What makes a baseball season unique and wonderful can also make it torturous. Baseball is there. Every single day. That’s the excitement of Opening Day, not that that occasion in itself matters greatly, as it’s one of 162. But Opening Day is a reminder and a celebration that for the next six months, baseball will be there. Every day.
Also, baseball is there, even when things go sideways, when it no longer is all that enjoyable. Every day. There probably is something poetic about a bad baseball team; it still has to grind away at work most every day even though it’s grinding away into the void. There certainly is something poetic about the number of baseball games that disappear into the ether, even from seasons we enjoyed. All the mid-week August games that we couldn’t possibly recall, but they happened. They were there, in the background.
It seems the latter is showing its effects on various fans across the nation. Baseball can get stale for sure. That’s sort of the point. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be people who need to dress it up a bit, even if it loudly demonstrates the strain or duress the season has put them under.
Let’s go to Oakland first, from Sunday:
In some places they sing between innings, some they watch various types of contests on the field or on the scoreboard. In Oakland, they do it differently. These people are just combining passions, like Costanza with his sandwich in bed. Any A’s fan that has been through what the organization has put them through the past season-and-a-half — threats of a move, stripping the team down, the new stadium dance — is certainly in need of stress relief.
Though I have to disagree with their strategy, and I speak from experience. Back when the Chicago Fire came into existence, and me and my high school friends were regular attendees at the old Soldier Field, they would close off the upper half of the stadium in the end zones. One night, during a comfortable Fire win, if I recall correctly, one buddy decided it would be a good idea to stroll up to that empty section so he could light up some “enhancement” for the rest of the night. You could see the logic, no one’s around there, no one to bother, no one to call you out. The issue is that when you’re the only one sitting in an entire section of a stadium, everyone else in the stadium can see you. Wasn’t more than a minute or two before security descended on him like a swarm of bees.
These days everyone’s got a phone. I get this adventurous and amorous couple’s way of thinking, but people notice two punters (well, one punter and one receiver I suppose) sitting in the last row of the Coliseum when they don’t have to.
Meanwhile, last night in The Bronx:
Look, we know the Yankees have been bad for a while now, and have driven their fans to drink. But drinking to the point that they can’t stop long enough to eat a hot dog? Real talk, I’m angrier about someone drinking a beer through a straw than the construction and material used for this particular straw. I had asked earlier in the night on Twitter if anyone sane ever attends Mets-Yankees games, as they are specifically designed to bring out the worst in each fanbase to make for a poisonous night out. I guess I have my answer now, more so than I would ever want.
Maybe the strangest occurrence of the past weekend was Braves fans booing Marcell Ozuna after his DUI arrest, his second arrest in two seasons after being arrested and suspended when cops witnessed him hitting his wife last year. There is some irony about fans booing a player for a DUI, after shrugging off his domestic battery, in a stadium that sits in an area specifically designed to have no public transportation, but we’ll leave that lie for now.
These are still Braves fans who gleefully and defiantly still do their Chop even more vigorously now that it’s widely loathed and been called to stop by those who actually care about others. Here they are suddenly having a conscience and morals.
The heat must be getting to everyone.