I’m a fan of the Houston Astros, but I’ve never been to an Astros home game. That means that every time I get to see my team, they’re the road team. And I go, sporting my gear. I’ve never had a real problem, outside of Wrigley Field (which doesn’t count because the obnoxiousness of Cubs fans is well-documented), but different parks definitely have different feels.
When I was a season ticket holder in San Diego, everyone in my section knew me, so everything as cool. They knew I rooted for their team in all but the few games they had against Houston. So when the Astros rolled into town and I switched over to the brick red jersey, they were cool.
Up the road in Los Angeles, things are a bit different. Dodger Stadium is one of those stadiums where, when you wear the opposing team’s colors, you become acutely aware of what the people around you are drinking, and how much of it.
Still, I subscribe to one very simple rule, and I’ve never had a real problem:
- Don’t be a jerk. Everything else is really a variation on this rule. But what I mean is this: Don’t be loud and obnoxious. Root as much as you want for your team, but don’t put down the home team. You’re a visitor in their stadium, act like it. Be respectful. Take ribbing good-naturedly. If your team gets way ahead, tone down your cheering.
Most of the time, if you exhibit any amount of interest in their team or intelligence in the game, they will latch onto you. Last night, the woman next to me turned towards me and asked, re: Carlos Lee, “Why do you call him a horse?”
Realizing that she was referring to my shouting out, “Let’s go El Caballo,” I said simply: “Look at him. He’s huge.” From then on, she grilled me on Thunder Pants (thanks, Susan), Wizard, Pudge, and (yes) Anal Fissure.
frequently looks something like this.
Of course, it still really helps when your team jumps to a 7-0 lead early in the game. I could feel eyes on me as the Astros began to pile on runs. Watching to see if I’d be a jerk. I changed my shouts to claps, and generally toned things down. In my opinion, this is only proper. Billingsley was having a bad night; he owned us a few short months ago. Baseball is a funny game, no need to be a jerk about it.
Roy Oswalt looked great last night. He was a Hunter Pence deer-in-headlights play from a shutout, which still could have been maintained had Geoff Blum gone to home and not first with a sharply-hit grounder. But with a seven-run cushion, it could hardly be questioned.
Ivan Rodriguez seemed like he was on a personal mission to prove me wrong about not wanting to sign him, going 4-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI. After the game, I was approached by several Dodgers fans, who were all very nice and respectful in asking me about our team and their chances this year.
Now that’s fun to say.
What Happened Was…
Round Rock Express (AAA) – Geoff Geary only pitched two innings, but they were memorable ones. He entered with a 7-3 lead in the ninth innings, and promptly gave up 4 runs to tie the game. Then, in the top of the tenth, he earned two more to earn the loss, 9-7, against the Oklahoma City Redhawks (TEX). Plenty of offense from the Express, led by OF Brian Bogusevic, who was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Jason Smith hit his fourth PCL home run of the season – a three-run shot in the 4th inning.
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) – The Hooks held on in a wild one, despite giving up a run in the top of the ninth, to defeat the Frisco Roughriders (TEX) 6-5. The pitching was, as usual, terrible for the Hooks – and errors from Drew Meyer and Golden Boy Jason Castro (who had two) didn’t exactly help matters much. Tack on two wild pitches – one by Chia-Jen Lo and another by starter Brad James – and it’s a miracle the boys were able to pull this one off. Lo actually pitched well overall, striking out three in his single inning of work, despite walking one and allowing a hit. He continues to be a bright spot on the horizon. SS Wladimir Sutil was 3-for-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI from the leadoff spot.
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) – This game belonged to Steven Hensley of the High Desert Mavericks (SEA). He went 8.0 innings, striking out 10 and allowing 3 ER on 3 hits and a walk as High Desert won, 10-3. Least inept at the plate for Lancaster was OF Brandon Barnes, who went 1-for-3 with a home run. C Koby Clemens, lest anyone think he was better than Castro, had an error and a passed ball. OF Jonathan Gaston was 1-for-4 with a 2-run home run, and added an outfield assist to liven up the box score. This was his twenty-second home run, which puts him solely atop the leaderboard in the California League this season.
Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) – Tri-City was leading the Batavia Muckdogs (STL) 2-0 after two innings when rain postponed the game. The game will re-c
Greeneville Astros (R) – Juri Perez struck out 9 batters in just 3.1 innings, walked two, and didn’t allow a single run in relief; but the damage had already been done, as Greeneville fell 7-5 to the Johnson City Cardinals (STL). 2B Jose Altuve continued his torrid start, going 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot with three doubles. He scored two runs and batted another in, but was picked off once, as well. In his first 24 professional games, he’s hitting .357/.443/.520. Not too shabby.