Dear Washington DC Area Baseball Spectators,
This might be the "kid needs to potty" exception to the rule, but I doubt it.
PLEASE SIT DOWN DURING AN AT BAT!
As you may know, record crowds are coming into Nationals Park this week for the slaughters games against the Baahhhhston Red Sox. Don’t believe me? Look here:
Not just Sold Out-but SUPER Sold Out...I guess?
(Now if someone can tell me how we’ve sold out games before but this is the largest attendance at the park, I’d appreciate it.)
With that many people at a baseball game you have to expect that there is going to be some bustle at places like the Metro and the beer lines. Add to that the fact that both Nationals fans and (good amount of) Red Sox fans are new to baseball (ahem… Bandwagon?) it’s understandable that some of the finer rules of baseball etiquette go right out the window. So allow me to help out by giving you one of the most basic rules you can learn-
you need to sit your a#$@ in your seat when people are playing.
Take a look at this picture:
I paid to see a game-not your Jersey...
Do you have ANY idea what is going on? The Pitcher is clearly ready to throw the ball-but what is the batter doing? If the pitcher had started his wind up just a second earlier than this-you’d be missing the swing at the plate. I know to a lot of you it feels like “nothing ever happens” in baseball. That it moves slow and you just spend most of your time talking and eating and drinking-and that’s fine. But seriously-there’s a F$#&#ng game going on and while you are:
1.) Standing in the aisle looking for where your seat is
2.) Standing up to take an above your head picture of you and your bff for facebook
3.) Standing up to take the beer order of everyone in front of you
4.) Standing up to do Christ knows what
and while you are doing that I can’t see what the hell is going on. My friends and I? We come to watch a game as well as socialize and if every 2 batters I have to say “KEEP IT MOVING” or “I CAN”T SEE!” it ruins my time (and the other people too).
It just baffles me because it isn’t as if people are getting up during the “boring” at bats, but on several 3-2 and 3-1 counts with a few outs and runners on last night (during at 4-3 game…well, until the 8th inning) THAT is when some folks decided they needed to get peanuts…PEANUTS!
Again-not not totally your fault. The ushers at Nationals Park barely know what they are doing either. They should be treating this like the Caps or Wizards game where they hold traffic during the action, but they don’t.
So by now you probably think I’m some sort of seating fascist or something. That my best case scenario would be to have you sit 20 minutes before the first inning and not get up until the game was over-and that’s only partially true. There are valid reasons for getting up during an at bat, and more to the point there are simply better times to get up.
1.) An emergency-about to hurl? Your kid gonna wet his pants like right now. Or something actually serious-go ahead and Keep your head down if you can, but feel free to get up.
2.) Rally!- Anytime after the seventh inning stretch in a close ball game (or if you’re the home team and you’re behind) you can stand and cheer for the team team in an at bat. This is acceptable because, rather than being completely ignorant of the game, you are simply more engaged than other fans. Plus-you’re likely standing before the at bat takes place-so there is full warning that you plan on watching the game from your feet. People behind you are just going to have to stand. (Note-this works for particularly big at bats earlier in the game as well).
3.) Between Batters/Half innings/Switching Pitchers: The preferred time for all people to get up/get back to their seats. After the batter has struck out/hit safely and they are switching batters/teams in the field-there is a natural break in the game. Now is the time to get up and do your thing. If you realize during Adam Dunn’s 2-1 count that you’d like a Bud-just wait a second.
Same if your friend “txtd u to come dwn 2 sect 212 b/c ther r 3 seats!”- Head down between the first and second out, and then get in your seats after the inning is over.
4.) Standing Room Options- Can’t remember all of this or can’t be bothered to care? Then by all means park yourself at the scoreboard bar/Red Loft/along the railing behind the seats and stand and move around to your heart’s content. No sitting/standing/view obstruction rules apply in the wild west of the concourse area.
Or if you’re really rich or you business is there just to impress some clients, you’re probably in the box anyway-where nobody really knows anything about baseball or cares. You could probably do cartwheels right against the window in there and no one would notice because nobody ever looks out them (until someone who is half paying attention mentions casually this might be an important part of the game).
Hopefully that helps a bit and it didn’t come off to harsh. Any problems with my rules, other exceptions or other pet peeves regarding fan etiquette at a ball park feel free to leave in the comments.