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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nachman at the Ballpark: Once a pleasant setting, it’s now an auditory hell

Why is it that I can listen to an endless loop of searing Bhopal Stiffs gunk…yet end up totally agreeing with Gerald Nachman?

I went to a baseball game the other night at AT&T Park between the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies. The Giants lost in the 10th inning by one run, but baseball, I realized along about the fifth inning, has lost much more: Part of its serene soul.

The noise between innings—and between batters—was excruciating, the music and visual hype cranked up to hysterical levels as the scoreboard exhorted fans throughout the game to ‘MAKE MORE NOISE!!!” A robot organist tried with pathetic insistence to energize the crowd. Meanwhile, the Jumbotron flashed so much endless and useless information on the confusing scoreboard (like watching a TV game at home on a screen littered with arcane stats) that it all but obscured the modest game below. It was hard to locate the one thing you wanted to keep track of—the balls, strikes, outs and who was at bat.

The fans obliged unconvincingly, having by now been trained like Pavlovian dogs to howl when a bell clangs, but the maniacal order to MAKE MORE NOISE!!! went largely unheeded; even the most exuberant fans have by now pretty much learned to ignore the incessantly raucous sound battering.

Indeed, some of the people around me were oblivious to not just the noise but to much of the game itself, babbling on cell phones half the time. One guy was talking to a friend in another part of the park, waving at him as they spoke, so thrilled at being able to communicate with a pal that he hardly seemed to notice the game even though he was paying the steep cost of $72 for a second row seat halfway up the third base line. We were seated in the row behind Giants owner Bill Neukom and president Larry Baer, busily taking bows and chatting to fans, totally unaware of the constant decibel barrage.

Repoz Posted: June 29, 2010 at 12:54 PM | 167 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, giants, history, media, television

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   1. BDC Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:10 PM (#3573923)
No arguments from me, but it's not just baseball. Every public place anymore seems to be bathed in noise. Receptions, restaurants, airports, libraries for that matter, all getting noisier. Concerts are beyond noisy, in some realm where you can hear so little it's like breaking through to some realm of sensory deprivation. Probably called deafness. Or maybe it's just me.
   2. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:18 PM (#3573931)
I was at Yankee Stadium a couple weekends ago to watch the Astros. It's living hell with the noise. The only time you're safe is when the ball is live. It's really not a pleasant experience anymore.

Even before the game they couldn't let us sit and watch the players warm up in piece. They had some YES-like program on the jumbo tron, interviews with some players and Girardi, their voices booming over the speakers.

It sucks.
   3. rr Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:21 PM (#3573933)
I was at Yankee Stadium a couple weekends ago to watch the Astros. It's living hell


I agree. I've seen the Astros.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:27 PM (#3573938)
What?
   5. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:38 PM (#3573946)
An NBA game is one of the most pleasant in-person experiences one can have. Baseball seems to be determined to replicate it wrt the noise levels. Organ music, please.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:50 PM (#3573954)
It's hard not to believe that every team employs a specialist whose job it is to determine just how much mindless noise can be generated without driving too many people over the line from complaint to cancellation.

But the permanent response to all these complaints is that "The hardcore fan will always come out for the game, but the profit comes from attracting the beer guzzling, nacho inhaling, text messaging, phone jabbering, foam finger waving, tomahawk chop chanting, zero attention span casual fan. We can't afford to be nostalgic or sentimental."

And you know what? They're probably right. Thank God for ExtraInnings.
   7. vegasman2000 Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3573961)
The noise issue is so bad that I have started going to minor league games more often, and you know what? it is a much more enjoyable experience. I went to a Connecticut Defenders game to see Bumgarner pitch last year and I got a seat in the second row behind home plate. It was peaceful serene and as long as you don't mind seeing kids run around on the field between innings it was a much better experience.
   8. Repoz Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:04 PM (#3573967)
The noise issue is so bad that I have started going to minor league games more often,

I get Yankee Stadium invites galore...but no go because of the deafening racket.

I now wander over to the LL field or HS field and take in some games.
   9. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:06 PM (#3573968)
An NBA game is one of the most pleasant in-person experiences one can have.


Is this serious? The most obnoxious of all offenders of fake noise is an NBA arena.
   10. PerroX Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3573971)
Maybe we're all just getting old, but more and more we seem unable to attend to life as it happens in front of us, people seeking distractions even from their diversions. Why would you go to a show or a game and spend the whole time on facebook?
   11. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3574000)
Is this serious? The most obnoxious of all offenders of fake noise is an NBA arena.

Good Christ, I apologize. I meant UNpleasant.
   12. bobm Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:42 PM (#3574006)
useless information on the confusing scoreboard (like watching a TV game at home on a screen littered with arcane stats)

Even some televised games are hard to watch now. Tommy Lasorda berating Reggie Jackson in the FOX booth during Saturday's LA-NY game made me want Buck and McCarver back alone. MLB Network cut in to Jimenez pitching during the COL-SD game last night. Every pitch was replayed and every replay was bookended by full screen computer graphics flashing the team logo and the TV station logo, suitable for inducing seizures.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3574008)
Good Christ, I apologize. I meant UNpleasant.


Thank goodness. I was really starting to question everything you'd ever written on this site Dayn.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:45 PM (#3574010)
Maybe we're all just getting old, but more and more we seem unable to attend to life as it happens in front of us, people seeking distractions even from their diversions. Why would you go to a show or a game and spend the whole time on facebook?

Because you can brag to all your facebook friends about how you're at this really cool show, while they turn virtual green with envy.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:49 PM (#3574013)
Even some televised games are hard to watch now. Tommy Lasorda berating Reggie Jackson in the FOX booth during Saturday's LA-NY game made me want Buck and McCarver back alone. MLB Network cut in to Jimenez pitching during the COL-SD game last night. Every pitch was replayed and every replay was bookended by full screen computer graphics flashing the team logo and the TV station logo, suitable for inducing seizures.

What's also annoying is that on Wednesday nights when I go to a pool tournament but want to follow the ball game, 90% of the TVs are tuned to either football, hockey, soccer, women's softball, or chattering heads, while the few sets with the ballgame on have the sound turned off and the text streaming from the audio permanently blocking the view of the score.
   16. AndrewJ Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3574019)
Given how everybody's walking around with their entire music libraries on their iPhones and iPods and iPads anyway (Number of tracks on my iPod touch: 4,822), I don't understand why sports stadia just don't turn off the cranked-up-to-11 piped-in music so that those fans who do want a loud soundtrack can simply turn on their own mp3 players.
   17. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:02 PM (#3574022)
The strange thing is that much of the noise has nothing to do with advertising. Loud music, loud banging, loud sounds... I could see if they were trying to sell products with the noise, but as it is it's totally useless.

I have to believe teams did marketing on this and determined that noise helps the bottom line in some way. But what way would that be? Clearly fans aren't saying to themselves, "Let me get to the ballpark to hear that banging between pitches and between every inning."

How does this help the ballpark experience? It really is odd.
   18. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3574031)
Jesus, are you guys old farts. The TV broadcasts are clutter-filled stinkbombs, sure, but how does music at a baseball game harm the experience? I went to many a game in the organ-only days, and prefer recorded music by a factor of 100.
   19. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:16 PM (#3574037)
When I was in grad school in the 80s, Anaheim v. Dodger Stadium was a contrast between the past and future of the live game. The Angels were already going for the Nurnberg Rally feel while the Dodgers still were an organ-only, rather pastoral experience. Today the venues are almost all "field" and "park" but the experience is not at all. (Then again, neither are a lot of public parks.)

Of course, it's relative. A friend in LA lives across the street from the Coliseum, which just ran in its parking lot a 48-hour, non-stop, multiple-stage rock festival.
   20. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:21 PM (#3574045)
I have to believe teams did marketing on this and determined that noise helps the bottom line in some way.


Same firm must consult bars and nightclubs, where you can only communicate with the person next to you via hand signals or text messages. I get that the cool crowd doesn't want to be at a bar that isn't hopping, but the decibel level at many places simply cannot be defended. I wish there was an option on a 'jukebox' for total silence.
   21. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:22 PM (#3574048)
Jesus, are you guys old farts. The TV broadcasts are clutter-filled stinkbombs, sure, but how does music at a baseball game harm the experience? I went to many a game in the organ-only days, and prefer recorded music by a factor of 100.

Well, you're objectively wrong about recorded music v. organ music, but I could live with the recorded music if they'd just turn the #### down a little.
   22. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3574053)
Jesus, are you guys old farts. The TV broadcasts are clutter-filled stinkbombs, sure, but how does music at a baseball game harm the experience? I went to many a game in the organ-only days, and prefer recorded music by a factor of 100.

I honestly don't care if they play music. If it's music I like, it's kind of nice. What I do like about it is that its played at a volume such that I can't hold a conversation with anyone not seated directly next to me. And at some games I've been to, not even them.

Is my hearing deteriorating? Yes, quite (mostly due to listening to lots of loud noises, ironically).

But take this scenario: really awesome catch, followed by a great recovery and throw to double off a runner, ending an inning. You'd like to talk to your friends about the great baseball play you just saw. Instead, you sit there as some recorded pop song that you hear all the time anyway plays over your voices. It ends, you start to speak and more loud music, to introduce the batter begins. It isn't quiet again until the game is actually playing. I find that unbelievably annoying.

And the need to have the crowd "up" at all moments. Look, no one on, 1 out, no score, bottom of the second is crucial to the build up but is not a moment the crowd needs to be "making noise" as if it's a cranky one year old.


Am I old? No idea. I do know I first started thinking these thoughts about professional baseball games before I was 30.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3574054)
Same firm must consult bars and nightclubs, where you can only communicate with the person next to you via hand signals or text messages. I get that the cool crowd doesn't want to be at a bar that isn't hopping, but the decibel level at many places simply cannot be defended.


Yeah, this I don't get either.

Dayn #21, agreed; just turn the volume down a little. That's all anyone is really asking.
   24. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:28 PM (#3574059)
I have no idea what folks are griping about. I think Miller Park stinks but noise is not the issue.

As for other ballparks, I have no issue with noise at Wrigley, Great American, PNC, the SF park, Oakland, Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park all of which I visit at least once a season. I sporadically visit other ballparks based on circumstance.

I wish the cheerleaders on top of the dugout show would go away.

I wish Great American wasn't do d*mn stifling in July. I wish the Wrigley bleachers were not attended by frat boys of low intellect and lesser manners.

But noise? No issue. Reminds me I am still alive. Ha!!
   25. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3574061)
And the need to have the crowd "up" at all moments. Look, no one on, 1 out, no score, bottom of the second is crucial to the build up but is not a moment the crowd needs to be "making noise" as if it's a cranky one year old.

This I completely agree with.

I love the pregame music and love the batter introduction music and far prefer it to the days of organ-only. Not that it matters, but the fans agree, without question.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:32 PM (#3574063)
I too think you guys sound cranky. I don't think the noise levels are unreasonable at Royals games.

Now Chiefs games. Yikes. They can probably turn down "Pour Some Sugar on Me" a bit.

Hey, once vuvuzela-mania sweeps this country, you guys will miss the halcyon days when it was just loud music blaring in stadiums.
   27. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:38 PM (#3574073)
SBB, I don't mind batter intro music. But the crap between innings is too loud. And I don't mind a little cheerleading noise when the situation calls for it.


I should add, my hearing really is faltering. Forget a loud bar, if there is any significant background noise, I have trouble making out conversation at a regular sized dinner table. If my Dad is any gauge, I will never, ever get this checked out or worked on. :)
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:39 PM (#3574076)
It feels old in here.
   29. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3574078)
I have to believe teams did marketing on this and determined that noise helps the bottom line in some way. But what way would that be?

It drives you out to the relative quiet of the concession area / team store?

The noise is definitely worse at NBA games.

I sat about 5 rows in front of the Temple band at a St. Joes/Temple game at the Palestra this season. Now that was loud.
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:40 PM (#3574079)
95% of my experience is at Fenway which, save for Sweet Caroline which God help me I actually enjoy, is not that bad with the noise. I think they satisfy Dayn's request to turn the music down which really is all you can ask for. The best th ing about Fenway though is for the most part the music comes after a play, not as a "let's make some noise" kind of thing so the noise tends to happen when the crowd is already hooting. I also find the musical choices by the players rather humorous. That Dustin Pedroia comes to bat to some sort of rap music absolutely kills me.

Give me organ music anyday though. That just sounds like a ballpark.
   31. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3574080)
To h*ck with the 'guys in the basement' moniker. It's a bunch of frustrated librarians.
   32. TerpNats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:50 PM (#3574094)
I don't mind music at the ballpark, if there's some wit involved in the selection. Lately though, tunes are chosen on their ability to elicit responses from the crowd, as if we were at a gospel service, which is why the godawful "Sweet Caroline" is foisted on us in places other than Boston.

A by-product of this are the screaming, perpetually "up" PA announcers -- a far cry from the likes of Bob Sheppard or Sherm Feller. You can be enthusiastic without being obnoxious; listen to Dan Baker at Phillies games. However, most PA people lack that skill.

In short, let the game breathe.
   33. OsunaSakata Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:50 PM (#3574095)
It seems to only way to silence a ballpark crowd is for someone to suffer a serious injury.
   34. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3574102)
And the need to have the crowd "up" at all moments. Look, no one on, 1 out, no score, bottom of the second is crucial to the build up but is not a moment the crowd needs to be "making noise" as if it's a cranky one year old.

I wish I could give this statement a gold medal for ####### truthfulness.

The "making noise for no real reason" thing in Toronto is really bad because of what Dave Winfield said back in 1992.
The franchise seems to have been wounded by that, so they go WAY out of their way to try and create noise.

The only thing I hate more than the request for noise (either the "Make Noise" jumbotron message, or the "clap clap clap-clap-clap" request, or "da da da dun da daaa, CHARGE!" plea) is "The Wave".
   35. Steve Treder Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:06 PM (#3574118)
But the permanent response to all these complaints is that "The hardcore fan will always come out for the game, but the profit comes from attracting the beer guzzling, nacho inhaling, text messaging, phone jabbering, foam finger waving, tomahawk chop chanting, zero attention span casual fan. We can't afford to be nostalgic or sentimental."


This.

As for why bars crank up the decibels, I recall reading somewhere that a high noise level raises adrenaline, and makes people drink alcohol faster, thus purchase more alcohol.

They're doing none of this for our sake, only for the sake of the cash register.

Minor league baseball is a far better experience for the customer interested in baseball.
   36. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3574119)
Turner Field has toned it down this year and is much more enjoyable. They play actual organ music at the start of most innings, and have reduced the amount of times they play weird sound effects after foul balls.

The between innings games are hokey, but I don't mind them. There's also probably only 3-4 of them this season; last year it felt like there was one between every inning.

The Braves girls are easy on the eyes but pointless.
   37. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3574137)
I also find the musical choices by the players rather humorous. That Dustin Pedroia comes to bat to some sort of rap music absolutely kills me.


It's MC Pee Pants, right?
   38. I Left Tim Raines Down In Africa Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:21 PM (#3574139)
Turner Field has toned it down this year and is much more enjoyable. They play actual organ music at the start of most innings, and have reduced the amount of times they play weird sound effects after foul balls.


They still play "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" during the 7th inning stretch. I care not if there is no other music whatsoever throughout the game, the person who pitched this as "yeah, that's a great idea!" needs to die in a fire.

EDIT: Yes, I realize Baltimore (Baltimore?) plays it too. It doesn't make it any less egregious.
   39. Steve Treder Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:25 PM (#3574146)
the person who pitched this as "yeah, that's a great idea!" needs to die in a fire.

Aptly put.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:25 PM (#3574147)
The Appleton Timber Rattlers organization does a great job even though some of their promotions bury the needle on 'hokey'.

The Dayton Dragons marketing team is truly special.

I visit others of course but these are the two most frequent. I really enjoy A ball.

Nathan
   41. Steve Treder Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3574153)
I really enjoy A ball.

Me too.
   42. Lassus Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3574160)
I was just seated in the upper deck (no, not promenade, Citifield) for the Mets/Tigers game, and that's nearest all the speakers.

I gotta say, I do think most of you are whining old (diabetic [heh - wait, don't shoot!]) farts, because I was with my sister who I hadn't seen in forever, and a friend who never watches baseball. I was able to catch up with the former, and to explain everything going on to the latter, and neither said a word about the noise, and no one noticed it. (I do hate the graphic demands for noise, but I forget them in 2 seconds flat anyhow.)

(Also, as long as we're talking up A ball, I far prefer the Staten Island Yankees experience to the Coney Island Mets experience.)
   43. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:40 PM (#3574182)
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" has grown on me--at least they came up with an original song that has some relevance with the Braves fan base, rather than copying the Yankees and playing "God Bless America". Granted, I would prefer an actual country song, even somthing benign like Kenny Chesney or Sugarland.
   44. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:50 PM (#3574213)
As for why bars crank up the decibels, I recall reading somewhere that a high noise level raises adrenaline, and makes people drink alcohol faster, thus purchase more alcohol.


This is exactly true, though the theory that it's adrenaline that causes the behavior is unconfirmed as of yet. The bottom line though, is that when bars and restaurants play up-tempo music a louder volumes, customers in the bar drink faster and order more rounds, while customers in the restaurant drink more, eat faster and turn tables for the next customer in line.

With regard to ballpark experience, I welcome you all to my cranky-old-man worldview.
   45. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:51 PM (#3574218)
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" has grown on me


Like a fungus?

The only good thing one can say about "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" is that it is not "Cotton Eyed Joe."
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3574223)
I gotta say, I do think most of you are whining old farts, because I was with my sister who I hadn't seen in forever, and a friend who never watches baseball. I was able to catch up with the former, and to explain everything going on to the latter, and she didn't say a word about the noise, and no one noticed it.

I guarantee she would have noticed it last year at the Camden Yards meet-up. You literally had to scream over the music for your seat neighbor to hear you, and literally the only time it stopped was from the time the pitcher released the ball until the time that the play was completed.

It's one thing when the noise is organic, i.e. from the crowd itself, and non-amplified. That's the kind of noise caused in spontaneous reaction to an actual play on the field, or in anticipation of a play, and it's part of what makes a live game preferable to the TV version, other factors being equal.

But you can't compare real crowd noise, or organ music a la Wrigley Field, to the sort of hyper-amplified and non-game related crap that some parks (maybe not CitiField) feel obliged to impose on us from the time the gates open to the time the last fan has left. The former is part of the natural rhythm of the game. The latter just tries to force the issue in the most obnoxious in-your-face manner.

But what I'd really love to see would be a vuvuzela vs. loudspeaker music smackdown, which would be the logical extension of every cheesy marketing gimmick we've had over the past 30 years. And it would be kind of a hoot to hear the complaints from both sides, that their own particular form of imbecility was being drowned out by the other. I'm only a bit surprised that nobody's yet tried it.
   47. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3574231)
Is Atlanta in the country now? Whatever happened to that Atlanta song the city spent a gazillion dollars on to be their version of New York, New York?
   48. Steve Treder Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3574232)
The only good thing one can say about "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" is that it is not "Cotton Eyed Joe."

The single, solitary thing.
   49. I Left Tim Raines Down In Africa Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3574234)
The only good thing one can say about "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" is that it is not "Cotton Eyed Joe."


Oh, good God. I heard that in Tampa last week. I was instantly seeking out the weaker patrons to fight.

By the way, let it be said that I'm quite the fan of Turner Field. I could just do with about 5000% less John ####ing Denver.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3574236)
Speaking of hearing, I can't take too much loud music
I mean I like to play it, but I sure don't like the racket
   51. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:59 PM (#3574244)
Reading all these, it could easily be that it varies quite a bit, park to park.
   52. depletion Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:59 PM (#3574245)
I haven't figured out how to channel a crowd onto this, but total silence is much more damning and overwhelming than noise. Having played in loud rock bands, if you can get wailing away then hit total silence, ...well that gets their attention. I wish instead of "HOW 'BOUT SOME NOISE!!!" the jumbotron displayed "TOTAL SILENCE, PLEASE". Or perhaps "MANDATORY SILENT MOMENT".
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:00 PM (#3574246)
They still play "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" during the 7th inning stretch. I care not if there is no other music whatsoever throughout the game, the person who pitched this as "yeah, that's a great idea!" needs to die in a fire.

The Orioles first used that in the 70's, and for the first few years the mostly blue collar Baltimore crowd was actually into it, and it lent a certain amount of communal pizzazz to the 7th inning stretch. But like every idea that has a normal expiration date, they took it way past its natural-born time, and by the time they finally got rid of it there was hardly a Memorial Stadium pigeon who wasn't bidding it good riddance.

And so of course the geniuses in Angelos' marketing department then brought it back. Good old Orioles, they never miss a tired gimmick.
   54. depletion Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:00 PM (#3574247)
SoSH, you're an adult now.
   55. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:00 PM (#3574248)
Is Atlanta in the country now?


No, but the suburban and rural base from which the Braves draw their fans - you know, "Braves Country" - is. The city population is a tiny fraction of their market, and we get marketed to accordingly.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3574259)
Been played a million times but I always enjoy Roll Out The Barrel at Miller Park...........................
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3574260)
The only good thing one can say about "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" is that it is not "Cotton Eyed Joe."


The single, solitary thing.

No, its far more important virtue is that it's not "Centerfield," (the worst song ever recorded) and it's not the Tomahawk Chop wail. But I will grant Mr. Denver's magnum crapus fourth place status among Legendary Stadium Horrors.
   58. Steve Treder Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:06 PM (#3574263)
I tried to play my music,
They say my music's too loud.
I tried talking about it,
I got the big runaround.
And when I rolled with the punches
I got knocked on the ground
By all this bullsh!t going down.
   59. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:08 PM (#3574265)
I think the Braves should ditch "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" in favor of "Bad Street, USA" by Georgia native and true American hero Michael P.S. Hayes:

I want to tell you a story
about a place you don't wanna be.
This ain't no home sweet home,
it's a home sweet misery.
We knew when we got here
they'd try to put us away.
But when they seen us walk down
the street they ran the other way.

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA
Baddest street in the whole USA
Badstreet nasty and hot
The further down the block you went, the badder it got.

Street is a jumping,
tonight there'll be a brawl.
Old Lady McDuffie she done
give the cops a call.
She might as well call the Army or
the United States Marines,
'cause can't nobody handle this
Badstreet scene.

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA
Baddest street in the whole USA
Badstreet nasty and hot
The further down the block you went the badder it got.

17 punks came calling and
they thought that they were hot.
They thought that they were nasty
and could make it down on our block.
But I'll never forget hearing that
ambulance driver say,
"Someone should have told those
boys 'bout Badstreet USA."

So don't you come looking.
on this side of town.
'Cause this is where the Freebirds
live and everything's going down.
If you don't know by now,
we always get our way.
That's the way it is down
here on Badstreet USA.

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA
Baddest street in the whole USA
Badstreet nasty and hot
The further down the block you went the badder it got.

Badstreet, Atlanta, GA
Baddest street in the whole USA
Badstreet nasty and hot
The further down the block you went the badder it got.

We live in the last house on the right.
Badstreet baby, anytime!
   60. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3574267)
robinred Posted: June 29, 2010 at 09:21 AM (#3573933)

I was at Yankee Stadium a couple weekends ago to watch the Astros. It's living hell


I agree. I've seen the Astros.


hey you boy!!!

dontchu be stealin my lines!!!!!
   61. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:09 PM (#3574268)
I did want to mention that the Brewers A ball team is populated by midgets. Holy Cow. They must have half the starters at 5'9" or less. I thought I was watching a Pony League team.
   62. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:10 PM (#3574272)
Jesus, are you guys old farts. The TV broadcasts are clutter-filled stinkbombs, sure, but how does music at a baseball game harm the experience? I went to many a game in the organ-only days, and prefer recorded music by a factor of 100.


Aren't you the guy who always says the players should never have unionized? That is a weird combination of old-school/new-school opinions.

I don't have a problem with the at-bat music, the music when relief pitchers are coming out or the songs that accompany something actually happening in the game. But all the random noises! All the things that just make sure there is never any silence! It's just befuddling. At least organ music would be something traditional and unique.
   63. DKDC Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3574275)
In a world where we all face constant reminders of the toll that aging has or will take on us, there’s nothing like a bunch of cranks complaining about noise to make you feel young.
   64. Spivey Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:12 PM (#3574276)
Cotton Eyed Joe is much better than God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch. And presumably "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", a song with a title so bad I can only assume the music follows suit.
   65. Lassus Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3574280)
I thought I was watching a Pony League team.

Maybe you saw my great-uncle play, Harveys.
   66. BDC Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:20 PM (#3574286)
Cotton Eyed Joe was an ordeal at the Ballpark till recent years – it's hard to explain, but I'm a very white American goy with some Appalachian heritage, and yet when they play Cotton Eyed Joe in Texas (as they do at lots of events, not just ballgames), I suddenly feel dangerously insufficiently white. Troops of blonde people clapping and stamping their feet triggers a kind of primal horror instinct in me.

The upside is that since they started playing God Bless America, followed by Take Me Out to the Ballgame, they only have time for a few bars of the Joe.
   67. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3574294)
Lassus:

I was referring to kids between the ages of 13-15. My guess is that you know that but had to be clever.

You guys wear me out sometimes.

But I am getting accustomed to no Lounge activity.
   68. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3574297)
Cotton Eyed Joe was an ordeal at the Ballpark till recent years – it's hard to explain, but I'm a very white American goy with some Appalachian heritage, and yet when they play Cotton Eyed Joe in Texas (as they do at lots of events, not just ballgames), I suddenly feel dangerously insufficiently white.


I feel your pain, brother. I was born and raised in what can only be described as a swamp on the Georgia-Florida border. Growing up I was no less than 2 hours away from any "city", wherein the metropolis of Macon or Valdosta, GA might be called a "city." I am as natural born to the "Cotton Eyed Joe" demographic as a man could possibly be, and yet, when it plays, I freeze in a cold-sweat fear, as if a velociraptor is stalking me, but not just any old raptor, but one that can eat your soul and take it to hell when he's done ripping you bodily apart, and then I look around and those people are *smiling* and *clapping* and I can't help but wonder who put them up to it and how so many people could be born with such empty vessels where their souls should be that they would help out a demonic velociraptor on the hunt.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3574299)
Cotton Eyed Joe was an ordeal at the Ballpark till recent years – it's hard to explain, but I'm a very white American goy with some Appalachian heritage, and yet when they play Cotton Eyed Joe in Texas (as they do at lots of events, not just ballgames), I suddenly feel dangerously insufficiently white. Troops of blonde people clapping and stamping their feet triggers a kind of primal horror instinct in me.

Well, since the version of Cotton Eye Joe that I'm most familiar with was a beautiful a cappella one performed in the early 60's by the SNCC Freedom Singers, you can imagine my pleasure in never having been exposed to the version you're talking about.
   70. Sean Forman Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:37 PM (#3574307)
My seats in Philly are poorly placed near the speakers and my five-year-old was constantly covering his ears due to the loud music. It made it very difficult to talk to him during the game which is unfortunate. I've actually noticed that I'm hoarse after attending a game with a friend due to the volume of the ambient noise.
   71. Dan Evensen Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:46 PM (#3574316)
I've never thought that noise was a problem at local Salt Lake Bees games. I only get annoyed by the people who come late, ignore the game as they talk with their friends, and then leave early -- and that type of "fan" has been around for many a decade.

From TFA:

My father, in his neat, squared off-printing, dutifully kept score, something few fans do anymore (are scorecards even still sold at games?).

I love keeping score at ballgames, and I'm only 26. It really adds a lot to my enjoyment of the game. I become extremely upset, though, when the person in charge of the PA fails to notify us of defensive changes, leaving me surprised when somebody unexpected comes up to bat. It's hard to retroactively guess when the new fielder entered the ballgame. That hasn't been a problem at MLB games I've attended, but it happens fairly frequently at PCL games out here, and was the rule, not the exception, at the college baseball games I've been to.

I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though. It's a lost art. I'm not sure when people stopped caring. If you watch Game 4 (or it might be Game 5) of the 1982 World Series, you can see a few shots of fans in the stands keeping score after cheering. You just don't see that these days.

He rarely so much as commented on the game itself as it went along, content simply to relish it for what it is--a contest of precision athletic skills and strategizing wits. I can’t recall that he ever stood and yelled, or shook his fist, let alone booed or applauded.

Okay -- I don't mind having a quiet setting, but, geez, this sounds kind of boring. It reminds me of watching soccer with some of my German friends.

That last sentence is written strangely, too. Shouldn't it be, "I can't recall that he ever booed or applauded, let alone stood, yelled or shook his fist"? </grammar police>
   72. Swedish Chef Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:48 PM (#3574322)
Still, Rednex isn't Sweden's worst contribution to 90's chart music, Ace of Base is the bigger horror.

If anybody here ever wanted to have their own irritating pop group, I saw a couple of months ago that the Rednex concept was for sale, "Cotton Eye Joe" royalties not included.
   73. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3574324)
Aren't you the guy who always says the players should never have unionized? That is a weird combination of old-school/new-school opinions.

I try to take it issue by issue, but on the non-music issue, no I never said that. What I've said is that baseball players were paid very well before free agency, which they were. I've also said the players' union is more of a snobby guild than a real union, which it also is. I fully support unions.

The tough new-school/old-school choice that can't be avoided, unfortunately, is: TTO baseball to a modern soundtrack or athletic baseball with only an organ to accompany.
   74. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:57 PM (#3574327)
I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though.


For what it's worth I still keep score and there is a woman who has seats about three rows in front of mine that I see regularly keeping score as well.
   75. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:01 PM (#3574331)
I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though. It's a lost art. I'm not sure when people stopped caring. If you watch Game 4 (or it might be Game 5) of the 1982 World Series, you can see a few shots of fans in the stands keeping score after cheering. You just don't see that these days.


Consider if you will, the ease of access to records, scores and play-by-play data in 1982 in comparison to ease of access to that same sort of data today. Keeping score in 1982 was a *means of recording and remembering your experience.* Keeping score in 2010 is a ritual without meaning, as every aspect of the game you're attending is recorded immediately and easily pulled up on your phone.
   76. Repoz Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:01 PM (#3574332)
I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though.

Last I read...less than 4% now keep score at ML games.
   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3574334)
For what it's worth I still keep score and there is a woman who has seats about three rows in front of mine that I see regularly keeping score as well.

I kept every Memorial Stadium scorecard I had from the 70's, and every one of them's perfectly scored by my former GF, even with her marginal notes about great plays or brain farts. Unfortunately, my wife was raised overseas, and would keep better score at a ballet than she would at a ballpark. She once went to a no-hitter with me and didn't realize that it was any more unusual than a shutout.
   78. bunyon Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3574335)
I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though. It's a lost art. I'm not sure when people stopped caring. If you watch Game 4 (or it might be Game 5) of the 1982 World Series, you can see a few shots of fans in the stands keeping score after cheering. You just don't see that these days.

In all seriousness, is there an app for keeping score? If not, get to writing code boys.
   79. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3574336)
I stopped keeping score in discussions with my wife. To many backwards K's........
   80. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:03 PM (#3574338)
Last I read...less than 4% now keep score at ML games.
I am a proud member of that 1 in 25.
   81. tshipman Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:06 PM (#3574343)
I've never had an issue with noise at SBC. The crowd gets involved very prominently, and it can be noisy in a big moment, but it's fairly organic, in my opinion.

There's typically music or some such being played between innings, but it's not so loud that I can't talk with my seat mates.
   82. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:12 PM (#3574351)
I've never had an issue with noise at SBC.


May I ask how often you went to games prior to the noise producing become standard? I often hear people in the city talk about it "getting dark outside." I've never seen it get dark in the city, if you see my point.
   83. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:14 PM (#3574354)
is there an app for keeping score?

Several. Just google "baseball scorecard app".
   84. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:17 PM (#3574359)
Cotton Eyed Joe is much better than God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch. And presumably "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", a song with a title so bad I can only assume the music follows suit.

And how. I don't mind it.(**) Its replacement by God Bless America roughly coincided with the last leg down for the American empire. Historians will surely take note.

(**) And of course part of the reason I don't is ... you know ... that I heard it a bunch of times when I was at a baseball game. You'd think the notion that a song can take on a different vibe because it's the soundtrack to baseball would register more widely.
   85. tshipman Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:21 PM (#3574363)
May I ask how often you went to games prior to the noise producing become standard? I often hear people in the city talk about it "getting dark outside." I've never seen it get dark in the city, if you see my point.


Sure, I understand what you mean. I started going to baseball games somewhat regularly (3-4 times per year) when I started college--around 2001. The games were always noisy in big moments (every Bonds AB, for example), but most of that was fairly natural.

I've never experienced what people are talking about above, where they can't hold a conversation in between ABs, or before the game.
   86. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:26 PM (#3574364)
Dan Evensen Posted: June 29, 2010 at 01:46 PM (#3574316)

I become extremely upset, though, when the person in charge of the PA fails to notify us of defensive changes, leaving me surprised when somebody unexpected comes up to bat. It's hard to retroactively guess when the new fielder entered the ballgame.


- happens ALL the time at astros games. but you know it is most likely to happen when there was a PH or a new pitcher.

I don't know anybody else who still keeps score, though.

i have a scorebook. and it is amazing how many people ask me if i am a scout seeing as how they see me writing stuff. seriously. even though i am obviously a female and best i know there are no female scouts. and am sitting in the cheap seats, usually with kidz. and don't have a radar gun

most people i see keeping score are female

yes there is an app for scorekeeping. one of my mama's friends has it on her ipad.
   87. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:26 PM (#3574366)
Cotton Eyed Joe is much better than God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch. And presumably "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", a song with a title so bad I can only assume the music follows suit.


I would advise you to look up the wiki on "Cotton Eyed Joe" and scan the lyrics.
   88. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:35 PM (#3574378)
I've never experienced what people are talking about above, where they can't hold a conversation in between ABs, or before the game.


I don't think I've ever been unable to carry on conversation between at bats either.

Back in the 90s, when the "throwback" games were just coming into vogue, one of the teams went all the way down that path. Shut off the scoreboard, shut off all piped in music or sound. Nothing but the crowd noise, the announcer calling players as they stepped to the plate, and the sound of an actual baseball game (bats hitting balls, the pop of the catcher's mitt, the *umpire's voice* calling balls and strikes.) It was awesome. I want to think it was the White Sox...
   89. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3574382)
Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3574336)

I stopped keeping score in discussions with my wife. To many backwards K's........


- i'm impressed. most men never learn


tshipman Posted: June 29, 2010 at 02:21 PM (#3574363)


I've never experienced what people are talking about above, where they can't hold a conversation in between ABs, or before the game.


- well then you have never been to an astros game. it is VERY hard to talk to someone between innings the noise is so loud. the only time they stop all the endless noise is after the 7th inning when the astros are losing
- it is incredibly better going to games at u of h. i mean about almost no noise. you can explain plays/strategy to your kidz. of course, then you have to be baked in the hot sun and watch players who are incredibly below the worst major leaguer in every way. watching major leaguers, even astros, really spoils you
   90. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:38 PM (#3574385)
I would advise you to look up the wiki on "Cotton Eyed Joe" and scan the lyrics.

The version played at Yankee Stadium was sung by a bunch of Swedes. Everyone knows you can't understand a word those people say.
   91. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:39 PM (#3574388)
sam please edit your quote you have screwed up the margins

thank you

also
i'm not feelin what is wrong with cotton eye joe

is it something associated with racist groups?
because i've never heard of that
and i can't think why they would use it because it is based on an old Black song
   92. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:47 PM (#3574393)
So what song has the worst lyrics of all-time? I'll kick off the nominations with "This Is Why I'm Hot"
   93. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:50 PM (#3574397)
is it something associated with racist groups?


I get a little tetchy sitting amidst 20,000 white, southern suburbanites singing:

Cotton-eyed Joe, Cotton-eyed Joe,
He was de nig dat sarved me so, ?
Tuck my gal away fum me,
Carried her off to Tennessee.


I may be being overly sensitive to matters.
   94. caprules Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3574400)
I think the increase of manufactured noise is tied to the increase of guys stepping out of the box. The little bursts and such keep the crowd awake while watching the batter adjust his equipment (insert obligatory joke).
   95. TerpNats Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:51 PM (#3574402)
"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" has grown on me--at least they came up with an original song that has some relevance with the Braves fan base, rather than copying the Yankees and playing "God Bless America". Granted, I would prefer an actual country song, even somthing benign like Kenny Chesney or Sugarland.
You've never been to Baltimore, have you?

Back in the 90s, when the "throwback" games were just coming into vogue, one of the teams went all the way down that path. Shut off the scoreboard, shut off all piped in music or sound. Nothing but the crowd noise, the announcer calling players as they stepped to the plate, and the sound of an actual baseball game (bats hitting balls, the pop of the catcher's mitt, the *umpire's voice* calling balls and strikes.) It was awesome. I want to think it was the White Sox...
It was indeed, in July 1990 to commemorate the 80th anniversary (and last year) of old Comiskey. The Sox were trying to recreate 1917 (at the time, their most recent World Series title).

A few years later, the Phillies did some "throwback" games to honor the 1950s and 1930s, but trying to recapture the past at artificial turf Veterans Stadium...well, they had good intentions.
   96. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 29, 2010 at 06:56 PM (#3574408)
i'm not feelin what is wrong with cotton eye joe

is it something associated with racist groups?
because i've never heard of that
and i can't think why they would use it because it is based on an old Black song


I think it's more that the specific version that gets played (by Swedish act Rednex) is one of the more irritating songs ever recorded...
   97. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 29, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3574415)
It's MC Pee Pants, right?

Well, he does like candy.
   98. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 29, 2010 at 07:06 PM (#3574419)
I get a little tetchy sitting amidst 20,000 white, southern suburbanites singing:

Cotton-eyed Joe, Cotton-eyed Joe,
He was de nig dat sarved me so, ?
Tuck my gal away fum me,
Carried her off to Tennessee.


That's the version they use at Braves games? Quite different from the one used everywhere else.

At Pirates games the noises don't drown out conversation or hurt the ears. They never do. They are just...pointless.
   99. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 29, 2010 at 07:07 PM (#3574423)
It feels old in here.

I don't know, I thought the plastic raceway leading to this thread was kind of a nice touch. Cuts down on vacuuming too.
   100. morineko Posted: June 29, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3574432)
I attempt to keep score at every game but it's difficult when I have to stand up about 8000 times to let people get in and out and can't see the plays because of people in front of me going in and out all the time. I usually give up around the 6th inning.
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