Skip to content

The Old Man at the Ballpark

Mar 4, 2013, 4:57 PM EST

Old Guy

It’s a beautiful day here in Surprise, but being a Monday, it’s a lazy day too. Not a big crowd either, so I decided to take in the first six innings or so from the stands.  I squatted in the first row of the tiny second deck along the third base line. Wonderful seats. And the company was fantastic.

Sitting two rows behind me was an old Rangers fan. The one with the mustache over my shoulder. I want to take him home with me. He knows a lot about baseball, he’s sarcastic, he complains a lot, but he seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. Actually, I think he is me, about 30 years in the future.

He started heckling in the first inning, but his heckling was all well-informed:

  • When right fielder Engel Beltre ranged far to the gap to pull in a fly at the wall he said “Cruz doesn’t get that.” Then added “God damn Cruz.”
  • When Lance Berkman popped out foul on the first pitch he said “Atta boy Berkman, make ‘em work!”  I love that his heckling is informed by an appreciation of both defensive range and plate patience.
  • Padres’ first baseman Kyle Blanks hit a long home run. The man said “He knocked the “s***” outta that one!”  Then he told the pitcher who gave up the homer, Neal Cotts, “Don’t throw another one of those, OK?”
  • Later, when Berkman grounded out he said “we lose Hamilton, and we get this guy.” At that point the man’s adult son said, in a somewhat disgusted tone said “I will get you an Angels jersey if you keep this up. Do you want that?” The old man chuckled. I have this feeling he’s been driving his son crazy for years, and I hope some day my I can say I’ve done the same to my son.

There’s a fine line between being a jerk and not being a jerk. This guy seems like a master. He’s tongue in cheek enough to where he doesn’t seem mean. He’s old enough to where it’s clear that he’s not trying to impress anyone. He just likes his baseball, dammit, and prefers it if his Texas Rangers don’t suck at it.  I imagine it wears thin after a while — God bless his poor son — but for six innings it was wonderful.

Latest Posts
  1. Angels sign Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:35 PM EST

    angels logo

    The deal between Cuban infielder Roberto Baldoquin and the Angels became official on Saturday after the 20-year-old passed his physical.

  2. Brian Sabean doesn’t plan to talk to Max Scherzer

    Dec 20, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    Max Scherzer Getty Getty Images

    The Giants reportedly have no plans to attempt to initiate contract talk with free agent Max Scherzer.

  3. Nick Hundley reportedly has a two-year offer

    Dec 20, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Nick Hundley Nick Hundley

    An unnamed team has reportedly offered a two-year deal to Nick Hundley. It’s not the Orioles.

  4. Rangers lose a player to release waivers due to quirk in MLB rule

    Dec 20, 2014, 5:26 PM EST

    Ben Rowen Getty Getty Images

    MLB’s waiver rules are complicated enough for fans and those who cover baseball on a regular basis, but apparently they can even confuse teams sometimes.

  5. Report: The Phillies could be a suitor for Asdrubal Cabrera

    Dec 20, 2014, 4:06 PM EST

    Asdrubal Cabrera Getty Images

    The Phillies could eye Asdrubal Cabrera as a replacement for Jimmy Rollins.

  6. Indians sign Scott Downs

    Dec 20, 2014, 2:45 PM EST

    Scott Downs Getty Getty Images

    Downs had a 4.97 ERA over 55 appearances this past season between the White Sox and Royals.

  7. Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him”

    Dec 20, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    Ryan Howard Getty Getty Images

    With the Phillies in the middle of a rebuilding effort, they are facing some tough (and long overdue) truths with their veteran players.

  8. Troy Tulowitzki trade between the Rockies and Mets is “not happening”

    Dec 20, 2014, 12:16 PM EST

    San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    Tulowitzki would immediately take the Mets from a “maybe” contender to a “legitimate” contender, but don’t get your hopes up.

  9. Jimmy Rollins writes goodbye message to Philadelphia after trade to Dodgers

    Dec 20, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

    Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    Rollins was officially traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers yesterday in exchange for right-hander Zach Eflin and left-hander Tom Windle.

  10. Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals

    Dec 20, 2014, 9:59 AM EST

    Nationals cap logo

    As part of this week’s three-team Wil Myers trade, the Nationals acquired right-hander Joe Ross and a player to be named later. However, the player to be named later isn’t a mystery. It’s shortstop prospect Trea Turner, who is now in limbo after the trade.

  11. Chase Utley wants to go down with Phillies’ sinking ship

    Dec 19, 2014, 11:30 PM EST

    Chase Utley AP AP

    Chase Utley plans to wear Phillies red until his contract runs out.

  12. Padres expected to host 2016 All-Star Game at Petco Park

    Dec 19, 2014, 10:25 PM EST

    Petco Park

    Everything’s coming up Padres lately.

  13. Dodgers release Brian Wilson

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:31 PM EST

    Brian Wilson Getty Getty Images

    Brian Wilson and his beard are back on the free agent market after the Dodgers released him on Friday.

  14. Red Sox sign Craig Breslow to $2 million deal

    Dec 19, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    The Red Sox have brought back lefty Craig Breslow on a one-year deal for $2 million.

  15. Wil Myers could play center field for the Padres

    Dec 19, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    wil myers getty Getty Images

    The Padres’ outfield should hit a lot of homers in 2015, but they may give back a lot of those runs on defense.

  16. Orioles hire hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh

    Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    orioles logo

    The Orioles have settled on a new hitting coach: Scott Coolbaugh.

  17. Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins

    Dec 19, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    casey mcgehee getty Getty Images

    The Giants are looking to solve their third base dilemma with Casey McGehee.

  18. Report: David Ross to sign with the Cubs

    Dec 19, 2014, 5:18 PM EST

    David Ross Getty Images

    Jon Lester now has a personal catcher.

  19. More from the underbelly of the A-Rod Conspiracy Industrial Complex

    Dec 19, 2014, 4:47 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

    All baseball moves the Yankees make must be construed as pro-A-Rod or anti-A-Rod. There are literally no other reasons the Yankees make baseball moves.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. W. Myers (4762)
  2. M. Kemp (3773)
  3. M. Cabrera (2945)
  4. J. Kang (2890)
  5. J. Upton (2684)
  1. M. Morse (2640)
  2. W. Middlebrooks (2377)
  3. A. Rios (2320)
  4. C. McGehee (2312)
  5. C. Headley (2232)