As a diehard Seattle Mariners fan, I have been looking forward to the start of baseball season today for six months now. And if you are like me, you have been looking forward to getting to a game as soon as possible. I will be taking in my first game of the season on Saturday when my family and I head over to the Oakland Coliseum to see my hometown Mariners take on the A’s.
And if you are like me, you go to baseball games and are appalled at the general lack of human common sense among so-called “Fans Of The Game”. It’s like they got let out of jail and had forgotten how to act properly in society.
Because of this, I am re-posting here a screed of mine about the Rules Of Ballpark Etiquette as I see them, and which should be adhered to for the sake of all decorum, decency and semi-intelligence. Please note that all game references are to events that happened two seasons ago. The season may have changed, but the Rules have not.
I have mentioned many times here about how much of a baseball fan I am in general, and of my Beloved Seattle Mariners, in particular. Just last week, I wrote about the hilarity and lemonade-spillings that ensued when my wife and I took our two daughters to a Father’s Day afternoon game in Oakland, where the A’s steamrolled my Mariners 10-2. Still, even though my team lost, it was a good time.
But as much as I love watching a baseball game in person, many of the other persons who attend games make it so that I find myself questioning whether the human race has, indeed, had its chance.
That’s because a great number of people who go to ballgames seem to have either A) Left any sense of intelligent behavior at home, or B) Never partook in any intelligent behavior in the first place. The lack of what I call Ballpark Etiquette within the walls of a ballpark is so stunningly absent at times that I almost can understand why the terrorists hate us so much.
Case in point: This item from the sports website Deadspin. Deadspin is known for taking the piss out of sports people and institutions, but it is never done out of malice. In fact, it is almost always done with a tone of, “Really? This is who we are? No wonder the terrorists hate us so much.” On Tuesday, Deadpsin ran this item under the headline, “Get A Load Of This Fucking Giants Fan”, and then proceeded to show just how idiotic this guy looked as he spent the majority of a San Francisco Giants game on his iPad instead of watching the defending World Series Champions.
But, hey he’s a Giants fan, right! Come on! He’s wearing a Giants jersey!
You bet he is…With the name “Vegan” on the back. Yes, “Vegan”. I know there are a lot of Latin American ballplayers in baseball, and I don’t know all their names. But I do know that there is no one on the Giants named “Vegan”. Why doesn’t he just say, “I’m A Pompous Twit” while he’s at it? He could probably order the jersey on his iPad right there and go pick it up at the Giants team store downstairs there at AT&T Park.
This blog is called Why Daddy Drinks, and fewer things make me want to drink more than so many of the violations of Ballpark Etiquette that I see time and time again at every game I attend. So, to keep you on my good side, and for your benefit, here is:
THE WHY DADDY DRINKS OFFICIAL GUIDE TO BALLPARK ETIQUETTE
1. NO JERSEYS FROM TEAMS NOT PLAYING IN THE GAME YOU ARE WATCHING
This should be pretty simple. The game is Mariners-A’s. Ostensibly, you are going to this game because you are either a Mariners or A’s fan. You SHOULD wear a T-shirt, jersey, hat or anything else with those teams’ names or logos. You are showing your support for your team.
But when you show up at that Mariners-A’s game wearing a hat AND shirt touting the St. Louis Cardinals [I shit you not, I saw this], you are only showing that you are stupid. Wear a plain T-shirt. Hell, wear a T-shirt advertising the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, for all I care. But when you show up wearing the gear of the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Chiefs [not even a baseball team] or any team that is not on the field that day, you are just being ignorant of your surroundings and your place in society. Go home and change. Better yet, just stay home.
[And yes, I am looking at my friend Gary, who once, back in 2003, wore a Red Sox jersey with the name GARCIAPARRA on the back to an A’s-Devil Rays game we went to in Oakland. He also spent the whole game yelling, “KINGDOME SUCKS, LOU!” at Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, an insane reference to Lou, a former Mariners manager back when the team played in the Kingdome domed stadium. Gary likes to drink, too.]
Which kind of brings me to item No. 2.
2. DO NOT WEAR JERSEYS WITH NAMES THAT DO NOT BELONG ON THEM
The above-mentioned “Vegan” might not even be the worst example of this rule. People LOVE to put their own names on officially licensed game gear. Understand one thing: You do NOT play for the Red Sox. Your name does NOT belong where David Ortiz’s name goes. David ORTIZ wears No. 34 and only ORTIZ belongs on No. 34, and only on the Red Sox road jersey, not “SNOWDEN” or anything else
And along with that…Can we PLEASE put an end to the idiotic practice of putting names of players or anyone else on jerseys that NEVER HAD NAMES IN THE FIRST PLACE?
You know what number Joe Dimaggio wore for the New York Yankees? It was No. 5. You know how many times during his 56-game hitting streak Dimaggio’s jersey had his name on it? NONE! That’s because the Yankees have never had players names on their jerseys. But that didn’t stop some genius I saw on TV a few weeks back from sticking DIMAGGIO over a No. 5 Yankees jersey…Or the guy sitting next to him from putting MANTLE on a Yankees jersey with The Mick’s No. 7 on it. I hope both of these clowns come down with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The thing is this…We haven’t gone back and added arms to the Venus De Milo, have we? Joltin’ Joe never had a name on his jersey when he was playing for the Yankees, and neither should you, no matter what your name is.
3. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY…WAIT UNTIL THE MIDDLE OF THE INNING, OR AT LEAST THE END OF THE AT-BAT BEFORE SHOVING YOU AND YOUR GODDAMN, NACHO-CHEESE-DRIPPING SELF DOWN THE ROW, THUS CAUSING ME TO MISS A SHOESTRING CATCH LIKE THE ONE JOSH REDDICK MADE IN THAT MARINERS-A’S GAME ON FATHER’S DAY!
4. DRINK THE $9 BEERS, BUT DON’T BE A BALLPARK DRUNK
Few beers taste better than those you drink at a ballpark, even if they do cost 9 bucks each. Few things make you look stupider than getting hammered at a ballpark, picking a fight with some other chump, and then having the ballpark security lead you on the walk of shame up the stairs and off to the pokey. And you’ve likely wasted $36, too, because you are going to drink at least four beers. Better to get your drinking money’s worth than leave with the cuffs on and anything left in the cup.
5. LEAVE THE IPAD AT HOME
Or, better yet, just stay home, anyway.