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Who in the heck was upset about fan enthusiasm at the WBC?

Mar 15, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Dominican Republic fans cheer in the stands as their team met the U.S. during a 2013 World Baseball Classic game in Miami

Ken Rosenthal’s story following last night’s US-Dominican Republic game is a good one. And what’s described in this paragraph is both sad and predictable:

Some American fans on Twitter actually objected to the constant horn-blowing of the Dominican fans and the on-field celebrations of their players in the ninth. Some old-school baseball types object, too, as if the only proper way to play the game is in staid, humble fashion.

I believe the Twitter stuff because people will object to anything on Twitter. If you tweeted something about giving everyone in the world free pie someone would tweet about how you’re a no-good cake-hater. Twitter was built for contrary cranks, which is part of the reason I love it so.

But who are the “old-school baseball types?” I’m just speculating here — and if I’m wrong I expect Rosenthal would tell me so — but I bet he’s referring to press box cranks who were sitting near him during the game.

It’s easy to spot a curmudgeon baseball writer when he writes in a curmudgeony fashion, but there are a lot more of them who write things straight up while acting like total curmudgeons in person, especially in the box. Sometimes it takes the form of great, misanthropic wisecracks which, frankly, can be wonderful and hilarious. But you often see simply joyless cranks too. Guys who complain when a game gets exciting late because it’ll make their story harder to write. Guys who actually complain when it’s noisy in the park because they’re trying to talk to someone on the phone. You can’t cheer in the press box, obviously, but you wonder if these guys actually like baseball very much.

I can picture it from last night: crowd going crazy, Dominican team celebrating. Actual baseball drama and emotion in March! And some dude saying “Jesus, you’d think they cured cancer or something.” ¬†Which is about the saddest thing I can imagine.

  1. kevinleaptrot - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    As an old school baseball fan who’s about as cranky and misanthropic as they come, I did enjoy the Domicans’ enthusiastic celebration, and I wish that there was more of that element in the game as it’s played in the major and minor leagues. There’s too many guys getting too worked up over being “shown up” or some other nonsense. It’s a beautiful game, the most beautiful game ever in fact. Let the players show some emotion and enjoyment, especially when they do well. Let them show their love for the game outwardly. If you don’t like your opponent celebrating, play better and shut them down.

    • planck16 - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I love baseball! I believe it to be the most pure sport where any type of player (big/small/fast/slow/fat/skinny/etc) can become a great. What sucks is that in the United States, the passion for the game seems to reside in people 35+ years old. Last night upset me only because the country that I love got beat in the sport that I love.

      The beauty about last night was watching teams and fans being passionate about the greatest sport in the world. The tragedy in last night is that other countries are more passionate about OUR National Pastime than our players and fans.

    • crackersnap - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Did you ever notice how it’s perfectly fine for baseball players to act as if they won the World Series any/every time they are on offense and garner a game winning hit with the final at-bat…and, yet…if the defense puts up some nice performance which shuts down any rally and finishes off the opponent to win the game, it is considered “bush league” and “showing the other team up” if the pitcher does anything but stand there and slap gloves?

      Old School Baseball. Incoherent foolishness.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Judging by the objections by players to things like Joba’s fist pumps, Soriano’s untucking and Valvarde’s…whatever the hell it is that Valverde does, I would guess that some players are mad feeling like they were “shown up” at the end.

    The sole remedy to this is, of course, beating Puerto Rico and laying a red, white and blue whupping on team DR. To do that, though, the team will have to figure out how to generate a run. I fear Bloomquist and Hosmer are not the answer.

    • louhudson23 - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      Soriano’s un-tucking is just stupid.It is not a celebration.Just an act of idiocy.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        It says, “My work is done here.”

        I find it amusing, and less silly than the bow-and-arrow thing Rodney does. What is he shooting at? You can’t hit Jesus from here, silly, and why would you shoot Jesus with an arrow anyway? Hasn’t he suffered enough?

  3. gza385 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I didn’t mind the celebrating last night. The game was exciting and made a lot of people very proud.

    But I have to admit, the horns were coming through on the broadcast very loud. By the third hour of horn blowing I was starting to get a headache.

    • bolweevils2 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Agreed. The enthusiasm was great. Blowing horns all night long was just annoying.

      Wasn’t there some World Cup soccer controversy a few years back when they banned horns?

    • edmata - Mar 15, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Well if you ever go to DR and go to the stadium to watch a game, you won’t last 3 inn. The horn is used in every hispanic league, so we are use to that sound.

  4. paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    The enthusiasm by the fans and players is great….but the horns, those things make the game unlistenable.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      Did you you watch?

      • paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Nope, was watching the Blues game. Saw part of the DR/PR game a couple days ago. If the horns are that loud on TV, I can’t imagine how annoying they are to be sitting next to.

    • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      There’s this little button on the remote called “mute.” If the horns bother you that much, press said button. I think you’ll like it.

      The horns didn’t both me at all. Then again, I have a high tolerance for noise, living with two dogs and two young kids. If I can tune out cowbells at the Trop, I can tune anything out.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        You don’t even need “mute,” as you can just turn down the sound. But, you know, you can just bitch about sound and hashtags and whatever else other people enjoy instead.

      • paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

        I might….but here is the thing. I just don’t care who wins these games. I just don’t. Just like I don’t care about lacrosse or rugby game outcomes….I may watch those sports from time to time out of curiosity….but I don’t care who wins, which means that for me there is no drama no matter how crazy the crowd is going. As a result, these games just don’t mean anything to me. It is a curiosity, I have no problem with people loving the event, but there really isn’t anything about it that holds interest for me…..other than hoping that no Cardinal players are injured while participating.

      • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Sigh. You’re a lost cause. Too bad. It was a really good game last night even if you don’t have a rooting interest.

      • paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM

        I know. I’m also stubborn. I will like things (or not) because I like them, regardless of popularity. Opinions of others may convince me to expose myself to something, but my opinion is always my own. I’ve watched some games, I just don’t find it compelling….but I harbor no ill will toward those that do.

        In contrast, Battlestar Gallactica was a horrible abomination of a show with horrible writing that treated the characters and viewers as if they were idiots, with boring story lines, campy acting, an abundance of logical inconsistencies, and to top things off the show took itself waaay to seriously, which requires the viewer to do the same, making the errors unforgivable. If someone likes that show, it’ll definitely affect my opinion of their mental faculties.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        If the twitter complaints were coming from people at the game, the little “mute” button is not an option. What I don’t understand is why those horns are so popular. It is not a particularly celebratory sound. More of a low droning bellow than anything sounding enthusiastic

      • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        I was talking to the people who watch the games on television who are complaining.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        I feel the same about football, paper, but you know what I don’t do? Go to the CFT page and bitch about the BCS system. Pbblt!

      • paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        Except, of course, people keep telling me (and others) that we SHOULD like it, that somehow we are missing out on something (even though we have watched it and found in uninteresting)….and I didn’t complain about the WBC (I don’t think I have at all), I just stated a fact: the horns are as annoying as hell.

        I’m sure you don’t appreciate people telling you what you should and shouldn’t like.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        You’re just looking for things to gripe about now. We stopped trying to encourage you to watch. We’re okay with you being a lesser baseball fan. Now, let it go.

  5. paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Angel Hernandez was behind the plate for the game last night. Obviously, MLB hates the WBC.

    • bolweevils2 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Man, he was awful, wasn’t he? I can’t say it favored either team, but a couple of times each inning he’d randomly call a pitch 6 inches outside a strike. Not all of them mind you, just once in a while.

      • professormaddog31 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        The strike zone was stupidly wide. Even the spousal unit, who cares little to nothing about baseball, noticed this. When a novice viewer can see the problem, you have a SERIOUS problem.

      • mjvincent125 - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Well, at least he’s in mid-season form already.

    • ireportyoudecide - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Computers can call the strike zone 100% correct every time. I know, I know, human error, clap clap clap. Human error, clap clap clap.

      Just get it right!

      • moogro - Mar 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        It’s physically impossible to setup behind a catcher and accurately call balls and strikes. The catcher’s body is in the way. Especially when you are old and struggle to crouch. I noticed that when I was 8 years old.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I wasn’t thinking that they acted like they cured cancer, although that’s a pretty good one. I was thinking “You’d think they won the World Series…or actually won the WBC!!!” I had to confirm that the tournament was not over and all they had won was advancement to the next round. Basically, they won something equivalent to the Wild Card play-in game. We all know why they celebrated the way they did…because they took down the REAL evil empire USA.

    Oh, and those stupid horns were very annoying on TV…I can’t imagine how annoying they were live at the game. I hated them in the World Cup and hate them in the WBC too.

    • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      Happiness and joy at a ballpark! Heaven forbid. I loved last night’s excitement, energy, and enthusiasm. Most baseball games these days are such staid affairs with people texting and playing on their phones.

      The Dominican Republic does not think the USA is the evil empire. Far from it. They love the US, and most aspire to come to the US to live out their Horatio Alger dreams. They do see the USA as the preeminent baseball powerhouse, Numero Uno, the best. Think of it more like the joy a little brother feels beating a big brother. The WBC does not mean much to the US, but to other countries where baseball is popular, this is their world series. I guarantee you that nearly every house was either watching or listening to last night’s game in the DR. The ballplayers know how much that game meant to the people back home, and that’s why they were so excited. Part of it is also cultural. They’re a loud, exuberant, and emotional people. Get a group of them together on one team and it’s a party.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        It’s not like I “hated” their celebration or thought it was a slap in the face for the US team or anything. I just thought it was kinda dumb. But I’m not from the DR so what do I know about how excited they are about the WBC.

        And when I said “evil empire” I meant, in much the same way it was said about the Yankees, “preeminent baseball powerhouse” and not anything political or outside the realm of baseball. I legitimately think that the DR was more excited because they beat the US than the “advancing” part.

      • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Ok, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t think it was a political thing. I’m American born and raised, but most of my family still lives down there, and the DR loves the US (and American tourists. Visit and spend lots of dollars). Comparing the US to the Yankees is a good analogy.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        It would be a good analogy if the US had its best players representing the country. Don’t get me wrong, there are SOME really fantastic players on the team, but I don’t think the team overall represents the level of baseball in the US.

        The DR beat Kimbrell, and I have to think he would be the closer no matter who else was on the US roster, but a lineup with Bloomquist, Arencibia and Hosmer as starters is not something to brag TOO much about besting.

      • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Ay, ay, ay, sheesh. Let them enjoy their victory, will ya? The Dominicans are missing some talent too–Pujols, Ortiz etc. They also had that ace Deduno on the mound and the octogenarian Tejada batting second.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Hey, Dotel did good by them.

      • APBA Guy - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        “Octogenarian Miggy.” I love that.

  7. mdpickles - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    How can anybody be upset? While rooting for USA, I enjoyed watching the DR team and their fans’ enthusiasm. That’s a big moment for that team and their country. Let them enjoy it.

    • southbeachtalent - Mar 15, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I was there (Clevelander) and it was the funnest sporting event I have ever attended. The enthusiasm was great, every pitch garnered a reaction. Freakin cool..

  8. 4d3fect - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    I hate the horns too. Just don’t let those horn-toting fools in on the existence of vuvuzelas, that’s all I ask.

  9. tjg25 - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    A cure for cancer would be terribly sad. Imagine the money lost in long term “care”.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      It’s sarcasm, people.

    • paperlions - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      plus it would exacerbate the over population problem

  10. jm91rs - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I love any fan being enthusiastic at games, I just wish they would do it with their voices, stomping, clapping. I find horns and vuvuzelas most annoying. Sort of an unnecessary distracting annoyance.

    I’ve always been annoyed by them but I have a reason to be crankier than normal about these stupid things. I once had to move seats because a guy kept blowing an air horn behind us at a Reds game. My son’s hearing aids really don’t respond right when such a loud noise is so close. The guy refused to stop, and even though the rules prevent it, stadium staff would do nothing. Ever since then I find any sort of man-made noise maker to be ridiculous and distracting.

  11. historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    For examples, Craig, read the comments on the post from last night.

  12. mybrunoblog - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    I love the Dominicans enthusiasm. I dislike the blowing horns. Those folks live in the Dominican Republic. Let me cheer at baseball because sadly there is not much else to cheer about in that country.

    • karlatjada - Mar 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      You are clearly a well dovumentes scholar on the Dominican Republic and their culture, i take my hat off and salute you with a presidente in hand in a colmado in “la lincoln” lmao at your comment

    • Vamos Caminando - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      Actually most of us live in the Bay Area. And you obviously know nothing about the Dominican Republic because it is one of the most celebratory countries. That just how the culture is we never need an excuse to celebrate.

  13. proudlycanadian - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    About the free pie Craig, yesterday (March 14 or 3.14) was Pi Day as mandated by Congress, so the free pie only applied to yesterday. Google Pi Day and see that my story is accurate.

  14. wonkypenguin - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    In contrast to DR last night, we Americans looked like passionless boringheads.

    Also: My wife just got home from Germany so she is jet lagged and has been cranky and falling asleep at 8 p.m. every night this week. If she can sleep through the airhorn thingamabobs without complaining, then they’re not that annoying. :-)

  15. psuravens19 - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    I loved their enthusiasm and wish the US team and fans showed the same thing.

  16. 18thstreet - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Let’s be clear: if you tweeted something about giving everyone in the world free pie, you’d be called a socialist. Repeatedly.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      The Constitution does not grant you Dessert Freedom (or Freedom from Pie). The government can’t stop you from praying as you wish, but it can require you to eat pie!!!!!! Wahahahaha!

      …unless you have some weird religion that eschews pie or something nutbag like that.

  17. fhuizar - Mar 15, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Loved the excitement

    You can never act that way in the MLB unless u advance in the playoffs or win a WS

    Lets face it if a team acts that way in a MLB game. U know the other team will be butt hurt and start beaning players

    “Unwritten” rules

  18. eagles512 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I agree-they acted like idiots.

  19. gogigantos - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    OK, the horns are annoying. Are they as annoying as the earsplitting between innings crap that is blasted at the fans during a MLB game, or the batter’s into music, or the volume of the PA person throughout?? The dude next to me complaining about others having fun is pretty annoying too.

    While I personally hate the lack of conversational volume at many any event, much less a dinner out, I love the enthusiasm, energy, color, and NOISE generated from the fans themselves. It is, well,, organic. The game in Asia, Japan and Taiwan have been my experience, is a full on group participation event. Each side takes turns in banging the drums and chanting and blowing horns. The energy and noise does not stop. “This energy and noise is sincere. It is fun and cool. The game has more urgency and tension batter to batter. It less cerebral and more immediate and emotional, primitive in a way. It is also very very different from our stadium experience. Different is not bad. I don’t think that the level of fan noise generated without prompt from scoreboards or PA directives, artificial, reaches the unpleasant level of decibels at an NBA game, yikes.

    It is a different kind of night out for the fans in other lands folks, like or not. I like it a bunch. I find that the locals are more connected with the flow of the game and their team in a way that they are not shy about expressing. It isn’t tennis or golf, that is for sure.

    Full disclosure, I own two of the horns now known as vuvulezas,,, spell that for me please,, one I bought in the late ’80s at the ‘Stick when the Giants were on a run, the other at the 2002 World Series in SF before the collapse. I have with me here in Taiwan the later one and am very much appreciated by fans and ballplayers when I can get to a game here and blow, and teach others to blow it. I look forward to getting it in Manny’s ear this season.

    Finally, sorry for being wordy but this has struck a nerve,,, complaints about other nation’s fans showing their appreciation and joy in their own way, bringing their fans and ways along with their teams, sounds like, “get off my lawn, you damn foreigners, and give me back MY game!”

  20. bkh405 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    If you ever watch the show ‘No Reservations’ with Anthony Bourdain he does an episode in Cuba taking in a ball game and they have a full brass band in the stands at most games. He also did an episode in Japan and man do they get into it for baseball games. It’s really cool to see how much the game means to people around the world.

  21. andyoursistertoo - Mar 15, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I think the Dominican fans and the crusty old American baseball writers and fans should share a bacon taco together. If everyone ate a bacon taco together we would finally achieve world peace.

    • Vamos Caminando - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Tacos are from Mexico, not eaten in the Dominican Republic.

  22. mannyicey - Mar 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Let me say this:

    I’ve watched more WBC baseball than the last 2 World Series combined. To me, WBC trumps the World Series by a wide margin!

    I hope that MLB takes notice and we can get our best and brightest to play in these games. And I’m riveted because I don’t want ANYONE to best the USA, period! This IS the true WORLD Series- not the best in MLB.

  23. Vamos Caminando - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I was part of the Dominican crowd and saw all the people that were upset. But you cannot have a stadium half full of Dominicans and not expect that. We are a loud, celebratory culture. If you go to a baseball game in the Dominican Republic it is much louder. This is the World Baseball Classic where cultures should be celebrated. Just because it is being hosted in the US doesn’t mean that everyone should act like US fans. And anyone who expects the DR vs PR game to be quiet tonight should not go. A stadium full of excited Latinos, get ready.

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