Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Savage: On Witnessing The Wave At Wrigley Field

And this certainly ain’t based on the Dohamelsin principle.

The void this year at Wrigley is palpable. It’s in the empty seats, the dugout depopulated by trades, and fans’ attitudes, too. But why, after all these years, would the Wave appear now at Wrigley?

Here’s my theory: it has to do with owners and fans, and their respective assumptions about what matters.

When owners play heavy metal music at make-your-ears-bleed volume, or have constant Jumbotron bullshit going on during every half-inning, it shows that management assumes that the fans need more than the game to be entertained. And that’s U.S. Cellular in a nutshell. The product on the field isn’t enough, even with the White Sox in first place. The pauses that baseball allows, to ponder the next inning’s first three hitters, to consider the last inning’s action, will not do.

The Wave expresses that same impulse, but in the opposite direction.

The Wave is the fans telling owners that the game on the field—and even the Jumbotron–is not enough, that they are not sufficiently entertained and so they must entertain themselves.

That’s what should worry the Cubs management about last week’s Wave, which may not have been the first and almost certainly won’t be the last.

Bowden’s walk to Harrell didn’t lead to another run, so the Cubs only lost 10-1. The fans doing the Wave didn’t miss anything in terms of baseball action or entertainment.

In this case, the Wave itself was the important action, because it suggests a powerful change taking place on the North Side. And not a good one.

Repoz Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:47 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4214644)
I love the wave. Haters gonna hate.
   2. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4214650)
This is an issue in Boston too, not the wave specifically (though it happens), but the "other" stuff. Sweet Caroline, beach balls, etc...I've never quite gotten the hate. I understand if it interferes with the game itself, that's unacceptable, and of course if the artificial noise level is such that you can't have a conversation that's no good either.

But fans enjoying themselves on a night out at the ballpark is a good thing, not a bad thing. Baseball is fun. It's something I've experienced on a different level this year than in many years as a Red Sox fan. Oh don't get me wrong, I'd trade my right leg for this club to be in first place right now but last night I got to appreciate Mike Trout storming around third base like Usain Bolt coming off the turn in the 200 in a way I wouldn't have if the Sox were fighting the Angels for a playoff spot. At the same time, 30,000+ people singing along to a cheesy song between innings is fun. People smile, they laugh, they dance or sway, fun things are fun.

I can't imagine not living and dying with every win, loss or rain out but I'm fine if others don't. As long as they don't block my view, spill beer on me or actively interfere with my ability to watch the game what do I care what others are doing?
   3. Lassus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4214697)
I was hoping this article was by Dan Savage.
   4. Delino DeShields & Yarnell Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4214704)
Miller Park has always been very Wave friendly. But noticeably less and less of it in the past couple of years, as the onfield product has become more sufficiently entertaining.
   5. dr. scott Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4214707)
I was hoping for John Savage... maybe have some anti establishment hippie musical article type thing...

Anyway, never saw the wave at a cubs game, but jesus if they dont love it at Cellular Field.

In oakland staduim if someone tried to start the wave the ushers would actively yell at them. "This is not Dodger Stadium! Sit your ass down!". I always loved that. Those are some mean ass ushers in Otown. Dont know if they still do that.
   6. zonk Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4214709)
I was hoping for Randy Savage... because I imagine the dead have interesting perspectives on us.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4214711)
I hate the wave, as idiots that do it in front of me block my view of the game.

I don't like the organ/music/jumbotron urging fans to make noise, but at least it doesn't interfere with my ability to watch the game.
If they want to do crazy stuff in between innings (or during pitching changes), that's perfectly fine by me. But not while the ball is live.
   8. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4214717)
So can we expect the Fenway sellout streak to end? If they are playing in front of 25,000 people in late September with tickets available through the box office, will they persist in their PR madness?

2003-2008 will go down as one of the great eras at any ballpark in history, btw. Fenway and Boston in general was the place to be for baseball, period. (And will be again next time they win)
   9. zonk Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4214719)
I hate the wave, as idiots that do it in front of me block my view of the game.

I don't like the organ/music/jumbotron urging fans to make noise, but at least it doesn't interfere with my ability to watch the game.
If they want to do crazy stuff in between innings (or during pitching changes), that's perfectly fine by me. But not while the ball is live.


Generally agree... though in defense of Wrigley waves (and I've seen plenty... gone are the days when they'd get stopped dead cold at the bleachers, now they start there) - the Steve Trachsel years made it easy to forget that the ball sometimes IS occasionally in play. So yeah, I blame Tracshel for this.
   10. OsunaSakata Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4214731)
In oakland staduim if someone tried to start the wave the ushers would actively yell at them. "This is not Dodger Stadium! Sit your ass down!". I always loved that. Those are some mean ass ushers in Otown. Dont know if they still do that.


That's interesting because one claimant for the origin of the wave was at an Oakland Athletics home game.
   11. dr. scott Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4214756)
That's interesting because one claimant for the origin of the wave was at an Oakland Athletics home game.


This was in 2005-2007 when I went to a lot of games there. I had not heard that it was a possible origin.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4214760)

So can we expect the Fenway sellout streak to end? If they are playing in front of 25,000 people in late September with tickets available through the box office, will they persist in their PR madness?


My guess is next year. I suspect that enough tickets are sold for this year that they aren't going to end the streak if they've got a few hundred unsold seats. Barring some sort of big acquisition this off-season I don't expect the advance sales are going to be the outrageously high percentages they've been in the past decade. According to RedSox.com seating capacity at Fenway is 37,493 at night, 37,095 during the day and the Sox are averaging 37,618 per game (per BBRef), over 100% with just one game all year at less than 37,000. Oddly, that was the 100th anniversary game, I wonder if they took away some seats for media.

Just a gut feel, the Sox are going to need to have less than 36,500 before they run a "thanks fans for the incredible sell out streak, let's start a new one!" ad in the Globe and Herald.
   13. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4214775)

Just a gut feel, the Sox are going to need to have less than 36,500 before they run a "thanks fans for the incredible sell out streak, let's start a new one!" ad in the Globe and Herald.


Sold or in the house? I'm guessing we will be seeing crowds of <30,000 after the Sox are eliminated. Of course, the tickets will be sold, so you're probably right that the streak stays intact.
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4214782)
Sold (or distributed, whatever the relevant figure is).

I'd be surprised if attendance declined THAT much. I don't remember it doing so in 2006 though of course that team was more successful than this one and still had some very recent glory to piggyback on. Assuming no weather issues I'd be surprised to find that 15% of people who had paid money for tickets didn't use them which is what needs to happen to get under 30,000. Just speaking for myself even with the team sucking I can always find someone who would take my tickets free and bring their dad or their kid or a date or whatever.

I think you'll find a different crowd. A lot more people lingering over dinner and coming in in the second inning or leaving after seven to beat traffic type things. To out and out not use tickets that are paid for? I'd be surprised if it was that widespread.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4214939)
So true about the Cell - they have some chant or applause-inducing gimmick after just about every damn pitch. Can't stand it.
   16. boteman Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4214989)
The most egregious offense by those who do The Wave occurs when their team is pitching, thus distracting the pitcher and defenders in the field. Totally thoughtless and detached from the baseball game happening right in front of them. It happened late last night in the high dollar seats at Nationals Park.

Happily, when the Nats hosted the Giants in early July in which everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, was wearing throwback uniforms and costumes commemorating the 1933 World Series, they even went so far as to eliminate all scoreboard, music, and loudspeaker crapola. The crowd apparently loved it and--GOSH--actually knew when to cheer and boo without prompting. Word.
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4214996)
The Wave is worse than reclining airline seats.
   18. bigglou115 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4215004)
The most egregious offense by those who do The Wave occurs when their team is pitching, thus distracting the pitcher and defenders in the field. Totally thoughtless and detached from the baseball game happening right in front of them. It happened late last night in the high dollar seats at Nationals Park.


In fairness, the Nationals' fans are still trying to figure out how to be fans of a team where what happens on the field matters. The stadium generally has good atmosphere and the fans are pretty sincere so I'd bet that kind of thing goes away over time as the Nats stay competitive.

I maintain that 90% of down to the last strike comebacks are because fans start screaming on any 2 strike count in the bottom of the 9th. Although this behavior isn't limited to baseball. I remember the year after the Razorbacks beat Texas at Texas when they were hosting the Longhorns in Fayetteville. The place was so loud the center snapped the ball over Matt Jones's head, leading to a safety. End of the game the Hogs lost by 2 points.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4215043)
Happily, when the Nats hosted the Giants in early July in which everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, was wearing throwback uniforms and costumes commemorating the 1933 World Series, they even went so far as to eliminate all scoreboard, music, and loudspeaker crapola. The crowd apparently loved it and--GOSH--actually knew when to cheer and boo without prompting. Word.

The problem is that owners are so wedded to their goddam focus groups that they'd be too ####### scared to try this on an ongoing basis, even if the actual crowd at the game went for it.

Of course since they've invested so much moolah in their electronic gimmicks they're never going to get rid of them anyway, so I know it's a hopeless bit of Quixote-ism to even mention it. At least they don't come through on TV.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 22, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4215050)
I was hoping this article was by Dan Savage.


I'm going to see his play Miracle! tomorrow night. The story of Helen Keller transposed to the world of drag queens? Should be interesting...
   21. Eddo Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4215058)
So true about the Cell - they have some chant or applause-inducing gimmick after just about every damn pitch. Can't stand it.

Unless you're referring to organ music, I can't agree. Care to elaborate?

I mean, there are a few of those "fan meter" things on the scoreboard through the course of a game, yes. And between innings, there are various races and fan dancing competitions that are really dumb, but are just distractions during downtime.

I haven't noticed U.S. Cellular Field as being particularly notable among the stadiums I've been to.
   22. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4215059)
I was hoping for Randy Savage... because I imagine the dead have interesting perspectives on us.

I was hoping it was Vandal Savage because...I mean, damn, he's immortal for chrissake.
   23. TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4215194)
Happily, when the Nats hosted the Giants in early July in which everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, was wearing throwback uniforms and costumes commemorating the 1933 World Series, they even went so far as to eliminate all scoreboard, music and loudspeaker crapola. The crowd apparently loved it and--GOSH--actually knew when to cheer and boo without prompting. Word.
Actually, they were commemorating the 1924 World Series, because that was the one Washington won, and the electronic scoreboards were shaded dark green, to sort of replicate Griffith Stadium.

And in the apparent first-ever "turn back the clock" game -- at old Comiskey Park in July 1990, commemorating the champion Chisox of 1917 -- they had no loudspeakers at all; the starting lineups were announced by megaphone.
   24. TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4215197)
The problem is that owners are so wedded to their goddam focus groups that they'd be too ####### scared to try this on an ongoing basis, even if the actual crowd at the game went for it.
If Bill Veeck came back to life, his gimmick might be the absence of these gimmicks. (Of course, the main difference between Veeck and his successors is that Bill -- aside from one fateful twi-nighter at Comiskey in 1979 -- respected the game, and his customers.)
   25. McCoy Posted: August 22, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4215279)
Well, he respected his customers and their right to be entertained. The game not so much.
   26. Dan Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4215285)
And in the apparent first-ever "turn back the clock" game -- at old Comiskey Park in July 1990, commemorating the champion Chisox of 1917 -- they had no loudspeakers at all; the starting lineups were announced by megaphone.


They did this in a throwback game at Fenway recently.
   27. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4215305)
And in the apparent first-ever "turn back the clock" game -- at old Comiskey Park in July 1990, commemorating the champion Chisox of 1917 -- they had no loudspeakers at all; the starting lineups were announced by megaphone.

They did this in a throwback game at Fenway recently.

Now, get a few players to form up a little barbershop quartet, have them sing to the crowd from behind home plate before the game, and then we'll really have something.
   28. boteman Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4215319)
Actually, they were commemorating the 1924 World Series

Yeah, I knew that. :-)

and the electronic scoreboards were shaded dark green, to sort of replicate Griffith Stadium.

I hear that Rizzo nixed the idea of building that little cutout in center field for that one game. So...not authentic.
   29. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4215335)
Can't remember what year it was except that it was sometime in the 90's, but my favorite throwback game was the Saturday Game of the Week where the TV cameras in the early innings were stationed to give the same angle that they did in the first years of TV, and as the game progressed, the equipment and the views became more and more up to date. Can't even remember the park or the teams, but it may have been one of those games that were being referred to above.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Mike Emeigh
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 3 OMNICHATTER
(88 - 8:46pm, Oct 24)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogCurt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston
(17 - 8:40pm, Oct 24)
Last: DJS and the Infinite Sadness

NewsblogDid Adam Dunn Ruin Baseball? – The Hardball Times
(69 - 8:39pm, Oct 24)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3724 - 8:36pm, Oct 24)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(73 - 8:27pm, Oct 24)
Last: boteman

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(13 - 8:11pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(5 - 8:05pm, Oct 24)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogBeaneball | Gold Gloves and Coco Crisp's Terrible 2014 Defense
(2 - 7:47pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(380 - 7:45pm, Oct 24)
Last: rr

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(915 - 7:37pm, Oct 24)
Last: CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo

NewsblogHow top World Series players ranked as prospects. | SportsonEarth.com : Jim Callis Article
(16 - 7:29pm, Oct 24)
Last: zonk

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(871 - 7:22pm, Oct 24)
Last: Jim Wisinski

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(67 - 6:38pm, Oct 24)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogThe ‘Little Things’ – The Hardball Times
(2 - 6:34pm, Oct 24)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(15 - 5:31pm, Oct 24)
Last: zonk

Page rendered in 0.3871 seconds
52 querie(s) executed