Nobody really cares at this point about the minutiae of Friday night's game, but some of the events of that night highlighted an ongoing issue that I think needs to be addressed -- namely, the fact that some of you in the front rows seem to be suffering from a strange and increasingly pernicious foul ball fetish.
What is the big deal about foul balls? I understand getting distracted when a screamer comes into your section, or a soaring popup is whistling through the air overhead, seemingly destined for your cranium. I can even get a little healthy competition when a ball is up for grabs, if only to show off your prowess to members of the opposite sex who may be interested.
But lately, it seems like every game I go to, one of you dudes down front insists on making a bigger, scarier deal about a foul ball than I even thought possible.
Personally, I believe that even if you happen to catch a ball "fair and square", if you are a male of drinking age and there are kids nearby, you should give it to them. Trust me when I say this will impress members of the opposite sex more, no matter how deft and athletic you try to be about elbowing old ladies and eight-year-olds out of the way in the process of making a catch. More often than not, though, you dudes seem to be choosing the souvenir over civility.
Be that as it may, discourtesies toward one's fellow fans are one thing. Interfering with the game is another.
Case in point: the dude down front last Friday night who reached out and snatched a foul ball away from the glove of Kevin Youkilis during the fourth inning, a ball that should've been an out. An out that might have staved off what would turn into a four-run Mariners rally.
I was proud to be among the rest of the fans on the third-base side, who chanted "ALL YOUR FAULT!" repeatedly in his direction as each run scored.
Because, dude. Not cool. At all.
One more thing on the foul ball front. If you must alter the course of the game in your mad pursuit of a dollar's worth of cowhide and cork, please at least try to alter it in your team's favor.
Case in point: the dude on the first base side who failed to snatch a foul popup out of the glove of Russell Branyan in the bottom of the eleventh on Friday night, a foul ball that might've kept the rally alive when instead it fell just one run short. That dude deserved every second of the "ALL YOUR FAULT" he got from the grandstands, too.
Otherwise, dudes of the ballpark, believe me when I say I wish you, your zeal for the game, and your beer-fueled heckling of opposing players Godspeed. But let's ease off on the foul ball mania just a little bit, for everyone's sake.
--Beth in Loge Box 150