Texas Rangers fans have plenty to cheer about these days: Their team holds the American League pennant and currently leads the AL West.
Whoop and holler all you want, Rangers fans. But whatever you do, don’t do the wave. It’s prohibited in Rangers Ballpark.
At recent games, a warning has appeared on the stadium’s message board claiming the wave could cause injury and that children doing it will be sold to the circus. It does, however, say that “doing the wave is safe at pro football games and Miley Cyrus concerts.”
Obviously the warning, and the ban itself, are in jest. It’s not official team policy, and there are no real consequences for wavers. But there is an actual motive behind it: Fans began complaining to team officials that folks prodding them to do the wave was ruining their ballpark experience.
“I was getting lots of emails and Tweets from fans during the game asking me to do something to stop the wave,” said Chuck Morgan, the Rangers‘ senior vice president for ballpark entertainment. “So I said, ‘Let’s see if we can have fun with it.’”
One of those fans was Greg Holland, who runs www.stopthewave.net.
“There is nothing worse … than being stuck in a section with someone who is relentless in trying to get the wave started, especially if they’re sitting in front of you,” Holland said. “To me, doing the wave is basically giving the middle finger to the guys on the field. You’re telling them you don’t care about what’s going on and that they are not entertaining you.”
The Rangers are only part of a rising current against the wave. Earlier this season, the Colorado Rockies produced a commercial in which a group of players scold a passionate fan for starting the wave during a game’s critical moment. In 2009, a Milwaukee Brewers blogger began his own public campaign. Rangers reliever Darren O’Day says in a video on the team’s website, “Don’t distract really good-looking bullpen pitchers … by doing the wave.”
Now, whenever there’s a wave rising in Arlington, the new warning will appear, regardless if anybody actually heeds it. Which, Morgan said, they don’t.
Still, he said, “I’ll probably keep doing it until somebody gets so mad they’re not going to come to the game anymore. Or management tells me to stop.”
Or a Miley Cyrus concert breaks out.
With the Nationals recent acquisition of Jonny Gomes from the Reds, it be came apparent that another interesting facet of MLB‘s trade deadline gamesmanship had already kicked in.
The art of the “draft pick grab”.
For starters, you need to understand the basics of Type A & Type B free agent classifications. A lot goes into it, which you can read in detail here, but in simple terms:
Type A – Top 20 percent in their positional group.
Type B – Top 21-40 percent in their positional group.
No Compensation – 41-100 percent in their positional group.
Gomes is no lock to receive and turn down an arbitration offer. Still, we saw plenty of apparent handshake deals where Type Bs turned down arbitration offers last offseason. A Type B free agent has nothing to lose by agreeing to such an arrangement.
Let’s take a look at players who currently project as Type Bs free agents and play for teams expected to sell.
- Blue Jays: The Jays will probably be trying to add Type Bs, but Jose Molina, Aaron Hill, Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor, Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco, and Shawn Campqualify.
- Orioles: Vladimir Guerrero
- Twins: Jason Kubel
- Royals: Bruce Chen
- Athletics: David DeJesus
- Mariners: None
- Mets: None
- Marlins: Omar Infante
- Nationals: Ivan Rodriguez, Jonny Gomes
- Cubs: Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood
- Astros: None
- Rockies: Mark Ellis
- Dodgers: Rod Barajas, Casey Blake, Hiroki Kuroda
- Padres: Ryan Ludwick
The most transparent instance of trading for a draft pick came last offseason, when the Jays acquired catcher Miguel Olivo from the Rockies with the intent of declining his option and offering arbitration. The ploy worked, and Toronto drafted Dwight Smith Jr. 53rd overall in June as a direct result.
So if the Jays or some other draft pick-obsessed team makes a run at Bruce Chen this month, you’ll know why.
As a Yankees fan I must say that move by GM Brian Cashman made the Bronx Bombers much, much better.
Not only on the field, but off it as well.
Many Detroit Tigers fans undoubtedly agree and I think to most he’ll always be a Tiger.
And recently on ESPN’s “E:60,” Granderson showed that a big part of his heart is still with one Tigers fan, in particular.
Some might remember that the Tigers fan community suffered a tragic loss in April of 2007, when graduate student Brian Bluhm was among those killed in the shootings at Virginia Tech. Brian was a huge Tigers fan, and an active member of the communities at The Detroit Tigers Weblog and the Motown Sports forums.
Granderson was one of Brian’s favorite players, and he corresponded with the Tigers center fielder through MySpace and e-mails to his PR representative, John Fuller. Obviously, that helped form a bond that continues to this day, as Granderson has maintained a relationship with the Bluhm family in the years since Brian’s passing.
“It’s amazing how someone I never met,” Granderson said, “can be that impactful.”