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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Atlantic: ‘Down in Front!’: A Few Pointers for Baseball’s Worst Fans

But that doesn’t seem to be enough for stand-happy Washingtonians who don’t respect the basic truth that getting up or returning to your seat while the ball is in play is the worst thing you can do at a baseball game, short of throwing up on little kids on purpose or hurling batteries at outfielders, like they do in Philadelphia. (Actual headline: “Man Vomited on Girl, Father at Phillies Game.”) ...

You also shouldn’t stand up when you buy a hot dog or a beer from the vendor. Remain seated and pass the money down the aisle and your change will magically make its way back down the row to you. Nats Park is the only place in Washington where your money gets passed along and nobody takes a cut. ...

I’m not saying the Philly fans are coarse and abrasive and crass, but when thousands of the Jerky Boys descended on D.C. last year, a bunch of them had a burping contest in the row behind me, and the winner was a woman wearing a Chase Utley jersey.

bobm Posted: June 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, phillies, stadiums

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   1. Cuban X Senators Posted: June 17, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4159143)
Funny as a native Washingtonian who now attends games SF, I've often thought standers would get shouted down on the east coast -- far more likely is that due to pricing and time, the set that dominated the stands in my youth -- working class and skewed toward men who'd been through the military and who currently spent their days in a workplace dominated by other men -- had no compunction about yelling gruffly at anyone too effete to sit and concentrate on the matter at hand.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4159160)
2) Are you leaving early?


What amazed me most about yesterday's game was the huge number of empty seats in the last few innings, and the number of empty seats behind the plate all during the game. It's like they were combining the worst traits of Dodgers fans with the blase traits of corporate Yankee fans.
   3. Pujols Shot Ya Posted: June 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4159176)
Eh, as a transplant to DC, I'll agree with a lot of the article and the general concept of not standing. But I don't agree with the "don't enter/leave during play" argument. I know it's normal in hockey, but it's not something I grew up with going to St. Louis games, so it just feels wrong. Baseball is a slow moving sport and I like that I can come and go, respectfully.

I'm also selfish though. I liked that DC was a bad baseball town where I could decide on a whim to go to a game, get cheap seats, and enjoy myself. This happened when they first moved here too, hopefully it will blow over soon.
   4. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4159183)
I don't think anybody from DC, or really any major league city, should be writing about not standing up or leaving during play. Nowadays virtually nobody stays in their seat for anything more than half an inning. I'd say a huge chunk of seats are unoccupied at least half the time during the game because people are out wandering about.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4159197)
I don't think anybody from DC, or really any major league city, should be writing about not standing up or leaving during play. Nowadays virtually nobody stays in their seat for anything more than half an inning. I'd say a huge chunk of seats are unoccupied at least half the time during the game because people are out wandering about.

I wonder what the comparable percentages would be for an NFL game.
   6. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4159200)
Personally, this annoys me a lot less than those blabbermouth types who won't stop talking at high volume for more than two seconds through the entire game. Especially about things that nobody gives a crap about, like their stupid Facebook accounts and such.
   7. tshipman Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4159202)
The worst fans in baseball are almost certainly the new Marlins fans who come to games. I went to a game there in May, and it was pretty pitiful. No one could get a chant going--the organist would play the "Let's go [team name], Let's go!" chant and maybe 100 people would chant along. One section tried to start the wave for two innings and it never made it past two sections. Just a sorry performance.

My apologies to die-hard Marlins fans. The newbies are letting you down.
   8. Flynn Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4159203)
They won't let you back in the seats in San Francisco while the ball is in play. You either have to wait for an out or for somebody to hit a foul ball (I guess the idea being those extra few seconds while the pitcher rubs up the baseball is key). I've always liked that - there's nothing worse than a 3-2 count and some dipstick is taking their kid back from getting more cotton candy, obscuring your view. In the age of endless music and distractions from watching the game, it's at least one nod in the other direction that you're there to watch a game.
   9. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4159204)
These Miami fans seem like my kind of people.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 17, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4159207)
One section tried to start the wave for two innings and it never made it past two sections.

I'd consider that a point in favor of Marlins fans.
   11. BDC Posted: June 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4159216)
a huge chunk of seats are unoccupied at least half the time during the game because people are out wandering about

Which is of course what the team wants them to do, so they can visit the innumerable amenities of the newer parks. At any given point now in Arlington, there are many hundreds of people watching the game in one of several sports bars, or indeed watching on the enormous TV they've set up beyond the new CF sports bar, from which there's no view of the field at all (but easy access to lots of food and drink). So really, getting bent out of shape about returning to a seat is pretty 20th-century :)

In the old Arlington Stadium, I don't remember there being any place to go at all from the outfield seats (which is where I usually sat). If there was anything except restrooms behind them, I've blotted it out of my memory. In the bleachers at OYS, there were a couple of tired hotdog stands next to the restrooms. There was a lot of incentive to stay in your seat and wait for the getcher-peanuts guy to come around.
   12. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4159222)
Third the Marlins' fans. Nothing worse then a bunch of sheep following along whatever the jumbo screens tells them to do and then they stop the moment the prompter stops.

I really hate the people that try to get the wave going and then I really hate them when they don't know it has failed and to stop trying.
   13. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4159249)
Honestly, who cares if fans want to go home in the seventh or eighth innings, particularly if the game takes place on a weeknight? All that means for me is an easier walk to my car or Metro after the last out.
   14. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4159252)
Regarding the fans who are walking to/from their seats between/during pitches, some of the blame goes to the design of the new ballparks. Once upon a time, an outdoor concourse bisected most ballparks' field level seats, meaning that you could get to your destination without inconveniencing others.
   15. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4159302)
The worst fans in baseball are almost certainly the new Marlins fans who come to games. I went to a game there in May, and it was pretty pitiful. No one could get a chant going--the organist would play the "Let's go [team name], Let's go!" chant and maybe 100 people would chant along. One section tried to start the wave for two innings and it never made it past two sections. Just a sorry performance.
That's okay, because anyone who does the wave at a baseball game should be kicked out of the stadium, banned for life, and sterilized.
   16. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 17, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4159320)
I was at two games in Tampa a few days ago and I had to get out of my seat about a dozen times each day to let people in and out. It was terrible. But there was no wave, so it wasn't all bad.
   17. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: June 17, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4159321)
I'd consider that a point in favor of Marlins fans.

This.
   18. Bob T Posted: June 17, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4159324)
Lots of people leave sporting events early. ALL OVER THE WORLD. Diehard European soccer fans will leave early if their team is getting beat badly.

People are going to a sporting event. It's not a jail sentence.

As for Saturday's Yankees-Nats game, it went 14 innings. How many people, especially if they are taking kids to a game, can stay that long without having their spawn start an armed rebellion.

I almost always stay the entire game, but I've had to leave early because:
1) I was getting sick once and didn't feel like spending the rest of the game throwing up in the stadium toilet
2) Promise of picking someone up at a particular time
3) Really awful weather
   19. bobm Posted: June 17, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4159332)
I almost always stay the entire game, but I've had to leave early because:
1) I was getting sick once and didn't feel like spending the rest of the game throwing up in the stadium toilet


Maybe the guy at Citizens Bank Park should have tried that defense.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4159335)
As for Saturday's Yankees-Nats game, it went 14 innings. How many people, especially if they are taking kids to a game, can stay that long without having their spawn start an armed rebellion.

Throwing up or having small kids with you are legit excuses, but anything else is perverse for as exciting a game as yesterday's, especially on a perfect Saturday afternoon. If the game delays you from picking up someone, well, that's what cell phones are for. And if they won't understand the reason, then #### em.
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4159350)
Throwing up or having small kids with you are legit excuses, but anything else is perverse for as exciting a game as yesterday's, especially on a perfect Saturday afternoon.
I was surprised at the sheer number of people leaving after 12 or so innings (they had a shot on the Yankee broadcast of a wave of people--in both Nats and Yankee gear, to be fair--walking back to the Metro). If you want to leave early, that's your prerogative, but it seems odd to stay for 12 innings and then leave.
   22. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4159353)
It was probably the people who said they would stick around for a couple of extra innings but then as it went longer they decided to call it and leave.
   23. Kurt Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4159354)
My impression is that DC has an awful lot of casual fans, families etc. They could be going to a musical, the circus, or any number of entertainment options, and they'd leave those places too after 4 1/2 hours with no end in sight.
   24. JE (Jason) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4159359)
In the 11th inning of the recent 12-inning game between the Mets and Nats, the PA dude announced that the last Green Line train was leaving the Navy Yard station at 11.20 pm, some 20 minutes hence. (Considering that the last Red Line train leaves Metro Center after midnight, 11.20 on a Tuesday night for a Green Line train in DC sounds absurdly early.) That single sentence got nearly half of the crowd still in attendance to bolt for the exits.
   25. tshipman Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4159361)
Look, I'm not a fan of the wave either. The reason why the fans couldn't get the wave going wasn't because of a principled reaction against the wave--they were just really bad at it. They *tried* to get it going. They just kept screwing it up. Standing up too early, standing up late. It was a shitshow.
   26. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4159363)
You know it is interleague time when you look at the standings and all you see is L1 or L3 or L4 or L-whatever next to all the NL teams. Right now there are only 4 teams in the NL with a W next to their name and all 4 are in the NL central and the Reds played a NL team.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4159369)
You know it is interleague time when you look at the standings and all you see is L1 or L3 or L4 or L-whatever next to all the NL teams. Right now there are only 4 teams in the NL with a W next to their name and all 4 are in the NL central and the Reds played a NL team.

The combined interleague record of the Yankees, Orioles, Rangers and Angels is now 36 and 12.
   28. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4159374)
In the 11th inning of the recent 12-inning game between the Mets and Nats, the PA dude announced that the last Green Line train was leaving the Navy Yard station at 11.20 pm, some 20 minutes hence
Now see, that might get me to leave. Being trapped in SE DC with no means of getting back--save a cab, I suppose--is not an appealing prospect.
   29. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4159379)
The entire AL is playing like they are a 92 win team against the NL so far in interleague. The AL is 94-72 with one extra inning game still playing and the Red Sox-Cubs game tonight left for today.

So besides the 4 teams you mentioned the AL has gone 58-60.

Colorado is 1-11 so far!
   30. BDC Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4159382)
People are going to a sporting event. It's not a jail sentence

I agree. The races, for instance, I get to at my leisure and leave the same way; no law says I have to stay for the eleventh race if it's a $5000 maiden claimer.

I've left two baseball games early in this century: one where the Rangers were losing 12-0 in the early innings (where I was there as a sportswriter getting material for my column, and had no interest in covering further), and another where I just felt depressed for inscrutable reasons and had to get out of there. Otherwise I stay (I stayed to the last out of the 21-8 game a few weeks ago). But this is solely because I love baseball above all things. I have no contempt for those who are less wedded to the sport.
   31. Srul Itza At Home Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM (#4159386)
That's okay, because anyone who does the wave at a baseball game should be kicked out of the stadium, banned for life, and sterilized.


Seems like an awful lot of effort when a bullet would suffice. Or as Don Drysdale said about IBBs, why waste 4 pitches when 1 will do.
   32. Srul Itza At Home Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4159389)
I have no contempt for those who are less wedded to the sport.


God Bless 'em, really. Casual fans bring money into the game, which helps support it for those of us who actually care. When they leave early, it opens up better seats and easier commutes for the rest of us.
   33. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: June 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4159391)
I left the 1992 All-Star Game early. Looking at the box score, I think it was in the seventh inning, when the AL was up 10-1.
   34. Srul Itza At Home Posted: June 17, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4159480)
Yeah, but back then it didn't COUNT.
   35. Bob T Posted: June 17, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4159491)
If the game delays you from picking up someone, well, that's what cell phones are for. And if they won't understand the reason, then #### em.


Well, it was my wife. You can interpret that advice in so many different ways.
   36. Tripon Posted: June 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4159492)
You know what would really make the all star game count? If you reward the loser league the first pick of the draft. Just think of the strategy implications!
   37. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: June 17, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4159507)
DC hadn't had a baseball team for forty years, and then it sucked balls for the first five. It's gonna take awhile to develop the etiquette.

That said, I've been pleasantly surprised that ushers have started enforcing the "don't walk down the aisle in the middle of a pitch" rule.

   38. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: June 18, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4159714)
They won't let you back in the seats in San Francisco while the ball is in play. You either have to wait for an out or for somebody to hit a foul ball (I guess the idea being those extra few seconds while the pitcher rubs up the baseball is key). I've always liked that


I was actually scolded by an usher at a game at dodgers stadium this year for standing at the top of the stairs, waiting for a break.

When I explained (nicely) that I was waiting for the inning to end, there was a look of blank incomprehension, then "Sir, I need you to either step back or take your seat, or I'll have to ask you to leave".
   39. Bob T Posted: June 18, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4159731)
L.A. has pretty weird (and often very strictly enforced) fire codes. You can only stand at Dodger Stadium if you are behind a white line painted on the concourses.

This is one reason the Dodgers don't sell any standing room tickets either.
   40. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: June 18, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4160209)
I have to admit, right here, right now, that I left one of the most important Met games ever -- the Todd Pratt walkoff homer vs. AZ in the '99 NLDS -- early. It was the day of my & my future wife's engagement party at her parents' house. I am forever ashamed.
   41. smileyy Posted: June 18, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4160265)
They won't let you back in the seats in San Francisco while the ball is in play.


I'm pretty sure that this is true in Seattle, at least for the field-level seats. It might even be true for an entire at-bat.
   42. smileyy Posted: June 18, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4160271)
In the 11th inning of the recent 12-inning game between the Mets and Nats, the PA dude announced that the last Green Line train was leaving the Navy Yard station at 11.20 pm, some 20 minutes hence.


I don't understand cities with public transportation that doesn't run all night. Especially an airport line that closes down before the last plane of the night lands.
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 18, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4160317)
My take is that fans at Nationals Park aren't noticeably different than those at the half dozen other MLB ballparks I've visited.
   44. BDC Posted: June 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4160339)
I don't understand cities with public transportation that doesn't run all night

That's most cities, though, isn't it? In fact, 24-hour transit is peculiar to the few American cities that feature it (especially New York, with its boast that "all stops are served at all times.") London is notorious for its "last buses and trains," and service in Paris is greatly curtailed in the middle of the night. In fact, New York is (at least in my experience) very odd in the way you can step onto a train at any hour, and its "city never sleeps" mentality is uniquely fostered by that fact. Most cities cannot take that for granted, so they sleep once in a while :)
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 18, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4160371)
L.A. has pretty weird (and often very strictly enforced) fire codes. You can only stand at Dodger Stadium if you are behind a white line painted on the concourses.


Is that weird? Fenway has very specific SRO areas and if you aren't standing in them an usher will pretty quickly tell you to move somewhere you are allowed to be. I assumed this was standard practice.

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