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.

Wednesday at The Ballpark

Another Rangers win over the Yankees last night and another wave with a sold out crowd. This time it happened in the top of the 8th with Mike Adams pitching for the Rangers. Two tweets perfectly show just one of the reasons the wave sucks.

@ ....Just missed Mike Adams 3rd out because of an emerging wave in front of us #pleasestopthem
Jonathan Nelson
Oh no, here comes the wave again. Missed Mike Adams first K because of it. #notherepeople @
Julia Morales

These two fans missed out on parts of the game because people were doing the wave. The whole point of going to a game is to, you know, watch it. And with the way that game went last night you’d think and hope that the crowd could stay interested.

Last night also featured two adults basically stealing a ball tossed into the crowd from a little kid.

The Rangers made things right with the kid while the other couple continued to be oblivious to what happened. However, I mention this because check out the shirt the kid’s dad was wearing.

Yep, that’s one of our Stop The Wave shirts. You have to expect that the kid will grow up to appreciate baseball the right way. And I can almost guarantee you that the couple that took the ball in the first place were fully taking part in that eighth inning wave.

Fox Sports Southwest and Tom Grieve hate their viewers

Ok, maybe hate is a strong word here. But the last two games against the Yankees have featured the broadcast taking the attention away from the game at very inappropriate times.

First up is the third inning of Yu Darvish’s masterpiece Tuesday night. The Yankees have the bases loaded with no outs and Curtis Granderson is up to bat. There’s a 2-2 count and Tom thinks he “has a minute” for cookie shout-outs. (EDIT: Oops, turns out I don’t have that video. Instead this is just a sample of what FSSW apparently thinks is good broadcast material from the same game.)

Then tonight, in the ninth inning with two outs and an 0-2 count to Eric Chavez, FSSW shows a sign asking Tom for cookies. Of course, TAG can’t resist this opportunity to start talking about the damn things again.

I honestly don’t understand what they’re doing during these broadcasts. They are getting record high ratings because the Rangers are a very good team. Is the game itself not enough? Why does there need to be constant distractions away from the action? I realize baseball games can bog down at times, but these two examples were definitely not that type of situation.

All I want is a broadcast presentation and commentary that focuses on the game and isn’t constantly taking the focus away from it. Is that too much to ask?

Wave Watching at The Ballpark

Tuesday night at Rangers Ballpark ended up being pretty special for the Rangers. Yu Darvish finally showed a taste of what all the hype was about by pitching 8.1 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to only 2 walks against the vaunted Yankees lineup. The Rangers shut-out the Yankees at home for the first time since August 16, 2000. There was a sellout crowd for the fourth time this season. All-in-all it was just a very good night for the little Rangers.

You’d think that with all that going on the crowd would be into the game, paying attention, cheering and just being a good baseball crowd. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for these two guys:

That pic was sent to me by @Flyguyify on Twitter and yes, those guys are trying to start the wave. This was in the bottom of the fifth when the Rangers had Ian Kinsler on first after a walk and Elvis Andrus was at bat. It was a 2-0 game at the time and instead of watching the game these guys have their backs turned and are trying to focus the attention on themselves. Elvis hit into a double play just a few pitches later.

That just goes to show that no matter how well things are going at a game there are probably always going to be people that just don’t get it. All we can do is just keep letting them know why the wave needs to stop.


Weekend wave wrap-up

It was a successful wave free weekend at Rangers Ballpark. Sure, there were a few attempts to get it started, especially on Saturday and Sunday, but it never made it all the way around the stadium. Hopefully this streak keeps going for a while.

However, as much as we want the wave to be banished into the hall of past fads there are always people that think it’s the highlight of any trip to a game. In a blog post using the wave as a metaphor to forcing change in your career path, Patti Johnson tells you upfront what she thinks about the wave.

The best part is the wave. It begins with one fan, then a few more, and finally an entire section enthusiastically jumps to their feet. After many failed starts, the wave eventually travels all around the park. An entire stadium of people working together to make it happen.

Like I said, Ms. Johnson is using the wave as business metaphor so I probably shouldn’t take this as literally as I’m going to but what would be the fun in that? 

If one word stands out to me on how the wave of change really happens, it’s persistence. I love how a few people keep trying and trying. There are groans when it stalls three sections away, and they start again.

So, her favorite part of the wave is actually its worst feature. Being in the section of the people that are trying to start the wave is the worst punishment I could imagine at a baseball game. The groans you hear aren’t from people disappointed it stalled out just a few sections away, they are from the people who know some jackass in front of them is about to ruin their view of the game again.

As you put on your favorite baseball jersey and head to the ballpark for Opening Day, remember to help another fan out and be part of the wave. Or, better yet, be the one to get it started. And remember, the fifth time is the charm.

That’s right, Ms. Johnson is telling you to go be as annoying as absolutely possible and to not even pay attention to the game in front of you. As long as people that think like this are going to games the wave will be there, lurking, waiting to rear its ugly head and mess with your enjoyment of the game.

The MLB Twitter account did some trolling today

The official MLB Twitter account has been running a contest today to promote Basically, they’ve been asking fluff questions and picking a response that had the #MLBTVme hash tag.

It was going fine until this question popped up:

2 PRIZES, 2 WINNERS: Watch MLBTV on a @ or @ by answering: What's better, KISS CAM or THE WAVE? Use #MLBTVme in response.

Yes, MLB is asking its fans to pick between the two most annoying things that happen at a baseball game. Of course, the correct answer to this question is kiss cam. It’s annoying but at least it takes place between innings and doesn’t actually mess with anything going on on the field.

There were plenty of people who recognized this lesser of two evils.

@ kiss-cam, the wave is a vile act that ran its course 20 years ago and should be outlawed league wide. #MLBTVme
Dan Shelly

@ the wave is for non-fans. kiss cam is much better #MLBTVme
Darren Yoder

@ KISS CAM! The Wave should be banned from all ballparks across the country! #MLBTVme
Ria Basco

@ #MLBTVme the,wave is how pink hats and ppl who know nothing about the game enjoy it, kiss cam is comedy gold sometimes

However, there were far too many that just don’t get it. After the jump, check out what we’re up against here.
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Orel Hershiser really likes Rangers Ballpark

Over the weekend, Orel Hershiser unveiled his plan to save Dodger Stadium. Hershiser is not currently involved with any of the remaining groups still in the running to buy the Dodgers but wanted to get his vision for Dodger Stadium out in the wild.

“We just want to give people a dream of what could happen,” he said. “You can’t tell the story without a picture. The idea is to show people all the elements that are possible and not to say, ‘This is it.’ “

Here’s the rendering showing Hershiser’s ideas:


After looking at the render for a few minutes it became very obvious that all it is is the outfield of Rangers Ballpark with a little Photoshop work.


The same outfield walls, same bullpens, Green’s Hill, the club above the left field seats, the home-run porch, the bottom level of the office buildings, it’s all there. It looks like the only thing they actually changed was removing the top level of seats in left and the top couple of floors of the centerfield offices.

Granted, Rangers Ballpark itself is a bunch of stolen bits. Still, it’s good to see Hershiser enjoyed some part of his stay in Arlington.

Oh, Miami

Do the Miami Marlins have an official theme song to go along with all the other new additions this year? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look it. But, in a way, the fact that this isn’t team sponsored makes it even more incredible.

And it really comes together if you listen to it while looking at the amazing new home run sculpture at Marlins Park. I need to see a game at that place.

(GIF courtesy Baseball Nation)

Mark Cuban joins the cause

Mark Cuban not doing the wave. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

You might have heard about Bill Simmons’ interview with Mark Cuban for the B.S.Report at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last week. It was during that interview that Cuban made an ill-attempt at a joke that landed him in some hot water that he has since made an apology for. But if you haven’t paid much attention to the story you might have missed that Cuban sharing his thoughts on the wave led directly to the comment.

At about the forty minute mark of the interview Cuban begins talking about what he wants the fan experience at a Mavericks game to be like. He doesn’t want you staring at your phone or not paying attention to the court and he definitely doesn’t want you doing the wave.

I have an automatic “you’re fired” policy if you do the wave. Seriously. If you do it, like, I had somebody who didn’t know that they would be fired this year who tried to get the wave started. I was like, you have not read the policy, you get one warning. I’ll say it to everybody here, anybody that ever works for the Mavericks ever tries to do the wave, you’re fired.

There’s no bigger energy killer than doing the wave, right. I’d rather have 60 minutes of kiss cam.

Mark Cuban hates the wave so much that he’ll fire an employee who tries to get it started at a Mavericks game. Now, Cuban and I have had our disagreements in the past but a policy like that is definitely something I can get behind.