Friday, September 02, 2011

Teach Your Children

KJ and I attended our first Yankees-Red Sox game together on Wednesday night, and the occasion marked Little Chuck's introduction to the long-standing rivalry as well. Well, sort of.

It was also the first time I've paid to park in the Fenway neighborhood since my first visit there back in the summer of '88. Since KJ is under doctor's orders to take it easy, we decided to suck it up and shell out for parking at Fenway's most convenient location, the Lansdowne Street Garage. $44 later—and that's actually a competitive price, I kid you not—we arrived just across the street from the park.

This, of course, did nothing to change my perception of Fenway as the worst value in baseball, but in this case, it was well worth the price.

We also sat in the right field box seats for the first time ever, and they were actually pretty good seats by Fenway Park standards.

The game took place the night after the ridiculous Cervelli-Lackey fiasco, in which Francisco Cervelli broke the long-standing and well-known unwritten rule that dictates only pitchers—even when they're showing up their own teammates—are allowed to show emotion on the field. But, that's all I'm going to say about that incident. I may revisit it in another post, but don't count on it.

During the game, David Ortiz was intentionally walked in front of Jed Lowrie. The crowd, predictably, booed the move, prompting me to tweet:

Of course, this quick list was missing a couple other important examples that I thought of a little later.

So, since I'm soon to be a brand new parent, I thought I'd share my list of the five things you (and I) need to teach your (our) children about being a fan with a clue. Because, honestly, most fans at the ballpark are really lacking in that respect, and the Fenway faithful are no different from anywhere else.

Without further ado, I present these in my favorite list a top five countdown, even if I've already given a few of them away. I suppose you could call these my unwritten rules of fandom (otherwise known as the top five stupidest things baseball fans do that you should avoid).

5. Don't boo the opposition's attempted pickoffs.
When you boo the opposing pitcher for attempting to pick off your runner, you're basically complaining that the other team is trying to win. I know you're rooting for your team to win, but this is supposed to be a competition. I can, however, understand booing an excessive number of pickoff attempts against the same runner. I guess that's why this one is #5.

4. Don't boo when the opposing team makes a pitching change.
Again, what you're doing here is protesting the fact the other team is trying to win. I get that pitching changes drag out the length of the game, but if you're going to be a baseball fan, it's something you'll have to learn to deal with. Besides, if you're frustrated that the game is being delayed, why don't you boo your own team when they change pitchers?

3. Don't boo when one of your players is intentionally walked.
First of all, the intentional walk is generally a foolish strategy. This is not intended to be post about SABRmetrics, so I'm not going to over-analyze this one, but more often than not, the intentional walk improves the offensive team's chance of winning. So, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, alright. Also, since your opposition at least thinks they're doing it for their own benefit, see #4 and #5 above.

2. Don't yell "balk" at things that aren't balks.
First of all, you'll need a lesson about what is and isn't a balk. I once wrote a post—exactly three years ago today, in fact—that my pal Lee called the ultimate blog entry on balks. But, that's a little more detail than is necessary here. What I'm really talking about is when fans call for a balk when the pitcher fakes a move to second or third. News flash, folks...THIS IS NOT A BALK. It's legal for a pitcher to fake a pickoff throw to second or third, but not to first. OK, got that? I'm not even going to confuse you by explaining when it's legal to fake a throw to first. Concentrate on understanding this difference first.

1. Don't do the wave.
If I even need to explain this one, then I'm sorry, but you're a hopeless cause and probably shouldn't have little baseball fans in the first place.

Oh yeah, the Red Sox beat the Yankees 9-5, so our family tally now stands at Red Sox 1, Yankees 0...obviously.


  1. Love #1. Could not agree with you more.

  2. And I was irked at having to pay $17 last week at the Oakland Coliseum. $44 is a bargain? Yikes!

  3. Well, not necessarily a bargain, but competitive in the sense that it's the most convenient parking venue and isn't the most expensive.