Friday, June 11, 2010

SHHHH! No Yelling at the Target Field

I must not have gotten the memo, but APPARENTLY you’re not supposed to yell at Target Field. You're supposed to clap and cheer when the Twins get a hit, or when a squirrel runs on to the field or something like that—but that’s it. Don’t try yelling any other time, because—EXCUSE ME—people sitting around you are trying to watch a baseball game in some peace and quiet.

I was informed about all this last night. In the top of the 8th inning, my boyfriend and I were just sitting around yelling, having a grand ol’ time, when the fun cops in front of us turned around and told us to be quiet.

You know, because it’s a baseball game.

And this wasn’t even just a fluke either! Some girl wearing one of those hideous hair bump things you buy at Walgreens then told us to “Shut up,” with her orange friend adding in, “You guys must not get out much.”

You’re probably thinking, “Wow, they must have been really out of line if two people told them to pipe down.” So what exactly were we doing? We weren’t yelling expletives. We weren’t yelling at another fan. We weren’t simply screaming or even yelling anything mean hearted. No. All we were doing was trying to get Rusty Kuntz to turn around and look at us.

It was just me and my boyfriend, yelling together on the count of three, “RUSTY!!!”

We weren’t even yelling “RUSTY KUNTZ!!!” There were kids around.

I guess some people just don’t understand the joy behind yelling at first base coaches. This is by far my favorite pass-time at the pass-time. What could be better than yelling, “NICE CALVES LEEE!” until Lee Tinsley flicks you off? If you guessed coming back every night of the series against the Seattle Mariners and yelling, “NICE CALVES LEEEE!!” until Lee Tinsley turns around and tips his cap to you, you are correct!

Harold Baines is also a really good sport with this. Harold—like most first base coaches—does not like to stand in the first base coach’s box. So we remind him to 'Get In The Box Harold!' and that 'It’s For Your Safety Harold!' and most of the time he’ll act like he can’t hear us. But he can. He can hear us because he does things like go stand with one foot in the box (“You’re Almost There Harold!”), or walk all around the box, or rest his hand on his back with his middle finger sticking out. But when he really gets sick of us, he just drops his shoulders, marches over to the box, steps in to the box, turns around, and shoots us a stare. We squeal with delight, he marches back over to his spot outside the box, and we leave him alone—until the next time the White Sox are in town and the game is dragging.

Then you have your weird-os like Rene Lachemann. You don’t even have to say anything to him. All you have to do is watch him chew gum, blow bubbles, and carefully pop them with a toothpick before doing it again. And again. And again.

But there is one visiting first base coach who tops them all. That, of course, is Andy Van Slyke.

I don’t even like Andy because of the time he pulled off the ol’ middle finger resting on his back trick when I told him to Stop Spitting Sunflower Seeds All Over The Floor Because Someone Has To Vacuum That Up You Know. No. I like Andy because he’s extremely talented. He apparently used to play baseball and I know nothing about how good he was, but I don't even have to know because I know this: Andy Van Slyke can chew bubblegum and sunflower seeds at the same time—AND he can blow bubbles while doing it.

Andy Van Slyke’s cool factor goes up by about a billion points because he even came over to me during a game against the Tigers last year and we had an entire conversation about this. It was like the 14th inning, and there wasn’t a single sunflower shell on the field turf and he hadn’t blown any bubbles. So I stole a front seat from someone who left the game early and politely requested that he blow a bubble (“BLOW A BUBBLE ANDDDYY!!!”). He came over to me and explained that he had just gotten something done to his teeth and couldn’t chew gum or sunflower seeds. I said some things and he said some other things too, but I don’t remember what exactly because I was too busy thinking, “Andy Van Slyke is talking to me.

So you can imagine how extremely bummed out I was when I realized just before that game against the Tigers on May 3rd—when I had those super sweet front row seats—that Andy Van Slyke had retired. Boo.

One first base coach who has never acknowledged me is Rusty Kuntz. Now I realize the guy probably has a sore spot for being heckled by fans, but I never have or would say anything mean to him. I just want him to wave at me. He has to crack sometime. I’m not giving up.

Hmm... Maybe I do need to get out more.


  1. I love this posting!! Especially because you photograph the fun-haters. Only in Minnesota do you have people act like that at a baseball game.

  2. Well, I think there are sticks in the mud other places too. Not like I was out-numbered. Another version of this post was me circling everyone who DIDN'T care about me yelling, but unfortunately that was the rest of the 40 thousand some people at the game. P.S. -- You are definitely part of the all-star Harold Baines "GET IN THE BOX" team (if there ever was one).

  3. Love your spirit. Keep at it until Rusty cracks. I want to see pictures.

  4. Next time tell your fun-hating "neighbors" they are lucky it isn't a hundred years ago: you'd have hit them with your empty liquor bottle and then gotten your gambler friends to really give them a good beating.

    Andy Van Slyke was a really, really good centerfielder for the early 90s Pirates teams that couldn't make it out of the NLCS. As a (feeling suddenly much) older baseball fan from that era, I can attest to Van Slyke being pretty awesome. Jim Leyland managed those Pirates teams, which is likely why he's got Van Slyke on his coaching staff in Detroit. Just some trivia.

  5. I had been told by some people (probably my Mom) that Andy Van Slyke was a good player. He seems like an extremely talented guy so I'm not surprised. Honestly, he was my favorite visitor at the Dome. I tried to find out why Andy Van Slyke left the coaching staff, but apparently that was not made public.

    And by the way, the Braves first base coach looks exactly like a mini Gardy (at least from my seats). It's kind of freaky.

  6. I meant to emphasize that I do actually know Andy was a great player. I just don't know his exact numbers or anything. I like him more for his coaching, personality, and class, because that's how I know him!

    I didn't realize Leyland managed him. Makes sense though!

  7. Bring back Andy Van Slyke!
    AVS in 2012