When did going to a game become such a beating?

I love going to baseball games. Being in a stadium and watching a game in person is just a better experience than watching it on TV. Or, at least it’s supposed to be.

One of the problems, for those of us who care about the actual game, with becoming a popular team is that it attracts people who just want to do the current cool thing. That tends to make the ballpark a less than ideal place to be for someone who just wants to watch live baseball, especially in a fair-weather area like DFW.

I was at the Felix-Yu matchup last night sitting in section 47 directly in front of the idiot that ran onto the field in the seventh inning. That guy was with three or four friends and they were a complete beating all night. Here are some things I overheard:

  • Them wanting to go “teach a lesson” to someone wearing a Seahawks Russell Wilson jersey because that just shouldn’t happen in “our” stadium.
  • Every other word being a f-bomb. I curse, a lot at times, when I’m around friends that I know don’t care. I’d never be crass enough to yell it to my friends with hundreds of strangers around.
  • How running on the field was on this guys bucket list and he just had to do it.
  • How he was afraid his dad would kick him out of the house because bail would be so much.
  • Trying to get a friend to do it with him saying he would pay their bail. These last two seem to contradict each other.
  • How he’d had 7 beers already so he wouldn’t feel a taser, but he needed one more before he did it.

That was when my fiancée and I left those seats and found somewhere better to watch the last two innings of the game.

On top of all that, here’s how the rest of my section decided to watch the top of the seventh:


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Yep, they’re watching and cheering, very loudly, for the wave they were trying to start.

I know this sounds like some old man complaining. But at what point are people being jackasses and taking away from the enjoyment of people who want to watch the game too much? Going to games means too much to me to just stop doing it entirely but it may become something I do less frequently as the season goes on.

But hey, at least we got to see this at the end of the night:

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And that makes it worth it.




Michael Young Trade Feedback: Facebook Edition

As everyone knows by now, the Rangers did something that really needed to be done over the weekend and traded Michael Young. It’s a move that’s going to be good for the Rangers, Young himself and, if MY rebounds even a little bit from his disastrous 2012 season, the Phillies.

However, even with the deal being a good move for the team it was still a bittersweet day. I’ve been pretty unapologetic in my criticism of Young’s play, especially on Twitter, but I understand and appreciate what he’s given to the Rangers over the past 12 seasons. It will be very, very strange not hearing Young introduced on Opening Day. But, this move makes the Rangers a better team next season and that’s what’s most important here.

Of course, not everyone sees it that way. And what better way to see how people feel than taking a look at Facebook?

The official Rangers Facebook page hasn’t posted anything about the trade yet, probably in part so their social media guy doesn’t have to deal with moderating the comments on it. That hasn’t stopped people from sounding off on other posts though.

So, presented without comment, a selection of Facebook reactions to the MY trade and the Rangers offseason in general. I’ve removed any identifying info but these are all actual comments.




Please don’t be this guy

Last night was about as perfect of a night you can get at Rangers Ballpark in August. It was 86 degrees at game time with a good breeze going, Ryan Dempster showed why the Rangers traded for him and the Rangers got a nice, easy win.

But, all of that isn’t good enough for some people. So, in the seventh inning, with Nelson Cruz batting, a couple guys tried to get the wave going two sections down from me. And here they are:

That’s right, it doesn’t matter at all what’s going on on the field to these guys, it’s just all about them. But, Nelson Cruz struck out so this attempt died.

In the top of the eighth, Dempster was trying to put the finishing touches on a one run, four hit outing. Again, this just wasn’t impressive to most of the crowd as the wave was going full steam with two outs and Nate McLouth at bat. After the ninth pitch of the at bat the wave finally stopped. McLouth flied out to center on the tenth pitch.

My view of most of Ryan Dempster’s last batter.

Oh, Elvis Andrus also made what’s probably the best defensive play I’ve ever seen in person.




King Felix

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

I’ve been working on a post for later tonight about how tough it’s been watching Rangers baseball at times this season. Winner expectations, a divide in the fan base, a stubborn manager, questionable media. That type of stuff.

But then, Felix Hernandez goes and throws what might be the best perfect game ever and all of a sudden you’re reminded why baseball is fun.

So, yeah, that other stuff can wait a few more days.




Frank DeFord wants the wave to disappear

Noted sportswriter Frank DeFord did a commentary on NPR yesterday on how to measure the greatest Olympian. He talks about comparing athletes between sports and generations but then goes off on a tangent about the wave.

Aren’t you sick of the wave? It’s been around since the 1970s, it’s not fun any more, but it’s mandatory to go along if some unoriginal idiot starts it up. Otherwise, you’re not a good sport. Please. But, here it is again, periodically at the Olympics. Even Prince William and Kate had to join in when some dimwit started it at the tennis matches.

Yeah, he nailed the landing on that one.




Donald Trump Does The Wave

Well, if you ever needed a definitive reason not to do the wave, I think this just about covers it.



Oh, this also happened at Yankee Stadium in the 7th inning of a game the Yankees were losing 3-2, which is just sad by itself.




New Stop The Wave signs at Rangers Ballpark

Over the past few days Chuck Morgan has shown off a couple new Stop The Wave signs at Rangers Ballpark. I’m not sure how well they worked but at least Chuck’s still trying to do something about the wave.

First up was The Lone Ranger:

And then how can you say “No” to the one and only Chuck Norris?

Big thanks to @mtt71769 for both of those pics.

These signs also have people from other cities wishing their park would do the same.

look, in TEX the scoreboard tells fans to NOT do the wave. could we pls get this at Citi Field?? http://t.co/w5PfYl48 (h/t @)
@metsgrrl
Caryn / metsgrrl.com

And Toronto? RT @ (...) could we pls get this at Citi Field?? http://t.co/S4j8ywxr (h/t @)
@KJay1122
KayJay

Would love it if the @ did this. MT @: in TEX scoreboard tells fans NOT do the wave http://t.co/KRwrwG47 (h/t @)

But this is what we really need.

Maybe someday.




The Braves are giving out the best bobblehead ever

On Saturday, June 9th, the Atlanta Braves are giving out the greatest bobblehead ever created.

That, of course, is celebrating the famous Sid Bream slide that won the Braves the National League Championship in 1992. Which, if you haven’t seen it lately, looked like this:




As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Atlanta until 1996 and was naturally a huge Braves fan. After an entire decade of terrible baseball in Atlanta the Braves had the World Series stolen from them thanks to questionable Metrodome conditions and blatant cheating by the Twins lost the 1991 World Series to the Twins in seven games. (Last season the Twins released a bobblehead featuring an infamous, to Braves fans at least, incident during game 2 of that series.) No one really expected the Braves to make it back in ’92; much like long time Rangers fans people were just conditioned to the Braves losing.

However, there they were back in the NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth of game 7. Good things happened and Sid Bream, quite possibly the slowest man on the planet at the time, beat Barry Bonds throw and the Braves were back in the World Series. Unfortunately, The Braves would go on to lose the World Series to the Blue Jays in six games (they wouldn’t get back until 1995, when they finally won) and the Pirates haven’t had a season above .500 since.

I remember watching that game live on TV. As a 10 year-old baseball fanatic it was quite possibly the greatest moment of my life up to that point. I really want one of these things but since I’m in Dallas now and can’t get back to Atlanta on such short notice I need some help. If you can in any way help me get one please get in touch with me and let’s work something out.




The Rangers are The Avengers

(After a tough 4-2 loss to the Angels Saturday afternoon, Ron Washington and Mike Scioscia meet on the field during batting practice. A tense conversation happens between them.)

Scioscia: What have I to fear?

Wash: The Rangers. You know, the team’s that beat you the last two years. Some are even saying an “Earth’s Best Team” type thing.

Scioscia: Yes, I’ve met them.

Wash: Yeah, it’s taken us a while to get any national traction, I’ll give you that one. But let’s do a head count here: your former catcher that you, for some insane reason, traded for Vernon effing Wells; the Face of the Franchise, a living legend that doesn’t quite live up to the legend, but still, he’s pretty good; a right-fielder with a breath-taking boomstick; a couple of the best middle-infielders in the game, and you, and your team, you’ve managed to piss off every single one of them.

Scioscia: That was the plan.

Wash: Not a great plan. When they play, and they WILL, they’ll come for you.

Scioscia: I have Jared Weaver.

Wash: We have Hamilton.




Tom Grieve tells people to stop watching the game

Big wave night around the league tonight. There was one at Rangers Ballpark that received louder cheers than Colby Lewis striking out back-to-back hitters. Then there was another one in Los Angeles when Bryce Harper got his first major league hit that included some moron mooning the camera.

But all of that pales in comparison to the fact that Tom Grieve told people to stop watching or listening to the Rangers game in an incredibly passively-aggressive manner tonight.

Here is the full audio of the third inning thanks to @RangersExpress. It’s unedited and includes the top and bottom of the inning. I’ll hit the highlights below.

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Dave, it’s been another heavy day in the food department. So much so that I’m going to have to warn the food detractors [Barnett laughs] that they may want to go the refrigerator, they may want to turn down the sound.

You want to watch a baseball game and actually hear someone talk about it in the process? Too bad! In fact, why don’t you just go do something else while we waste everyone’s time for an entire inning.

If they choose not to, I promise we will not talk over a pitch, or a ball in play, but there’s going to be a number of announcements. Now that’s the early warning to those people that don’t like to hear the food talk. I want to be fair to everybody. If you don’t want to hear it, be careful because it’s just about to come flowing out.

Well, that’s just bullshit. On Wednesday Tom talked cookies for one minute and twenty-two seconds straight. During that time Scott Feldman threw 4 pitches that were never even mentioned. Not what he threw, what the batter was doing, nothing. Just uninterrupted cookie talk.

And how nice that TAG wants to be “fair” to people that want to watch a baseball game! Apparently a large number of the record ratings Fox Sports Southwest is getting this season want to hear nothing but food talk. So TAG is just being fair to everybody.

The rest of the top of the inning is then spent talking about French waffle cookies, homemade almond flour muffins, chocolate pretzels and banana pudding. The only times the game is mentioned is when a ball is put in play or Colby Lewis strikes someone out.

And TAG wasn’t kidding about there being a lot of this nonsense to talk about.

I got so many of them I didn’t even get through them! We’re going to have to go to the bottom of the inning!

When they come back for the bottom of the inning there is a promo spot for a travel package to San Diego for the Rangers series there. TAG and Dave then spend a few seconds talking about how great of a trip that would be to go to Petco and see it. Which is great! They’re talking about a baseball related matter which is exactly what should happen during the game down time.

However, the food talk is not done yet. This time Dave brings it up and gives TAG the green light to beat us all down some more.

[Barnett] You’ve still got a little more work to do. [Grieve] I do, I do, I’m trying to pick my spots here and be very aware of the people that don’t want to hear about the food, I have to be careful. Trying to please everybody.

Wow, more passive-aggressiveness! I’m so sorry TAG has to be careful to not piss off people that want to just watch and hear about the baseball game.

And with that you can come back and turn on the sound, the cookie talk is over.

Finally, the cookie talk is over! It’s so good to hear that it’s safe to start watching my favorite team’s game again.

Obviously, I know baseball is a slow game and there is a lot of down time and dead air to fill during a broadcast. I also know that it’s not necessary to talk baseball 100% of the time during a broadcast. But spending an entire inning giving shout-outs to people that bring you food solely to get their name read on TV is ridiculous. If Grieve is acknowledging and addressing the complaints on air then he and FSSW know there are a lot of people complaining about it. And for Grieve to be so overt in his criticism about people that don’t like the food talk is unprofessional at best.

One thing I don’t understand is how Grieve and Barnett can seem so completely disinterested in the game this early in the season. The Rangers are an insanely good team, quite possibly the best in baseball. There shouldn’t be a lack of things to talk about. For FSSW and Grieve and Barnett to spend so much time taking the attention away from the game is just disrespectful to the team on the field.

Five years ago when the Rangers were not by any measure a good team I can understand wanting to take the attention away from them. But this current team and their recent history deserves more respect from their broadcast partners.