He Got Something Right…

I have made it public knowledge that I rarely agree with Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun but in his latest entry for the paper about some dos and don’ts at OPACY has at least a couple instances where I completely 100% agree with him.

Let’s take a look:

No matter how bad the Orioles are going, Camden Yards is still the greatest place to watch a ballgame.

I think all of Baltimore agrees on this one, and most out-of-towners that have had a chance to see a game at The Yard probably do as well.

Yet even in this baseball nirvana, there are fans who need to be schooled on ballpark etiquette.

After attending a recent game and sitting with the teeming masses, here are a few observations:

Nice to see a reporter slumming it with the 52 people in attendance.

 I realize that railing against cell phone use at the ballpark is like trying to hold back the ocean. But I spent two innings listening to the guy behind me blab about all the cool features on his iPhone.

I thought I was in an Apple store. And that next we’d be turning our attention to the MacBook Pro.

Is there an app that can make people like that go away?

Going to the park is as much a social experience as it is a baseball experience for most fans, so this isn’t going to change.  I do agree with him that it is annoying though, but at least the guy wasn’t talking on his phone, that is worse.

 First-time visitors: Welcome to Baltimore. Nice to see you enjoying our ballpark. But do you really have to take that group photo to commemorate the occasion while the game’s going on?

Can’t it at least wait until the inning’s over?

Four smiling people standing in front of you with their arms around each other while another person fiddles with a camera and whines, “I don’t know how this thing works” — think that can get a little annoying while you’re trying to watch a game?

Again, we agree.  Taking pictures is fine, just don’t obstruct anyones view.  There is plenty of open space at Oriole Park.

This should not need repeating, but apparently it does: No one over the age of 9 should ever bring a glove to the ballpark. If you’re 40 and bringing your glove, you need to re-examine your life.

Hallelujah.  This bothers me to no end at games.  First of all, you look like an idiot.  Second of all, everyone thinks you’re a tool.  Third, if you can’t catch a ball with your bare hands than you don’t need to catch it all.  Last, if you’re an adult you shouldn’t be worried about catching a foul ball unless it is about to barrel into the face of a small defenseless child or equally inept woman gossiping about how cute the players look in those pants with her clubbing clothes and makeup on or her all pink “baseball” get up.  On second thought, let it hit that woman.  Any self respecting woman fan knows how to catch without the assistance of a glove also.  Go ahead ladies.

 If you catch a foul ball, give it to a little kid. This is nonnegotiable. If a little kid has a shot at catching a foul ball — assuming it’s not a missile that’s going to kill him — and you snatch it away, you should be beaten with sticks.

Again, right on the money.  This goes for ALL baseballs, not just foul balls.  I’ve encountered 3 baseballs at Camden Yards, 1 foul ball and 2 homeruns, all of which landed directly in my immediate area.  The foul ball was given to a father in my section as a souviener for his baby he had with him at their first game. (I’m such a sweetheart) The first homerun was given to a 9 year old kid at his first game. (Did I mention that I have a big heart and am really really nice?) The second homer I think I need to set the tone for you.  Back before the Red Sox had broken their streak of sucking, and hadn’t won a World series in forever the fans still found it necessary to make the trip from Virginia and invade my ballpark.  It was just as annoying then, but I always had the last laugh by starting my “19-18″ chant.  Good times.  Well this particular day I was occupying a seat in left center right next to the bullpens and NO-mah Gah-see-uh-pah-uh was batting.  He crushed it, it landed in the bullpen and Elrod (RIP) picked it up and tossed it over the chain link fence and into the stands.  Somehow, the ball came directly to me and because I am more sure handed than Ozzie Smith wearing Stickum I caught the ball to the disappointment of seemingly every other “fan” in my section who happened to be Sox fans.  They all were clamoring for me to hand over the ball to one of them to cherish.  There were no children in sight (rightfully so, would you let your kid sit with scumbags Sux fan?  I know I wouldn’t) so what was I to do?  I took that ball, stared directly into the eyes of one of those Fever Pitch extra wannabes and chucked that thing back onto the field.  As they all looked in utter disappointment at what I had done, I see Elrod take a few steps back out off the bullpen bench, point in my direction and give me a standing ovation.  He then turned back to the bench and instructed the guys in the ‘pen to do the same.

• Oh, and if a player flips a ball to a kid in the stands and you pick it off and keep it? That’s when we bring back the stockades.

• Is there a place worse than hell? I ask because if a player flips a ball to a kid in the stands and you pick it off and keep it, you’re going to that worse place.

Yup.  That is what we like to call a “dick move”

On a related note to dads: Never be so eager to catch a foul ball that you literally drop your young daughter, as a Los Angeles Dodgers fan memorably did last week.

Dude, it’s only a baseball. Whereas she’s the living, breathing love of your life. Let’s keep things in perspective here.

(By the way, that incident at the Dodgers game became a Youtube sensation. It’s hilarious. But only because the little girl didn’t get hurt when her dad dropped her like a hot casserole dish to lunge for the ball.)

Agree, but also don’t be a pussy like that guy who let it hit his hot (and at the time) girlfriend because he ran away like a 7 yearold who saw a spider.

 A word or two about home runs hit by the opposing team. There is a movement at Camden Yards to pressure fans in the stands to throw those balls back.

Why? Beats me. That’s not an Orioles fan tradition. That’s aChicago Cubs fan tradition. It belongs at Wrigley Field and no where else.

Other fans who do it look bush league and derivative.

You son of a bitch! You don’t know me!  It was the Red Sox!  I am not bush league!  Ok, maybe a little.  And I agree that you shouldn’t pressure anyone to follow my lead of throwing it back.  They are subject to heckling if they decide to keep the ball but if they don’t want everyone in the stadium to know that they throw like Mariah Carey, that’s their business.

Ballpark fashion is a matter of individual taste — or lack thereof, in many cases. But if the Orioles are at home against the Toronto Blue Jays, what’s the point of showing up in, say, a Philadelphia Phillies jersey?

What’s the statement you’re trying to make there?

That, like Switzerland, you’re neutral?

That you’d secretly rather be at Citizens Bank Park in Philly, but you couldn’t get a ticket, so you showed up at a lousy Orioles game?

Ballpark fashion is not a matter of individual taste.  It is simple.  You wear a shirt with the logo and/or OFFICIAL colors of the team you are rooting for in that particular game.   Same thing goes for hats.  End of story.

About the ketchup-mustard-relish race on the scoreboard. I have never understood why fans get so excited about this.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. Or maybe you need six Budweisers under your belt to truly appreciate it.

But when the race is over, does it really have to be dissected endlessly?

C’mon, this isn’tShackleford edgingAnimal Kingdom at the Preakness. It’s just three little hot-dog-and-condiment figures.

Let it go.

Uh-oh.  I know certain fans (all of the) are about to unleash a shit storm about his comment here.  In the meantime, GO KETCHUP!

  No matter how silly it looks, waving at the TV cameras never seems to get old to a certain segment of fans.

They wave and they wave and they wave. Even if the camera isn’t on them, they wave, hoping the camera will be on them soon.

Some, the hard-core serial wavers, start in the first inning and don’t stop until the ninth. You’d think this would get boring after a while. But apparently it doesn’t. No, they just keep smiling and waving, smiling and waving, like a politician at the July 4th parade.

At some point, if you sit behind these nonstop wavers, you’ll want to strangle them.

But then the beer man arrives and you have another, and the serial wavers stop being quite so annoying.

As do the ketchup-mustard-relish racers

I’d rather sit behind or near these wavers than the “wave” wavers.  The wave needs to end, 10 years ago.  Who thinks this is fun or cool?  It is stupid and if you like the wave you are also stupid.  If you get mad at me because I don’t want to stand up from my seat in unison with a bunch of idiots with nothing better to do (like say, watch the game) then I hope you are sitting next to me and my sure hands when a screaming line drive comes in our direction and I make zero effort to catch it in hopes it smashes directly into you Adam’s Apple.  If it does, I’ll be sure to tell you that I have 100% confidence I could have caught the ball but instead decided to watch the havok it wreaked on you instead.

While I am at it, I’ll add 2 more to Kev’s list:

  • If you are stupid enough to run onto the field at a game I hope you get speared by the biggest player on either team or tased unconscious by the Baltimore PD.
  • The National Anthem at games is a strange tradition.  But how about being respectful, take off your damn hats, get off your cell phones and if you are going to sing it, sing the whole thing, not just the “O” part.  Respect, you savages.
See you at the yard.
~Jjaks Clayton
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2 Comments

Filed under General Posts

2 responses to “He Got Something Right…

  1. robimos855

    Love it, last year with the angels in town I was sitting in the right field corner heckling torii hunter nonstop about his recent demotion when Bourjos was called up. There was a teenage idiot in front of me bragging about his hundreds of balls he has gotten and sold on ebay. After a foul down the line torii graciously tossed it our direction, narrowly escaping the teenagers glove as he jumped up on a chair and I made a solid bare handed grab. As satisfying as it was to see a high school aged kid pout and whine, nothing can relate to how it felt to turn and hand the ball to a toddler girl who clutched the ball in 2 hands the rest of the game and smiled endlessly. And on a second note, yes screw those idiots that show up to O’s games donning phillies gear, along with the tools I see around canton wearing ravens jerseys with phillies hats.

  2. Conor O'Neill

    Not sure if this would get added to the Do or Don’t category…

    http://deadspin.com/5809457/kansas-city-man-becomes-ballpark-hero-with-popcorn-bucket-catch

    …Probably the Don’t, as in “Don’t go to a Royals game.”

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