Monday June 30, 2003
Baseball Fan Etiquette
Welcome back from the weekend! Thanks to those who checked out the site over the weekend. I hope youíve found some information that has either informed you, or has at least made you think, whether you agree with my thoughts or not. If you happen to disagree, too bad. Just kidding, Iíd love to hear your thoughts, so please e-mail me any time!
I took Friday off of work and drove with my sister down to the cities for the Twins game. We didnít have tickets, so we arrived at the Dome about 1:00 and purchased our tickets. Because it was Eddie Guardado bobblehead night, people were already lined up at the gates. So, we had to stand in line for almost 4 hours before getting in. Which was fine with me. We met some nice people, listened to Don Shelby of WCCO live from the plaza. The time went fast. We saw Eddie Guardado walk into the stadium. Then, while standing in line, we saw Eddie and LaTroy Hawkins jogging around the Dome.
The game was not good. Twins lost 13-1, but we did get our bobbleheads! And, for me, itís always fun just being there.
We found that there are a lot of fair-weathered fans. We knew this, of course, but when we had been to many previous games, I didnít have a website. I didnít have the direct forum to express my thoughts on fan involvement at the game. So, here is a list that we came up with:
1.) Get There on Time - As we were sitting in our reserved seats, we noticed there were quite a few empty seats, including 3 right next to us. Throughout the first innings, some of those seats filled up. The 3 seats next to us were filled in the 3rd inning.
2.) Donít Leave Early - Kinda goes along with #1. But the big thing is, especially if you buy $20, $28 or $31, why would you leave early. Friday night, the game was basically over in the 7th inning, and people were leaving.
3.) Donít get up and leave, or come back to, your seat during an at bat. Wait until after the inning, or at least the current at bat.
4.) Donít Boo your team -
a.) First, I was brought up that booing was wrong. Youíre just supposed to cheer
for your team and be supportive.
b.) I think of it this way. I go to the Dome to watch the Twins play. I think that if I happen to see a win, itís a bonus. I know that itís a long season and understand they wonít win them all. I understand that errors happen. Dustan Mohr had a bad error, overrunning a ground ball for a 2 base error. Mohrís a good outfielder, heís never done that before, that happens in baseball. The fans (not all) booed him. As if he didnít realize he made a mistake.
c.) Just one more exampleÖ A year ago, I went to a game against the Indians early in the season. We sat out in the lower level general admission. Behind us was a family of 5. The wife, husband and three boys, probably five to eight year olds. Every time Matt Lawton came up to bat, the three boys just loudly scream ďGet this trader out! Trader!! Hit him!Ē I, and those sitting with our group, could not believe what they were yelling, and even more so, couldnít believe the parents werenít saying anything. First, Matt Lawton didnít want to get traded, he had nothing to do with that decision. And second, thatís just wrong on so many levels.
d.) Exception - When major leaguers donít hustle, thatís the only time Iím ok with booing.
5.) Why do people boo when an opposing pitcher throws a pick off to 1st base? I donít understand this at all. Then, to top it off, someone has to yell out after booing, ďJust Play the Game!!!Ē. WHAT???? Pick off throws are part of the game.
6.) To summarize, just be respectful. Give them their due, theyíve worked their way up to the major leagues, they deserve the fanís respect! Theyíre not perfect, errors happen, itís a long season, things will be fine!
OK, so there are just a few things that annoy me at ball games.
A Situation to Grieve About
Slightly different, yet along the same lines. Thursday night, Tampa Bayís Ben Grieve pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Yankees Mariano Rivera. With 2 strikes, Grieve took a called third strike to end the game. When he got back to the dugout, manager Lou Pinella laid into him. He asked why Grieve didnít swing and Grieve said that he thought the pitch was high. Pinella asked him why he didnít yell at the ump, and Greive told him because it doesnít matter. With that quote, Pinella absolutely went off on Grieve, followed by degrading his player directly to the media.
Why was he upset? Because Grieve respected the umpireís called third strike. He may have thought the pitch was high (and he was probably right), and he may not have agreed with it. But, itís the umps call, and once he calls it, heís not going to change his mind. So, Grieve saying that he didnít argue because ďit didnít really matterĒ, is absolutely true.
I think Pinella is frustrated and, in my opinion, came out like a real jerk. Managers arenít supposed to castigate their players in front of the media. Theyíre supposed to back their players. Then to bash Grieve in the media like he did was absolutely ridiculous!
I may disagree with some/many of Twins manager Ron Gardenhireís decisions during a game, but on the field, he backs his players. Ask Rick Reed and Corey Koskie today! Gardy gets ejected and gets fined, but his players know that heíll back them. The only manager in baseball that gets ejected as frequently as Gardy is the Bravesí Bobby Cox.
Autograph Party -
We decided to head in to the autograph party for a little while. What a great event! Money all goes to charity, and fans get to interact with their favorite players. I put in some bids for the silent auction. We didnít get the autographs because we had a previous engagement to get to. But, we stayed just long enough to see the players come out to their stations. The lines for the autographs were long! Some longer than others (Torii Hunterís, Jacque Jones, Doug Mientkiewiczís and the Corey Koskie/Justin Morneau table). By the way, the playerís wives/girlfriends helped out with some of the event, selling souvenirs, etc. Very nice!
2 out of 3 Ainít Bad
Well, even after the 13-1 debacle on Friday night, the Twins came back to win Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The Sunday afternoon comeback was pretty improbably. After losing scoring opportunities in the 9th inning, the Twins scored 2 runs in the 9th to tie the score. The in the 10th inning, Luis Rivas singled, stole second, then scored from second base on an infield single by Cristian Guzman. Finally, their speed helped them! The Guzman hustle on the game-winning single was impressive and better illustrates just how hard these guys play!
Winning two of three from the Brew Crew was the first series win in their last 4 series. Hopefully they can carry that into the upcoming series against the White Sox in Chi-Town.
Maybe Kevin McHaleís drafting of high schooler Ndudi Edi (pronounced Indy Eedee). He had to have been working the phones for awhile, knowing what he has available to him. On Friday night, the Wolves traded Anthony Peeler and Joe Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson. Let me first say that I have never been a big Sam Cassell fan, but he is a high quality point guard, with more point guard skills than Troy Hudson, which will allow T-Hud to play some at the 2 guard position. Ervin Johnson prefers to come off the bench, but has been a solid, unspectacular center, in the league for a decade. He may be good insurance should the Wolves lose Rasho Nesterovich to free agency. The Tribís Sid Hartman speculated yesterday that the Bucks may chose to release Peeler, and he may re-sign with the Wolves at that time! Also, the Wolves could still trade the injured Terrell Brandon, so more moves could be imminent. If the Wolves could get someone of the caliber of Jalen Rose in return for Brandon, the Wolves could be tough. Unfortunately, they still wonít move into the Eastern Conference!
But a couple of potential lineups could feature:
PG - Sam Cassell, Mike Wilks
SG - Troy Hudson, Kendall Gill, Anthony Peeler
SF - Wally Szczerbiak, Felipe Lopez
PF - Kevin Garnett, Mark Jackson, Rick Rickert (IR)
C - Rasho Nesterovich, Ervin Johnson
Iíd like to see the Wolves keep Kendall Gill, Felipe Lopez, Mike Wilks, and retain Anthony Peeler. But, Iím not exactly sure who else might be available. Clearly the class of free agent such as Karl Malone, Gary Payton, etc., would not consider coming to the Wolves, but some of those second tier free agents who could help, could be talked into playing for the Wolves, for the opportunity to play with the most unselfish on-court player in the NBA, Kevin Garnett.
Well, hope you enjoy. Have a great week! Stop by frequently!
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