I made a number of mistakes with my post. I shouldn't have said Hamilton killed the firefighter, despite that being my opinion. It was too provocative and had an Ebert-like yellow journalism way to it like his tweet on the jackass.
I also shouldn't have written later on that what happened was akin to manslaughter, or I should have clarified that better and with more tact. What happened was more akin to involuntary manslaughter. Though I later learned that manslaughter can be involuntary when a death occurs while someone is carrying out a lawful act yet doesn't use enough precaution.
There were two people at the Globe forum who disagreed with me in a humane manner. It was easy for me to clarify and apologize to them for any discomfort caused by my words. Everyone else I simply found crude, trollish, hypocritical, and alarmingly missing the most basic of reading comprehension skills.
I agree with you that the first quote I cited didn't mean much. It was kind of like saying 2+2=4. The second one is where I felt he was shifting blame to the father. He said that one can't know what the person on the other end of the throw is thinking. I don't know. Maybe he has made some other statements expressing regret on how he threw the ball. I would have been like why was the rail so low, why was there no net, etc.. I would have admitted my shame of not throwing the ball high enough so the gentleman didn't have to lean over the rail.
Ultimately it it the team's fault. Like you say, throwing the ball to fans is done every game. Another issue I saw raised on a different forum was that you'd have to put netting and tarps almost everywhere in lieu of hiring Spiderman to sit in the stands ready to catch anyone falling.
I wonder if Hamilton knew what the area looked like which was covered with concrete. I'm curious if fans sitting in that area are cognizant of how far and what they will land on, if they go over the railing. I don't think this is a dumb question, considering how the A's announcers first reacted.
I hear you on the netting maybe asking for publicity seekers. Remember when the Yankee fan jumped on the backstop net and strangely enough he wasn't removed for many, many innings? That had to be the craziest thing I've ever seen live for a baseball game, though I somewhat remember a Cleveland pitcher losing control with the bases loaded. His pitched sailed into the net, and all three runners scored. I'm going by memory, so I may have a detail or two wrong on those stories. Texas Rangers Fan Dies After Fall
... Don't misunderstand, safety is a key factor, but some safety features, such as platforms or nets, also have the consequence of creating a false sense of security. Fans tend to lower their alertness with nets present leaving them more open to getting hit with balls or bats. People (and by people, I mean drunken idiots) may use nets to climb on or jump on at, say a Yankees game.
In fairness, police declined to say if alcohol was involved with the 18 year old and his decision to "see if the protective netting behind the plate could support the weight of a person".
Based on the video, I'm going to guess that he was intoxicated because of his look of, well, being intoxicated. At minimum, I hope he's intoxicated. What moron would jump into a net from 40 feet up to just test out if it could hold his weight? See, this is a yes / no question. "Can this net hold my weight?"
Yes: I land in it, look like an idiot, then get arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct plus I could seriously hurt myself.
No: It breaks and I fall into a crowd of people from a massive height.
Neither is a great choice.
Oh, and just so you're not confused, I'm talking about the 2005 fan who jumped in the net. Not the 2000 Yankees fan who, um, jumped in the net because he was dared to.
And he was drunk.
While neither was seriously hurt, they did suffer injuries. And those nets are not designed to catch people. At least, I don't think so....