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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Throw it back? Do the wave? What are the "rules" here?

So a couple of weeks ago, the Rangers were playing the ChiSox at home.  It was the top of the 7th inning and the Rangers had a commanding 10-4 lead, when Adam Dunn hit a home run into the left field seats.  BOOOOOOOO!  (We at 162+ strongly disapprove of opposing homers)

Well, a guy caught it and gave the HR ball to his kid...who happens to be a really cute kid in all Rangers gear -  the blue jersey, the blue hat, everything.  The kid even had a glove!  So why am I giving you the Eric Nadel description of this kid's outfit?  To illustrate how into this game the little guy was, obviously!  And how heartbreaking it must have been when his big "sister" yanks the ball from him to throw it back onto the field!  (I'd like to mention that 162+ is using the term "sister"  loosely, because this chick was about 20 years older than the kid, so we're not completely sold)

Sister?  COME ON!

Here's the live action in case you're interested:

Needless to say, when the Fox Sports Southwest cameras pan back to the kid after the throw back, he is utterly dejected.  I mean...the look on his face would have made Cruella Deville want to hug him.  Of course everyone's favorite in-stands reporter, Jim Knox saved the day and got the kid a ball!

And by "favorite", we mean "unnecessary"
Anyway, this incident raised some questions about whether we should be "throwing it back" and some other unwritten rules of the game.  So here we are.  (I know, I know, you were wondering when I was going to get to the point).

Throw back home run balls?  Two answers:  1.  I'm totally okay with anyone throwing a ball back if they want to.  (that also means, if you don't want to, keep the damn thing)  2.  Adult rules don't apply to kids!  And kids should never be pressured into playing by the adult rules (that we made up - so back off "sister"!)  

I read somewhere, after this whole "sister" incident, that "throwing it back" was a Cubs tradition and "we" shouldn't be subscribing to it.  Terrible argument.  I mean, if you don't want to throw it back, don't.  But don't NOT throw it back because it's "Cubs tradition".  That's crap.  Yes, throwing back opposing home run balls started at Wrigley Field in the 70s-80s.  But, singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" started as New York Polo Grounds 7th-inning stretch entertainment in the 30s.  It's sung in every park now.  Everything starts somewhere.  And I'm perfectly happy to throw a ball back myself on an opposing home run.  But I really couldn't care less if you don't.

What about The Wave?  Can we do the wave?  One answer:  NO.  (also see:  NEVER)  

Be the guy in red.  ALWAYS.
Why do people do the wave?  Why?  I don't actually have an answer for you here.  That was more rhetorical than anything.  I think people may just be trying to entertain themselves.  But, I have a newsflash for you Walter Cronkite:  THERE'S A LIVE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GAME GOING ON!  That should be entertainment enough.

You think you're too cool for school? aren't.
So, back to the original point:  The Wave.  Just DON'T do it.  Ever.

And just one more thing I'll touch on here regarding the ballpark rules:  

Can we BOO former players when they visit our ballpark?  This is a more complicated answer.  Technically you can boo whoever you want.  But, when does it makes sense?

I think there was some confusion when the Reverend Josh Hamilton returned at the beginning of the season.  Some people were saying we can't boo Hamilton because he played lights out for us for five seasons.  That's true.  The guy is really good at baseball.  And I don't think anyone can argue what he accomplished in Texas.  He won an MVP for goodness sake.  On the opposite end of that spectrum was the "Silence for Josh" movement; basically this was the sect of fans so disgusted with Hamilton that they wanted to pretend he didn't exist during his first at bat back at RBiA.  

They read newspapers while Josh hit.
And that was the last time the Dallas Morning News sold so many print copies in one day.
So, what's the official 162+ ruling?  Well, first let's clarify that nobody wanted to boo Hamilton because of his five year performance in Texas.  Although, I will bring up the fact that things began to sour during September/October of the 2012 season when Hamilton basically gave up and played like he didn't care.  Who can forget this:

Obviously, the Great Meltdown of 2012 wasn't all his fault, but his performance during that period really didn't help.  Fast forward to the off-season when he said:

"Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town.  The good with the bad is they're supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly.  You can understand a really true, true baseball town.  There's true baseball fans in Texas but it's not a true baseball town".

Now, I realize that some were highly offended by this remark.  But, I tend to agree.  Not in the sense that there are no true baseball fans here, because there are tons and even Hamilton acknowledged that.  But, definitely in the sense that football is the Metroplex's sports priority.  It always will be.  Texas=Football.  And I love the Dallas Cowboys, so that's okay by me.  I have, though, always been more of a seam head than anything.  So I tend to notice when I walk into a sports bar and the Rangers are NOT on...during the season.  And football insider shows are on.  And that's happened many, many times.  Over many different years.  At many different bars.   

The part about Hamilton's statement that irked me though...was that he signed with the LA Angels of Anaheim (or wherever the hell it is they play).  LA?  You want to play in  a "baseball town" and you go to LA?  LA wouldn't give a shit about baseball if Tom Hanks was the commissioner, Kim Kardashian threw out every first pitch., Justin Bieber sang every national anthem....and Tom Cruise blessed the game through his magical Church of Scientology powers.  (I think you see what I'm getting at here).

...use your witchcraft to get the fire off me!!
Anyway, all of this on top of his repeated bad mouthing of the organization got the crowd primed to boo.  And I was ready too.

But, generally, I have nothing against former players that come back.  They have to try really hard to make me want to boo.  Mission accomplished, Hamilton.

We won't even get into the opening day post-game press conference when he compared himself to Jesus right now.  Mostly because the Angels won't be back in town until the end of July and that's a long time to wait to boo.  But, in case you forgot what he said, it went something like this:  "Where was Jesus got-after the most?  His hometown.  Baseball-wise, this is my hometown."  

Well, that's all for now.  

Late West Coast start again tonight.  Holland on the hill.  24-14.  

38 down, 124 to go.

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