Fans can add excitement, emotions, pressure, and lots of noise at baseball games, which can all be great things for the players on the field. What you don’t want to be is “that guy” up in the stands. This is the “fan” that is usually not the parent of the best player on the team, yet not the dad of the worst. He’s the guy who’s been around since little league and the guy no one wanted to coach their son. He often migrates to the fence by the dugout instead of sitting in the bleachers with his wife. He always throws in his two cents, often yelling at his kid, or even screaming at other players for making an error, and making the coach is well aware he didn’t agree with a certain coaching move or player he put in the game. This guy not only embarrasses his son, but he’s really embarrassing himself. So to “this guy” this is the year you come back to reality and don’t live and die with every pitch. This is the year you get to sit back and enjoy high school baseball for what it is. Baseball is a game, and it is a fun game. These are young teenagers living out some of their best high school memories, so let them enjoy it. They don’t get paid. They sacrifice their free time and weekends to be a part of a team and play a game they love, so let them enjoy it. Quit living out your dreams through your kid, and instead enjoy these times because they don’t last long.
Top 5 Things Not to Do As a Fan
5. Don’t alienate yourself from everyone else (First sign you could be “that guy”)
4. Cheer for your son’s teammates equally. Don’t only yell and cheer when your son gets to plate.
3. Be realistic. Just because your son struck out looking or was out at first, it’s probably not because the umpire is blind. Even if the umpire was wrong, be a man and move on. Everyone makes mistakes, including you.
2. Don’t offer advice to your son during the game! He has enough pressure on himself already from coaches, teammates, and himself. Be positive and offer encouragement. Any advice needed should be given after the game, and after you’ve told him some things he did well that day.
1. Do not yell anything at the umpire. These guys are already short and will hold grudges. Do not put your team in jeopardy because you disagreed with a call.
What many fans already think..
1. You are always wrong.
2. Your lineup is backwards
3. The JV player hitting .400 against inferior pitching is better than your varsity player hitting .320.
4. You yell too much.
5. No, you do not look good in your uniform. Buy a bigger size.
6. Why did you send that kid home when he was clearly going to be out?
7. Why did you bunt my son right there? He’s the best hitter on the team! They don’t care if there was a runner on first with nobody out in the 8th inning and their son is hitting .080.
8. Seriously, why did you call for a fastball on the outside corner and let them hit a homerun? That pitch was clearly on the inner half!
On a more serious note, coaches please do not ruin a kid’s career to make the hall of fame. At the end of the day, no one cares how many regular season wins you have. Sammy does not need to throw 140 pitches every third day. Going 18-8 instead of 21-5 is not going to ruin your season.
Please do not make a fool of yourself arguing with an umpire. You are not managing the New York Yankees! There is no need to throw a base, kick dirt, spit, yell at the top of your lungs, or argue with an opposing player. Umpires can be wrong and they do miss calls. Don’t hesitate to go out and talk to them, but they are human beings so treat them as such.
In the eyes of many fans and coaches:
1. You are too Short
2. You are out to get coaches
3. You hold grudges against teams
4. You are inconsistent on strikes/balls
5. You make terrible calls
6. No one paid admission to see you umpire
7. You look great at first base with your sun glasses
8. We know you are in a hurry to get home, but a ball is still a ball in the 7th inning
9. Please stop talking in the parking lot and make it to the plate meeting on time. You got to the field an hour early, how are you late?
10.Fans are going to yell at you. Is it really necessary to throw out an entire fan section in the bleachers?
11.Please no more post game ejections! Seriously, the game is over! Do we really need to throw players/ coaches out after the game?
For the most part, umpires you do a great job. Yes, we disagree with everything you do on game day if our team loses, but that is part of the gig. So make friends on the field. We are all out there for one reason, the “love of the game.” It will make your life a lot easier as well as ours.
Now that we have defined everyone’s roles within baseball, let’s go out and enjoy the game. Have a laugh, maybe a tear, and enjoy the memories being made. At the end of the day, these players may play their last game this year, and only 4 teams will be crowned state champions so enjoy the ride. Baseball is a special game that can bring out the best in people and create friendships that will last a lifetime.
Until next time…
No two out walks