In retrospect, I used all caps a bit too often. Still, using the magic of copy and paste (don’t you iPhone users wish you could do this? AHAHAHA crap there’s the all caps again), I bring you a goodie from the Johnny Slick MySpace vault about baseball heckling. Heckling is a time-honored tradition that is just not practiced by enough Seattle-ites to be frank.
Mariner Snaps, Part II
My brother Robert and I once again had those aWesome seats behind third base and this time I believe that my mad heckling skills had a positive effect. To wit:
– First, we came in just in time to see the end of Mariners’ batting practice. The Blue Jays were in town. Fans who know Seattle baseball know how horrible this is. Whenever the Toronto Blue Jays come to town, Safeco Field behaves like a visitors’ park. This goes back to the early 90s at least and probably before. What happens is that thousands of Vancouverians make their way down from their land of back bacon and tocques and cheer for their sub-.500 team because that is the only baseball team they will ever see in their lifetimes on Canadian soil.
Anyway, these Canadians were cruelly heckling Richie Sexson and I felt that I had to step in.
Canucks: “HEY RICHIE SEXSON! YOU WEIGH MORE THAN YOUR BATTING AVERAGE!”
Me: “TORONTO BLUE JAYS! WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA!”
Canucks: “Hey, man. That wasn’t cool!”
I seriously thought I was going to engage in fisticuffs with a Canadian! I was scared. I have seen my share of hockey and know that these people will pull your shirt over your head and then pummel you about your face and shoulders if you let them. I quieted down for a second, but they resumed the heckles of poor Richie Sexson and I had to anti-heckle some more.
Canucks: “blah blah blah the same comment about weight”
Me: “YOU WILL HAVE TO EXCUSE OUR LACK OF CREATIVITY, MISTER SEXSON! YOU SEE, WE ARE CANADIAN AND HAVE NEVER WITNESSED SUN BEFORE!”
Me: “MY HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WAS FEATURED IN A RECENT MICHAEL MOORE DOCUMENTARY!”
Me: “MY COUNTRY DOES NOT ELECT A PRESIDENT AND OUR CONSTITUTION IS ONLY 23 YEARS OLD!”
Me: “I THINK THAT HAM IS BACON!”
This was the one that really got them to be quiet, though:
Canucks: something else about Sexson
Me: “THIRTY PERCENT OF MY CANADIAN POPULATION IS FRENCH!”
Canuck #1: “What did he just say?”
Canuck #2: “I think he said that 30% of us are French.”
Canuck #1: “Man.”
The Canadians did not ride Sexson any longer. That may have been because Mariners’ BP was over at about that time but it also could have been shame.
– Sadly, I did not do as much research as I’d done in the Twins game so I was not armed with players’ middle names so much as I had been before. I had to improvise. I believe this paid dividends with Jays’ catcher Greg Zaun, who is actually Steve Zahn:
First at-bat: “HEY STEVE ZAHN! I LOVED YOU IN SAHARA!”
More in the first at-bat: “ALSO THAT MOVIE WITH JASON BIGGS AND NEIL DIAMOND!”
This last comment earned us an evil stare from a fan (probably a Canadian at that) two rows ahead of us.
Second at-bat: “CAN YOU HELP US, PLEASE, MISTER ZAHN? I DON’T HAVE IMDB.COM HERE. WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT MOVIE YOU WERE IN WITH JASON BIGGS AND NEIL DIAMOND? I THINK R. LEE ERMEY WAS IN IT TOO.”
Later: “OH NEVER MIND, WE FIGURED IT OUT.”
Third at-bat: “SWEEEEET CAROLINE!”
That may have been a little on the obscure side. I mean, I explained it, more or less, in the second at-bat, but I don’t think ballplayers have memories like that or else they are concentrating on other things such as baseball.
It’s also worth noting that Greg Zaun was wearing a catcher’s mask that looked like he was a hockey goalie. This crap has no place in baseball and I let him know it.
Me: “HEY, WHO IS CATCHING? IS THAT STEVE ZAHN OR IS THAT A BIRDIE?”
Me: “I AM SURE THAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE A ‘BIG BOY’ CATCHERS’ MASK, THE MARINERS CAN LEND YOU ONE.”
Steve, er, Greg Zaun was removed in the 8th inning and replaced with a catcher who wore a regular old mask. Coincidence? Oh, I think not. However, this was not to be the biggest impact we would have on the game.
– In the first frame, Ichiro bunted his way to first base and stole second on the very next pitch. Jays pitcher Roy Halladay was, shall we say, very aware of Ichiro’s presence for the rest of the inning. At one point I yelled “THERE HE GOES!” during Halladay’s windup and he bounced one in the dirt. Sadly, the Mariners were not able to capitalize on the ball I gave to them and went out with no runs scored.
– Throughout the game, Jays fans were really out in full force. You could clearly hear them boo pro-Mariners calls by the umpires, cheer the few times the Jays did something to cheer about, and make chants such as “LET’S GO BLUE JAYS”. There were even a couple of large Canadian flags being waved around on the first-base side of the stands. It was a bad, bad situation and I had to let the M’s know what country they were in:
To Miguel Batista: “STRIKE THIS MAN OUT FOR FREEDOM!”
To a later relief pitcher for the Jays after the M’s had tattooed him for several runs: “OOOH CANADA! CA-NA-DA CANADA!” (this was how I heard the Canadian national anthem. My brother pointed out that they say Canada a lot in it, and that is a true statement).
– I said this to Frank Thomas and am very ashamed:
Me: “FRANK THOMAS! BARRY BONDS JUST HIT NUMBER 750! IF YOU WOULD HAVE TAKEN JUST A LITTLE BIT OF STEROIDS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU!”
He flew out. Not that at-bat, I don’t think, but later on. Sometimes snaps take a little while to sink in.
– Finally, I really and truly believe that we got a pitcher rattled. His name was Jason Frasor and he was very, very short. Okay, actually he was 5’10”, but that’s still tiny for a pitcher.
Me: “HEY JASON FRASOR! GIVE YOUR DAD BACK HIS UNIFORM!”
Me: “DIDN’T BASEBALL OUTLAW MIDGETS IN THE 1950s?”
Me: “YOU KNOW, THERE ARE HORMONES YOU CAN TAKE THAT CAN HELP WITH YOUR CONDITION!”
Me: “HEY SHORT PERSON! YOU’RE SHORT!”
Me: “HERE IN SEATTLE WE WOULD CALL YOU VERTICALLY CHALLENGED!”
I admit, I hit the bottom of the barrel pretty quickly. Short-person jokes are pretty blah in the first place. There are only so many of them out there.
Here’s the deal, though. Frasor kept looking at us. There wasn’t anybody on third base until he put them there, so he wasn’t checking the runner. He could have been looking in the dugout, I guess, if by “in the dugout” you mean 10 feet over the dugout and directly at us. I think I also saw him crying (this sentence contains a lie). The bottom line is, Frasor walked a batter and gave up two hits after getting behind two other guys. Then he was pulled for a much taller guy I couldn’t think of and didn’t need any snaps for, who helped facilitate the crucial 5-run 7th inning.
I’m beginning to think the Mariners should have me on their payroll.