Last night I was on the uptown platform at 103rd street. I had just missed a train. There was a tall, dark lady cop on the platform. I said hello as I passed her. Then, I started making small talk, about staying up late for the All-Star game. I asked if she ever worked up at the Stadium and she said that she did and that it was a fun beat.
"Unless, they are playing the Red Sox. Too much alcohol. Then we have to take people out."
She didn’t mean escort them out, she meant take them out. By any means necessary. She looked up the platform as we spoke and said there are usually around thirty arrests when the Sox are in town.
I held out my hand and introduced myself.
"My name is Jack," she said and pointed to her badge. It read, "Jack." Not Jackie, not Jacklyn. Jack.
Jack went on to tell me that when she works the Stadium she is stationed where the visiting players’ wives sit. She said the wives tell her how much safer it is at the Stadium than in other parks around the league. Go figure that, right?
"They told me that teams generally have to bring their own security with them at other places. Not here. Not since Steinbrenner adopted a zero-tolerance policy."
Jack then told me, with considerable pride, about how quickly two fans were bounced on two nights earlier during the home run derby. It was when Josh Hamilton hit one into the black seats and two kids chased after it. I was watching on TV and recall seeing a cop put his hands around one of the kids’ neck.
Jack shook her head and smiled.
She said that the cops working inside the Stadium are not on the job, they are paid privately "by Steinbrenner."
Hey, I’d feel pretty safe if Jack had my back. Man, it sure ain’t like the old days no more.