The wave passing in front of the No Wave Zone sign. It ended after going through the outfield.
It was a good game out at the Ballpark this afternoon. The Rangers won 2-1, CJ Wilson had a good outing, Ian Kinsler hit a line drive for a change and Neftali Feliz made the ninth much more interesting than it should have been. But, while the game was good, everything happening in the stands today was very disappointing.
The first wave attempt came in the bottom of the third. With the Rangers batting. And men on second and third. I don’t have any explanation for why some people thought that was a good time to try and start the wave. It’s still early in the game and the Rangers were in a rally, so let’s get a bunch of people standing up and sitting down at the same time in center field right where the batter can see it! This attempt didn’t make it any further than a couple sections though.
The second wave started at the start of the top of the eighth, with the Rangers holding on to a one run lead and the always questionable Mark Lowe on the mound. A guy wearing an Elvis Andrus jersey in section 53 had his back turned to the game directing the entire section to start the wave. Everyone in the section obliged and proved they didn’t care whether the Rangers won or loss the game.
After trying several times the wave gained traction and started making its way around the Ballpark. Of course, Mark Lowe walked A.J. Pierzynski on 5 pitches to lead off the inning while this was happening. After the Pierzynski at bat the No Wave Zone sign was put up and the wave ended after three and a half trips around the stadium.
While the waves were bad what really bothered me today was the lack of a reaction in the ninth with Feliz pitching. Yeah, he struggled, at one point walking two straight White Sox batters on nine pitches, but when there were finally two outs the crowd was dead. There were maybe ten people standing and cheering on the first base side after Kins dropped a pop-up for a very strange second out with a 4-9-6 fielder’s choice.
Maybe it was just a weird weekday afternoon crowd; it was Wildlife Education Day so there tons of kids and I saw several large senior groups after the game. Just a lot of people there that usually don’t make it to a baseball game. I’m sure there will be a better showing Friday night.
The wave showed up right after this play in the sixth. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)
Tonight was a very nice night at the Ballpark. Josh Hamilton homered in his first at bat since April 12th, Nelson Cruz also homered in his first game since May 4th, Alexi Ogando was pitching an amazing game for a guy that was a groin injury away from being in the bullpen and the game was going by as fast as you could hope.
So, what are the “fans” in Arlington to do during a game like this? Start the effing wave of course!
The wave made its first appearance in the top of the sixth. Ogando had gotten Alexi Ramirez to ground out to second and Adam Dunn to pop out to Michael Young. With Paul Konerko at bat someone in the right field corner box managed to get the wave going after trying the entire top half of the inning. Ogando walked Konerko on 5 pitches. After going around the Ballpark at least 3 times it finally fizzled out and Ogando struck out Carlos Quentin to end the inning.
I honestly don’t understand what the person who started the wave at that point in the game was thinking. It was a close, fast game that wasn’t getting bogged down at all, the No Wave Zone sign was up; there was nothing that can explain starting it then. If you’re that bored in a game like that you’re obviously not a baseball fan.
The same section tried to get another wave going in the eighth inning but thankfully that one didn’t make it. The crowd partially redeemed themselves in the top of the ninth by standing after two outs and not waiting until two strikes on the last batter. The Ballpark needs much more of that type of crowd response and much, much less of the type that starts the wave in a game like tonight.
This is a picture of the No Wave Zone sign at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota where the St. Paul Saints, an American Association independent league team, plays.
From the American Association’s Fan Guide:
No other ballpark is “officially” a “No Wave Zone.” Those who try to start “The Wave” will be chastised by Eric Webster on the PA system.
Sounds good to me.
The next time you are out at Rangers Ballpark and someone a few sections over is trying to start the wave at a critical moment don’t worry, help should be on the way. Rangers PA and game presentation guru Chuck Morgan has recently started putting a No Wave Zone sign up on the centerfield scoreboard when a wave is trying to form at important parts of the game.
Not the greatest quality picture in the world...
And the really cool part? It’s working. Tonight was the third time the sign has been used at a game I’ve been at and every time the section that is trying to annoy everyone in the ballpark stops what they’re doing. It just goes to show that the fans here in DFW can get through a game without doing a wave, they just need to be prodded a little bit until they learn when it’s not appropriate.
The other cool thing about this sign is that it is using a graphic I came up with three years ago when I started the Stop The Wave movement. To see it in a big league ballpark actually stopping people from doing the wave is pretty rewarding. I owe a big thank you to Chuck for taking up this cause and helping educate the people that go to Rangers games how to be good fans. And Chuck reaching out to fans to help him do it is just icing on the cake.
It would be great if this sign isn’t needed during Rangers games by the end of the season. Until then, it’s good to know someone that can make a difference has our back.