After the call to the readers for their own, personal heckling tales, I received such an overwhelming response (with the number of e-mails in my inbox actually reaching double digits!) that I decided to give a little love back to the peeps. By “peeps,” I mean friends. Or at least one-time online acquaintances.
Plus, it gives me a chance to catch up on my life, and refocus my energy on more important things.
Like watching the Reds and White Sox fold down the stretch. Or rating my top eight running backs for my fantasy-football drafts. Or editing Michael Ian Black sound bites into a techno remix. Or counting down the days until Seinfeld is released on DVD. Or Internet porn. Or Photoshopping the Pope’s face (and giant hat) on female Olympians. Or rereading hilarious hate mail, amidst teary eyes. Or working on my new novel, a faux autobiography written by Ozzie Canseco. Or trying to calm my erection after reading the latest Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash rumors.
As you can see, my plate is pretty full (and quite depressing). Therefore, I’ve decided to take this week off and let the readers handle the dirty work that is fictionally enhanced fantasy-baseball-column writing.
What follows is a small sampling of the heckles that were submitted. Thanks to everyone for writing in. As porn star Houston would say, keep ’em coming. There might even be a part two on the horizon …
This past April, a buddy and I were at Fenway Park in some decent seats (nearish the Pesky Pole, about 3 rows from the field). The guys in front of us razzed Blue Jays RF Reed Johnson ALL NIGHT. Here’s a sampling:
“Johnson! Know the situation! Runners on the corner, nobody out!”
“Johnson! Keep your head in the game! It came to you last time!” (there’s something funny about using patronizing Little League chatter as a heckle)
“Johnson! Stop yelling at me!”
“Johnson! Pay me 20 bucks and I’ll stop!”
“Yan-kees Suck!” (even if the Blue Jays were in town, it IS Fenway Park)
For Scott Rolen, circa 2002: Prior to being traded from the Phillies to the Cardinals, when the second basemen, shortstop, catcher, and pitcher converge on the mound to discuss signs in an effort to keep the base runner from stealing signs: “They’re talking about you, Scott.” I figured that during these meetings, when he is standing all alone, you can scream effectively at the top of your lungs and, given Philly attendance at the time, you could be sure he would hear you. And considering all the hype about his impending departure, that, perhaps, he would think that they actually were.
I also like to let Pat Burrell know that, per multiple sources, he has a tendency to drink too much and pee the bed. And, if I’ve had enough to drink, I’ll make up words in Spanish and yell them at the top of my lungs whenever Bobby Abreu is at the plate. But that’s just for special occasions.
I was sitting in the first deck at the Coliseum near the Red Sox bullpen in a close mid-season game against the A’s. It was late in the game, with the BoSox right-handed middle-reliever in trouble: a couple runners on and the A’s trailing by a run or two. The Red Sox had a left-hander warming the bullpen for two batters, and the A’s were sending left-handed Chavez to the plate. A trip to the mound by Grady—and he lets the right-hander stay in the game! (Shades of things to come, eh?)
I immediately let rip at the left-hander warming up: “I can’t believe he’s not putting you in! There’s a left-hander coming up, you’re warm and he rejected you! He doesn’t trust you!”
This was answered by agitated spitting in the bullpen.
And then I let go my piece de resistance—"Hey leftie! If he doesn’t put you in now, what are you good for? WHAT’S YOUR ROLE ON THIS TEAM?!!?"
Lefty pounded the ball in his mitt, spit, and sulked. He heard me all the way. It was great. I love getting the best of the ridiculous whiny Red Sox Nation!
“For chrissakes, Jeter, could your pants be any tighter? I can tell what religion you are in those things.”
(Nothing will rattle a ballplayer while he’s at the plate better than the thought that entire sections of the ballpark are, now, gazing at his genitalia in an effort to surmise his religious affiliation.)
Rick in San Francisco
What really takes a player out of his game is a good old-fashioned nonsensical exclamation. Real-life example: At a Dodger game a while back, I was sitting near centerfield next to a couple of young drunks. After railing on the Brewers centerfielder, Scott Podsednik, all game, they decided to take a heckling break and tried to start a wave. Sadly, after about five or six rounds with only one section participating, they gave up. And what did they decide to do? Scream this line, probably my favorite heckle of all time: “You’re the reason we can’t do the wave, Podsednik.”
Who knows if it actually worked, but Podsednik wound up getting picked off second base the next inning, and as my drunk heckling compatriots wondered repeatedly out loud afterward: who gets picked off second base?
Fantasy Baseball Forever,
A favorite from when I was watching AAA ball in the Midwest:
“We may win, and we may lose, but you still have to go back to Iowa.”