Several small rants about baseball fans

To: People sitting behind home plate, on their cell phones, waving
I see this at least a couple times every time I watch a game on TV: in the background, as someone is batting, there’s someone in the stands behind the batter, cell phone at their ear, waving. I know they are saying “Oh my god, you can see me on your TV screen? Hi, Shelly! Hi!” You’re sitting in the best seats in the stadium, seats that cost you (or someone) about $200 each, and you’d rather talk on the phone and wave at your friends than watch the game?

To: Everyone sitting in the first row, anywhere in the stadium
See that guy running toward you? He’s a baseball player, and he’s trying to catch a foul ball. Do not lean over the railing to try and catch it yourself - it only counts as an out if an official player gets it.

To: Everyone near where a foul ball is coming down
It’s a baseball. Even the Official Major League Baseball versions can be bought at your local sports store for less than $10. Nobody is going to be impressed when you show it to them and say “This was a foul ball that backup second baseman Jeff Reboulet hit during the 7th inning of a game against the Brewers.” Don’t you think that elbowing four other people, including two little kids, out of the way to get it is a little excessive?

To: Hecklers
I’m not some fuddy-duddy who thinks all heckling is demeaning to the sport, but at least make it interesting. Shouting the right fielder’s name over and over in a sing-song voice does not qualify.
Addendum: If you’re trying to get your whole section to join the chant along with you and they don’t, it isn’t because they have no team spirit; it’s that they think you’re a annoying jerk and want you to go away.

To: Baseball announcers
Get some new catch phrases. Just because every other announcer in broadcast history has said “they’ve got no place to put him” when the bases are loaded and there are three balls on the batter doesn’t mean you have to.

Thank you for your time.

Just wanted to say, hear, hear!

I disagree. This never gets old.

  1. With runners on first and third, sometimes the pitcher will fake a pickoff at third and then wheel around and fake a throw to first. This is useless, but not a balk. Do not screech “BALK” when you see it.

  2. If you don’t know the player’s name, don’t heckle him. “You suck, number seventeen” makes you sound like a rookie.

What I say is “That never works.”, then inevitably the runner will be picked off.

My favorite at any sports event is just the well placed “YOU SUCK!” at a quiet time in the action when the crowd isn’t roaring and the players might have a chance to hear you. Not anyone in particular, but just the other team in general.

Might be a bit junvenile, but hey, cut me some slack.

For some reason that irritates the shit out of me. What a bunch of fucking goobers. The dude who cuts my hair and I are both big Dodger fans. The last time I was in his salon he told me that he had behind the plate tickets for the game the next Saturday. I told him that I would be watching the game and if he did the lame cell phone and wave thing that a fourteen year business relationship would be over.


To people in the front row: if the ball is called fair, keep your fucking grubby hands away from it and let it roll. If you pick it up, you interfere with the game, you might cost your own team a base or even a run, and you’ll probably be tossed out of the stadium. The baseball is worth a couple of bucks, so don’t interrupt the game to try and grab it.

Also, gotta agree with the OP about fighting and wrestling over baseballs that come into the stands. I was watching a game the other day and two grown men were playing tug-o-war with a ball, knocking people out of the way and generally making asses of themselves.

I remember reading somewhere that the average baseball in a major league game lasts about 6-7 pitches before ending up in the hands of a fan. So, even by a very conservative estimate, this means that 30 balls per game go to the fans. With over 2,000 games in the regular season alone, that’s a lot of balls. Having one does not make you special.

Another peeve: if you’re sitting 80 yards away from home plate, and perpendicular to the line of the pitch, you cannot tell whether the ball was over the outside corner, or whether it just missed the plate. So don’t sit there for the whole game yelling at the umpire about the bad call he made, becuase you have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. And it’s even worse when you’re so obviously partisan. No, every pitch the home team throws is not a strike, and every pitch the visiting team throws is not a ball, no matter how much you might wish it were so.

Actually, not true. If you (the fan) lean over the railing into the field of play, the ump can call fan interference. The batter can be called out without the player ever touching the ball.

Now, if it is in the stands, the player can reach in, but he has no right to the ball. A fan can catch it, no interefence is called.

When a player from the visiting team hits a home run, don’t mercilessly badger the fan that caught the ball into throwing back onto the playing field. This isn’t the show of fan-home team unity you think it is. It doesn’t affect the visiting team at all. You’re just shaming a lucky fan into forgoing a souvenir.

*The preceding does not apply at Wrigley Field, where bleacher bums are free to do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it.

Well, I don’t so much agree with this one. I mean, someone’s got to end up with the ball, and I rarely see any kind of foul play (wow, I didn’t even mean to do that) by people wanting the ball. A year ago, some guy fell over a kid and accidentally kicked his mother in the face going after a ball and it was all over the Internet.

As for the rest of the OP, hear hear. And even if it wouldn’t technically be interference, stay away from the fucking fair ball, especially if you’re about to screw over your own team by doing so! It did give me a glimmer of hope when, sitting in the front row next to the Giants bullpen, a fair ball rolled down to us, there were just as many people yelling, “Don’t touch it!” then goobers reaching for it.

I think the cell phone wavers should be hanged from the light standards, if only because it’s so fucking distracting when you’re trying to watch the game on TV.

Was that the incident where pretty much the whole stadium started chanting “Give the kid the ball”? That’s exactly the type of fan I’m talking about.

Reaching out to try and catch the ball, I’ve got not problem with. It’s the aggressive jerks who, in crowded sections, are diving over rows or smacking other people aside to try and get it. Particularly when there are little kids around them.

Daaarrrrylllll. Daaaarrrrryyyyyylllllllllll. Daaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrryyyyyyylllllllll.

Probably. There were two pretty good threads here on it. And the was video online.


Bah. Totally derivative of an earlier generation’s “Reee-gggieeee …”

Leave the fucking beach balls at home, too. They’re all fun and games until they put somebody’s eye out - or, worse, stop the game when they escape onto the field.

The Wave is *right * out. Don’t even think about trying to start one, unless you want people around you to say “Hey, look at the idiot - either he’s trying to air out his armpits or he’s trying to start a Wave. Siddown and let us watch, willya, dammit?” I would add a comment about the opposite sides of the stands yelling “Tastes great!” “Less filling!”, but you’ve all apparently heard and understood that message already.

Organists: The “Charge” bugle call does not, NOT help inspire the home team to rally. Not distracting the batter helps a lot more, and so does even not insulting the fans who are trying to appreciate the moment. Cut that shit out, NOW.


They always try to get it going at Camden Yards. It NEVER gets going. 10 people standing up in a section that seats hundreds just looks moronic.

However, yelling the right fielder’s name is a time-honored tradition. It should be done with a degree of gusto no less than you’d use to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” We were fortunate enough to have Bradley Bonte Hawpe in right field at the Yards last Friday night.

Gak. I can’t believe I forgot about that one. In addition to the reasons you mentioned, there’s also the usher(s) who have to try to grab up the beachball. It ends up being a game of keep away between the fans and the ushers. The ushers get to look stupid for a half inning or more, and for their trouble they get booed when they finally manage to to wrest the ball from the idiot fans.

Maybe every stadium should have a “Designated Asshole Section”, where you can get drunk, punch each other for foul balls, and taunt the opposing team’s presumed parentage and sexual history without bothering fans who are actually watching the game.

One more gripe, that I’m directing in particular at Phillies fans: Don’t boo the batboys and ballboys and girls. That’s just classless.

Skeet shotguns would fix this problem much more elegantly.