"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Open Letters To...

The Guy Sitting Immediately to TBL's Right Tuesday Evening

Dear Sir,

Yesterday evening, as we watched the Twins/Braves game in close proximity, TBL noticed that you appeared to be laboring under a few misapprehensions. In the spirit of comradeship among fans, allow TBL to clear those up for you.

1. Your seat stops at the armrest. Placing your large, sweaty arm up and over the armrest put it in TBL's seat. Which was occupied by TBL. Who did not, in fact, enjoy having your large, sweaty arm pressed against her ribs.

2. Alfonso Soriano does not wear #42. Additionally, he has not been a Yankee for a number of years.

3. Being unable to gracefully handle the consumption of vast quantities of weak beer is not, as you seem to think, an admirable character trait.

4. In your attempts to impress all within earshot of your distressingly loud voice with your erudition, you ably demonstrated that your knowledge of baseball is slightly inferior to that of the average 8-year-old TBL encounters in the stands. (Additionally, the majority of said eight-year-olds are considerably better-behaved.)

5. There are cities in which it is considered acceptable for hometown fans to fling profanity and insults at hometown players. This is not one of them. TBL respectfully suggests you might be happier if you relocated. (TBL did find it highly amusing that the primary targets of your invective, Messrs. Bartlett and Punto, were both 2-for-4 on the night.)

6. "Johnson" is not an inherently funny surname.

TBL hopes you will use her well-meaning advice to improve your baseball experience, and that of dozens of hapless fans around you, in future.



Her Beloved Readers (Yes, YOU)

Dear Readers,

Someday TBL is going to snap. If you should ever happen to glance over near first base and see a small redhaired person beating some guy (it's always a guy, usually between 30 and 50, often poorly-groomed) about the head with a scorebook, please come to the Hennepin County Jail with bail money.



Young Brad Radke Kevin Slowey

Dear Kevin,

That was lovely. Thank you.



Michael Cuddyer

Dear Michael,

All is forgiven*. You're doing a wonderful job out there.



* Offer valid only while playing the outfield. All forgiveness immediately void upon a return to third base in a defensive capacity.

Lew Ford and Jason Bartlett

Dear Darling Boys,

It did TBL's heart good to see you both out there wearing your socks the right way. Unfortunately, TBL did not have her camera last night. Tall socks again Thursday, please? For me?



6 rejoinders:

Baseball_Lipgloss sounded off...

Eww…what an unpleasant experience. I have experienced those “fans” that come to the games with their “buddies” and try to outdo each other with their loud, smack talking, “look at me”, “I know everything” attitudes. The only thing worse? The girls that are impressed with that.

Third Base Line sounded off...

And then those guys and those girls hook up and they BREED.

And that's how you get kids who wear their waistbands beneath their buttocks.

Beth sounded off...

I often like to attend baseball games that are sparsely populated - Twins vs Royals, for example, or any Twins game in 1996 - just so I don't have to deal with sweaty fan's arm. And it does make it more annoying to keep score with sweaty fan breathing on your neck ("yes, I'm a woman and I know how to keep score. It's a miracle!" - said to sweaty fan). Though it's much easier to avoid sweaty fans when you sit in the outfield, as those of us without season tickets are wont to do.

Third Base Line sounded off...


The last half of 2005 was lovely for leg and elbow room, as well. TBL recalls it fondly. (The room, not the actual baseball...)

Best scorekeeping moment ever:

A couple of years ago, a man and his (obviously shy) little boy, aged about six, were sitting next to me. Through the first inning, the boy kept glancing at my scorekeeping.

In the second, he worked up the nerve to ask what I was doing. I explained it to him, in brief, showed him stuff like the "1B" and the "K", and the out counters.

He watched me keep score for another couple of innings, occasionally asking about a notation.

Then he turned to his dad and said, "Can I have a scorebook?"

Get 'em young, sez I.

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

Re: bail money -- my mastercard and visa are at your disposal. We'll make sure your lawyer packs the jury with baseball fans. They not only won't convict you, they'll probably give you a medal.

Jim H. sounded off...

At a recent game, I listened to a gentleman behind me explaining the nuances of the game and the backgrounds of the players to his companion. For once, the guy was right on everything! Knowledgable but quiet about it. And to my right was a young man about 8, who was one of the better baseball fans I've encountered at the Dome -- into the game, watching the pitch speed and the count, seeing who's warming up, etc. These fans added to to the pleasant experience (despite a Twins loss). Unfortunately, your encounter with the fat neighbor is too common.