The Baseball Desert

Friday, October 08, 2004

Turning the tide

ESPN's Bill Simmons shares his 'inside-the-park' thoughts on the Red Sox' victory in Game 2.

I have to admit that I sympathise with his point of view on Angels' fans. This was not a 22-6 blowout in the middle of April - it was Game 2 of the ALDS, a one-run game, and yet there they were, leaving the ballpark in droves in order to beat the traffic.
The more I'm thinking about it, they're like the Stepford Wives of baseball fans: Everyone wearing red, everyone banging those Stix, nobody actually knowing anything about ins and outs of the game. They would chant "Pedro sucks! Pedro sucks!", but at odd times, like when there were 2 outs in the inning and he had just struck someone out. They would stand and cheer when the scoreboard told them, but they wouldn't stand with two outs at the end of the inning when Colon had two strikes on someone. It was like watching a bunch of foreigners. There was almost something cute about them, like they made you want to say, "Ohhhhhh," like watching a dog wag their tail when they get a treat.
I'm sure there are thousands of fans like myself who would love nothing more than to have a ticket to a playoff game, and it kills me to see these people leaving the game early with everything still left to play for.

So, the aim of today's post is to suggest to the powers-that-be at Major League Baseball (who of course read this blog on a regular basis) that they start employing "Outta Here" stewards at the ballpark gates. Anyone leaving the ballpark before the end of the game must provide clear and irrefutable evidence that they have a medical emergency / a family bereavement / an audience with the Pope. Failure to do so will result in the 'fan' forfeiting their rights to future postseason games in favour of more needy individuals.

Of course, Angels fans don't need to worry about the "Outta Here" stewards, since this series - according to Dan Shaugnessy - is not coming back to Anaheim.