If you are at the game, be at the game.
Here in San Francisco we’re struggling to win baseball games at home down the stretch and I’m convinced it’s because our fans, led by Comcast, are way too into things that have nothing to do with the game, even while the game is being played!
We’re distracted and our team needs us to be focused.
This was never true at Candlestick, where it was cold, windy and miserable most of the time. You were there because you loved the Giants and watched every pitch.
If we want to win home games, fans have to focus on the game, on every pitch. It’s called watching the live action and all long-time fans do it. You may chat between pitches, but when the pitcher sets, you do too.
These days, because of the incredible number of distractions from the scoreboard and the overtly non-baseball production of the media, I see fans bringing children under six or seven who have no interest in the game, who are there solely because the parent is making them be there, but who are wholly distracted from the action.
These parents bring them as though it’s just an entertainment for their children, which would be cool if they kept them abreast. But they also don’t spend the requisite time making them watch, and indeed focus intently on, the action when it is live. I saw two young girls facing each other talking for an entire inning in the Lower Box. They could’ve been beaned so easily by a foul ball. Their Dad was on the phone!
I also see lots of tourists in our crowd – people here for our fabulous Indian Summer – it’s the high season after all. But these fans are hardly as loud or supportive as our own home-grown fans, which is why we have to lead them.
I watch Comcast spend more time following people goofing around or wearing funny hats or the Delorean hovercraft in McCovey Cove than the game itself; listen to Kruk and Kuip (normally solid baseball analysts) making inane social commentary and I think this is driving the more social fans and the distracted attitude at the game.
ENOUGH. Fans have to get involved.
Mat Latos was on the mound for the Reds earlier this year and he was tearing us apart. It was the bottom of the third at AT&T Park, midweek, daygame. It felt like a morgue. As soon as Latos strode to the mound I yelled, loudly, “Hey Mat! Oh My God! You have a no-hitter going! … Woah! Don’t think about it man!”
It freaked out my whole section and some tittered nervously.
On the next pitch Angel Pagan singled to right.
This was calculated. The way to do it is to plan your comment, wait for a quiet moment and throw it out into the field of play.
Second example was against the Nats when Timmy faced the Phenom and Melky was suspended – crazy game. But we were within striking distance at the end when Pablo popped up to the infield and ran hard for first. The crowd above the first base line shouted and screamed and went nuts forcing the second baseman to drop the pop-up, an error that allowed Panda to get on. It was awesome. Fruitless, but awesome.
The guys need you. Get involved in every play. If you brought kids, teach them to do the same. Pay attention and root for our guys. They can hear you.
You need to pump Zeets up. You need to encourage Pence and Blanco to be more patient at the plate. You need to push the Dodgers into mistakes.
When you are at the park, BE AT THE PARK.
TOGETHER WE’RE GIANT.