Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Perils of being a Wallflower


In baseball, players like to call the fans the tenth man. Its nice way of paying lip service to the people who bankroll their salaries, but most fans take it to heart. We like to think that even though we’re not on the field or in the locker room, the fact that we’re standing at key points in the game, wearing our lucky hats and chanting a player’s name, we’re contributing.

Just how little power fans actually have is never more apparent than when you’re watching your team collapse. You’re short stop seems to hit into double plays when the bases are empty and no amount of screaming at your TV screen will motivate him. Your manager keeps sticking with a black hole lineup when he’s got sparkplug players on the bench and all the emails and radio call-ins in the world won’t make him change his mind. You want to grab your lackluster left fielder, shake him by the shoulders and holler, “You make $14 million a year! Can you not find the time to look at tape and take batting practice to get your postseason average above .260?” But you can’t.

Because you’re not really part of the team. You own a replica jersey and a replica hat but you’re not on the field and you’re not on the locker room and you’re certainly not in the batting order. Maybe fans can push players to better heights at big moments, but ultimately it comes down to what the nine guys between the chalk lines are doing and this is both the best and worst part of following team.

(This is all generally speaking of course. Any similarities between situations described above and the current state of the Boston Red Sox is purely coincidental).

3 comments:

Dave H said...

Hey, at least Manny got his face time.

And can they stop fouling off so many pitches, these games are long enough as it is!

Liz said...

They to foul off more! That's how you wear down the pitchers. Lately they've been going down on 2 pitches. It sucks

Dave H said...

Yeah, it's a strategy thing, I know.

But JD Drew and Lugo are going to fly out, so just get it over with!

Sox problem is nobody leading off the inning by getting on base. Plus the Indians are better this year, Sizemore might be the most talented player in that series.