 2 days post loss, Mr. Murrey was “a drunken fan”. Do you have any evidence of this? Did you see a toxicology report? Your assumption is wreckless at best. Maybe he was drinking, but you wouldnt have known this on 8/31 when you drafted this garbage. Second, you suggest “one of several deaths at Turner”? Really? Several? There’s been 3. This tragedy, a confirmed drunkard falling while in the middle of a moronic act, and a suicide. Please check your facts before you puke this verbal diarrhea… And, what the hell are you talking about, cutting back or canceling baseball? Your suggestion is both idiotic and lacks any reasoning as to why or what alternative you’d suggest. A fan fell to his death, although horrible, but what will cutting back on baseball accomplish? I’m wondering at this point why I even wasted my time on a Digital Music News writer…

    Reply
  12. Writer is a moron

    First, your “article” is obviously skewed with your own crooked point of view. You allege, 2 days post loss, Mr. Murrey was “a drunken fan”. Do you have any evidence of this? Did you see a toxicology report? Your assumption is wreckless at best. Maybe he was drinking, but you wouldnt have known this on 8/31 when you drafted this garbage. Second, you suggest “one of several deaths at Turner”? Really? Several? There’s been 3. This tragedy, a confirmed drunkard falling while in the middle of a moronic act, and a suicide. Please check your facts before you puke this verbal diarrhea… And, what the hell are you talking about, cutting back or canceling baseball? Your suggestion is both idiotic and lacks any reasoning as to why or what alternative you’d suggest. A fan fell to his death, although horrible, but what will cutting back on baseball accomplish? I’m wondering at this point why I even wasted my time on a Digital Music News writer….

    Reply

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