“Can we go home?” I tugged on my dad’s shirt. I had been sitting in the dark-colored outfield reserved seats for two hours in the hot sun, watching the Astros destroy my Pirates by the score of 8-2 through nine and a half innings. He simply shook his head; perhaps he knew something nobody else in the ballpark at the time did. We both watched Aramis Ramirez and John Vander Wal fly out to the outfield, putting the Buccos down six runs with three strikes left.
“It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings,” sighed my dad, who was obviously not impressed with how the Pirates were playing in my first game at the brand new PNC Park. Kevin Young started the soon-to-be runs parade by doubling to left field. Pat Meares brought the Bucs to being just four runs out of it by hitting his fourth home run of the season (and the last of his MLB career). Adam Hyzdu singled to left before Michael Jackson walked Tyke Redman. Jack Wilson singled in Hyzdu from second. The Astros brought in Billy Wagner to make sure they didn’t make the game close than they had to.
Jason Kendall was plunked by a pitch to load the bases. Brian Giles was at the plate. The first pitch Giles got was a slider outside for a ball. Nobody tried starting the wave. The next pitch was right in his wheelhouse, he turned on the pitch and ripped a grand slam, crushing the ball over the Clemente Wall to the last four rows.
About 8,000 of the 33,000 in attendance were at PNC Park at that point. Although about three quarters of the fans had left, it was the loudest I have ever heard PNC Park still to this day. You could see grown men jumping up and down and fist pumping; it still gives me chills.
Last night, the Pirates were able to draw a crowd of 39,312, their fourth sellout of the season and the seventh most fans in attendance in PNC Park history.
It hardly made a peep.
Sure, it’s been fun this year to actually field a competitive team, going 31-27 through their first 58 games, the most a Pirates team has won through 58 games since 1992. It’s great to see PNC Park packed full of fans and no room to stand on the rotunda. I can put up with some spectators who don’t know some things about certain parts of the game and making fools of themselves. I’d gladly point something out to them. But there are eight commandments new Pirates “fans” should learn before making me want to strangle them.
I. Thou shalt not commit the wave before me.
We have all had horrible experiences with the wave. I’ll admit it, I stand up during the wave, but only to see over the heads of those making asses of themselves in front of me. It seems as if the only time the wave is committed is when something important is about to happen. Bases loaded, full count, bottom of the ninth, down by three? Too bad, I’m going to violently jump out of my seat and extend my arms over my head!
II. Thou shat not make unto thee any graven team, or any likeness of any team
If you’re going to be a Pirates fan during the month of June, don’t decide to support the Red Sox or the Yankees or the Blue Jays during the month(s) of July/August/September. Also, don’t try making any comparisons of the Pirates to another team, say the Tampa Bay Rays. That is completely forced, and as WHYGAVS said on Friday, “[The Pirates are] an assortment of underrated pitching castoffs, once mediocre players past their prime, middling young players that may or may not ever have a prime, and Andrew McCutchen,” while the Rays are “an overflowing pipeline of talent that self-replenishes as veteran players begin to move on.”
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy McCutchen in vain;
It’s simple enough. To insult Andrew McCutchen is to insult the entire team, as he’s the best player and will be for a long time, not to mention patronizing the entire fan base, who more or less worship McCutchen. @Kidspud on Twitter shared a story about a guy whom he sat next to at a Pirates game this season:
IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
I didn’t change anything here. If you’re a bandwagon fan, you shouldn’t be attending a game on a Sunday. Or any day game. I can’t go to a night game anymore because drunkards and obnoxious fans have ruined it for me. Finding a nice seat in the bleachers is the best feeling in the world, because you know the ticket you bought for $10 is better than The Situation, who bought $50 seats on top of the dugout.
V. Honour thy elders and thy die-hards
The sheer amount of people who scorn older fans is incredible. Not to mention those who, say, keep a scorecard or just plain pay attention to the game.
VI. Thou shalt not enter your seat during play
If you’re going to run down the aisles to get to your seat so you can spill beer and dump nachos on someone, make an effort to do it between half innings or between innings. Yeah, this means that you’ll probably have to stand at the top of the section (or bottom) for an extra 5-10 minutes, but you’re still going to be able to see the game and not be an inconvenience for everybody else.
VII. Thou shalt not consume more than two alcoholic beverages
Sure, drink a beer at the game. I’d even be okay with two beers, depending on your body weight. However, once you start entering the three-four beer territory, I’d start cutting you off. I know it’s not really enough to make someone legally “drunk,” but it’s enough to make someone loud, obnoxious, and incoherent. If you have five-six empty plastic cups that once contained beer surrounding your seat, you should automatically be tasered and escorted out of the game. If you can still hold that amount and not be incredibly loud, rude, and annoying, I applaud you for wasting $50.
VIII. Thou shalt not be a jagoff
This encompasses everything else, but please don’t be a jackass at the game. Baseball is a family sport, so don’t throw your peanut shells on someone’s head, flip your hair against someone’s head, and don’t shout obscenities at opposing players if you have young children near you. But, worst of all, don’t say you don’t pay your child support so you could buy a Ferrari. I will not hesitate to stand up and slap you.
If you made it this far without having ever done one of these, then I respect you. If you read it and committed one or two deadly sins, I can forgive you. If you’re a frequent offender, change your ways before I sit in your immediate area.