Monday, May 05, 2014

There Is Stealing In Baseball

It's a good thing. The crowd loves it. Sit through any baseball game and if one of the players steals a base, everyone applauds. Announcers get excited, wondering if the steal sign is on. There is stealing in baseball.

So how was Porsha Summeries to know that stealing at the ballpark isn't legal in all circumstances?

The steal sign was on
One of Ms. Summeries' fellow employees noticed that her cash drawer was a little light on more than one occasion. When that happens, the holder of said cash drawer is responsible for the shortage and is expected to make good on the funds. Anyone who works in the restaurant industry for any length of time soon learns to keep a close eye on the cash drawer because you can't trust anyone these days.

At Wrigley Field, on a chilly spring evening, Ms. Summeries thought the steal sign was on.

Her co-worker had no idea why the case drawer was short on at least three occasions, for a total loss of $1400. A considerable sum to a food worker, and as you'd expect, management questioned all the people working at the restauran. Ms Summeries admitted to taking the cash. She gave $200 to some other guy working at the ball park, she said, but failed to indicate if he was the coach who told her to steal. Perhaps she was a rogue base runner thinking she had a clear path to extra funds.

After signing a statement admitting to the theft, Ms. Summeries learned that the punishment for stealing beyond the confines of the actual field is a felony, which means prison. There's no baseball in prison. The cells are too small.

She gave back what she still had on her, but unfortunately, it isn't a case of "no blood, no foul" in America's sport. A felony is a felony, and the fact that she tried to make it look like someone else did the crime is not exactly cause for consideration. At some point, Ms. Summeries realized this. Probably when management called in the police and she was arrested for felony theft.

The young lady is due back in court on Friday to face charges. In the meantime, she's out of a job.

That's what happens when you try to steal when it isn't allowed. Who would have guessed that you would need that much baseball knowledge to work at a Wrigley Field restaurant? Surrounded by people chattering excitedly about stealing? Is it her fault, Your Honor? Or is it management's fault for extolling the glories of stealing without fully explaining to its employees that stealing is permissible within certain boundaries that were not defined for Ms. Summeries' edification?

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