The Boy and I spent Saturday at the Blue Jays game. I may have mentioned this before – I don’t do baseball. I’ll go and I watch, and I’ll watch it at home because the Boy has it on and is terrible at sharing. But mostly I go and I watch because the Boy loves baseball. Seriously loves it. Since I love the Boy, I watch far more baseball than I care to.
I’ve gotten sidetracked.
This weekend the Boy went to two baseball games in a row. TWO. I did not. I was not invited to the first one, which was fine with me. But I did go to the second. Better yet, I actually enjoyed it. I spent some time thinking about what made it a great afternoon and have come up with a list of 10 required elements to make a baseball game from bearable to actually fun!
- $14 tickets. If we spend any more than the minimum on our seats I pretty much immediately have my grumpy pants on. It’s the same game from wherever you’re sitting. Why do we have to pay more? And when you’re sitting up top, it’s a great birds-eye view of the whole game.
- Shade. If you’re ever at a Blue Jays game in the SkyDome, and you agree with element #1 request these seats Section 530, Row 21. You will find yourself at the VERY top of the 500 level and in the sweet sweet shade. Not only are you not sweating like you’re sitting directly ON the sun, you also won’t leave looking like a cooked lobster. This little redhead came out of the game as pale as I went in. Brilliant.
- A standing ovation for the opposing team. The Boy wanted to got to this game because Roy Halladay was pitching. He used to pitch for the Jays for years, was super awesome and completely loyal to Toronto even though he could have been traded somewhere else for WAY more money. At the end of his contract he signed with Philadelphia and this was his triumphant return to Toronto. The crowd went nuts and as Phillie made their way to the outfield Halladay got a standing O.
- A run in the first. This is where the Boy and I differ. He thinks a great game goes to extra innings with no score. I like to be entertained every inning. So if there’s a run in the first – the game is off to a good start as far as keeping my attention.
- A home run by the home team. Thanks Jose Bautista for knocking one out of the park just for me.
- Keeping the pace. We golfed in Kananaskis years ago and they gave us ball markers at the turn that said “I kept the pace at Kananaskis.” Halladay should get some kind of award for it as well. No messing around with this guy. Pitch, Pitch, Pitch. He flies through them which makes for a short game. Love it.
- A clothed streaker. What do you call someone that runs across the field but isn’t naked? I don’t know. But it happened. Top of the ninth (I thought you were supposed to do it when the other team was pitching?) some fool ran across the field. He was tackled by security and then the police came in and cuffed him. 20 seconds of glory. Months of court dates and some really wonderful fines I’m sure. But hey – it kept me entertained so thanks foolish stranger!
- A controversy. Top of the ninth again, runner comes in to home looks like he’s out by a mile. Umpire calls it safe. Catcher doesn’t disagree – which means he probably missed the tag (or so the Boy tells me) but the pitcher disagrees. Runs up to the umpire. Umpire throws him out of the game immediately. Pitcher LOSES. HIS. MIND. Manager comes running out and is trying to hold back this monster of a pitcher – his jersey comes off, they eventually get him to go off the field and as he does he throws his jersey down on the field. Classy.
- Face to face screaming. Just when you think the controversy is over the Manager starts screaming at the umpire too. Here’s what I love about baseball arguments – how close they get to each other. Why do you need to be 2 inches from a guys face to get him to understand your point of view? It makes me laugh every time. It makes me think of that commercial that was on a few years ago where the manager comes out and gets right in the Umpire’s face and says “That was a very good call. I’m just coming out here because that’s what they expect me to do” I think it was for All Bran or something – they feel better because they’re regular (I tried to find it but couldn’t if you find it – send it to me). Anyway, that’s what I think of every time. He got kicked out too. It was again highly entertaining.
- All wrapped up in 9 and another standing O for the opposing team. Thanks Halladay. Thanks for coming out.
The one part of the game I didn’t like – besides the price of all snacks etc., was when fans threw crap all over the field during the above controversial call and the booing that followed. First of all it, it slowed the game down while the staff cleaned it all up. Second, it’s just poor sportsmanship. Not nice. Let’s try and keep it classy Toronto.
So if any Toronto Blue Jays are reading, send me your email addresses or twitter IDs and I’ll send you a message or a tweet the next time I’m going to a game, and if you could go ahead and arrange all of these elements for each game I attend – you might just make a baseball fan out of me yet!