It is no secret that Atlanta has less than excitable baseball fans. I truly wish that I could say otherwise, because I love the Braves and baseball and rowdy fandom, but in general, Braves fans care more about texting on their iPhones than baseball.
In recent years I have attended Braves games mostly with my Braves partner in crime, Chris Bartelski. Chris is full on dutch…. which means he’s incredibly loud with no inhabitions. There have been many times when Chris and I were the only ones making noise or standing. A couple of years back we’re at a game, Matt Diaz is up to bat, game tied up with a chance to take the lead, and some guy asks us to sit down so he could see. This type of thing is common in Atlanta and it burns my mitt… especially when I watch a Red Sox game in April and everyone is standing in the 2nd inning. Now, don’t get me wrong… there are some excitable Braves fans at games… but in general they are found in the cheap seats.
Two weeks ago pushed me over the edge as a Braves fans. It was a lovely Saturday night. I took my dad and brothers to see the Braves host the Royals. I got the company hook up, so we were 12 rows behind home plate, sort of between home plate and the home dugout. It was a huge treat to my dad for Fathers Day. We’ve never been the kind of folks who would or could spend that sort of money on tickets, so it was special being that close.
It turned out to be a good game, with the Braves taking an early 4-1 lead. Kris Medlen was pitching a jewel, and we were lighting up last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Zach Greinke. Of course since Medlen was pitching great and only gave up 1 run, Bobby took him out in the 6th because of Communist pitch count regulations. The bullpen ended up giving up 3 runs, so it was tied up 4-4 by the 9th inning.
Tied up, 4-4, bottom of the 9th inning, Troy Glaus is up to bat. If anyone has a chance to knock one out to win the game, it was this guy. My dad, my brother and me are standing, cheering, I look around, and we are literally the only ones standing. The usher at the end of the aisle tells us to sit down so folks behind us could see, we slowly sit down. The second we sit, Glaus homers to win the game. It was everything my dad could do to not kill this poor little usher and all the surrounding fans. I usually reel my dad in, in situations like this, but I had to let it go.
“It’s the freakin’ bottom of the 9th inning! Tied up! And you’re telling me to sit down?!”, my dad yells in the usher’s face. “I’m sorry sir. I’m sorry…. people behind you could not see the game. I’m just doing my job”, the usher replied. “Well, they should have been standing up too! It’s the bottom of the 9th inning!”
I’m not advocating standing up during the entire game… but bottom of the 9th, tied up, and getting told to sit down? Seriously Atlanta?