Have you ever gone to a baseball game and wondered, “Man, how can I keep from looking like an asshole at this baseball game?” Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that if you’re wondering how to keep from looking like an asshole, you probably are an asshole. The good news is that we here at Musings are bringing you a series on fan etiquette. Read up. Take notes. Everyone who sits near you at your next baseball game will be glad you did.
Anybody who’s ever been to a professional baseball game knows there are times we collectively rise to our feet. The playing of the national anthem, for instance, or when the home team is down to its final out. Or perhaps when someone like, say, Miguel Cabrera strolls to the plate in a big situation and we all, as a group, agree that yes, it is time to stand, for the amount of support we must give in this situation cannot be delivered from a seated position. Or maybe even (assuming you are not a no-fun-having baseball humbug) if the wave (gasp!) has rolled to your section and its continuation depends on your vertical posture. Standing with the crowd in these situations is fine. It’s good. It’s great, even, and you should absolutely do it.
But here’s the thing. If you’re at a professional baseball game and you’re standing up in front of your seat for no real reason, then, well, hey buddy, sit the fuck down.
The average baseball game in 2014 lasts about 3 hours and 8 minutes. Wait, let me finish. No, seriousl– what? What? What is so fucking important that you have to interrupt me right in the middle of my goddamn sent– Jesus, you did it again. WHAT? Oh, you’re concerned that 3 hours and 8 minutes is a long time to sit in one place. Yeah, you’re right. It is. Yeah, no, I know. My back get stiff too. I hear you. But guess what, sport-o? THERE’S A BREAK IN THE GAME LIKE EVERY TEN FUCKING MINUTES.
Let’s do the math. If the average baseball game is 188 minutes long (which I just explained to you that it is), and there are 9 innings in a baseball game (which there are, have you ever watched baseball?) then that means there are 18 half innings of play in a game. So each half inning lasts around 10.4 minutes, on average. I’m going to assume you know how averages work.
BUT. It’s not like one half inning bleeds directly into the next. The teams have to switch sides, and the players have to throw the ball around, and sometimes the grounds crew has to rake the infield, and all that shit. In reality, each half inning is, like 7.5 minutes on average, which still leaves almost three minutes of downtime in between. This, my friends, is the perfect time for you to stand up, stretch your legs, pretend that you’re not adjusting your balls (even though you’re obviously adjusting your balls) and take in the sights and sounds of the major league ballpark. This, and no other time.
Look, we’ve all been there. The seats in the ballpark aren’t comfy. We drove a long way to get to the game in the first place. The guy four rows in front of you and down to the left looks kinda like Dave Coulier. But for chrissakes, have a little self control. We’re talking about seven minutes here. If you can’t sit still for seven goddamn minutes I can only assume you’re either a) eight years old or, b) some sort of neurotic maniac who shouldn’t be at a baseball game in the first place.
The thing is, when you stand up while the game is going on, well, you’re in the way. This isn’t really about you. You can sound your cries of “I paid for this ticket!” all you want, but so did everyone else. The people behind you paid for their tickets, too, and they’re at the game to enjoy it. There’s nothing more infuriating than missing a diving catch, a dinger, or a double play because some frat bro in a snapback and his tank-topped buddy decided to stand up, high five, chug their beers, and argue about which one has the sicker tribal tat. Let me settle this for you: tribal tats are stupid and you look like idiots.
It just comes down to decency and being considerate. There are a lot of people in one place at these games, and we’d all do well to try to respect the people around us. If you’re about to stand up in the middle of an at-bat, take a look around and see if anyone else is doing the same. If they’re not, maybe Eugenio Suarez’s two-out AB with the Tigers ahead by six in the 4th inning isn’t as important as it seems like, and you can just, you know, keep your ass in your seat for another couple minutes. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to pee, or get a hotdog, or load up on brewskis throughout the game. If you can follow this advice, the world will be a happier place.