I believe it is every team’s–and every fan’s–duty to make a trip to an out-of-town ballpark to watch his team as the visitors an enjoyable experience. I believe it’s incumbent upon fans not to shower abuse (or beer) in greater quantity than they would shower same on any hometown fan. I believe the correct response to “Is this Aisle 527?” doesn’t involve profanity.

But I don’t believe that hospitality should extend to playing a song the visiting team is familiar with from its home ballpark, so imagine my surprise when “Sweet Caroline” began blasting from the Wrigley Field speakers last night. Now, if the P.A. guy had, right after “Touching warm . . . touching you!” given the turntable a solid kick, sending the needle skittering and screeching across the vinyl, then it would have been okay. But just playing the song, straight, is like the French translating all the road signs just in from the Maginot Line into German.

Original comments…

thatbob: “Blasting from the Wrigley Field speakers…”?

Wrigley Field shouldn’t even have speakers that blast. That would solve your problem right there.

Well, that was queer

I was out of town for a couple days, so I just now got around to watching the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” episode featuring the Red Sox. I’d never seen “Queer Eye” before, and I don’t think I’ll ever be watching it again, but at least some kids got a refurbished Little League field out of it, not to mention some doughnuts from a certain doughnut shop chain that isn’t as good as Krispy Kreme, but I guess underwrote part of the cost of fixing the kids’ field up after it had been destroyed by Hurricane Charley.

Historical baseball note

Since I don’t have high-speed Internet at my new apartment yet, I’ve been watching more TV than usual. That included tonight’s Dodgers game, a 2-1 win over the Brewers. I wanted to mention this piece of trivia that fascinated Vin Scully, since I’m not sure how far it will be disseminated: with this game, the Dodgers have now played more games at Dodger Stadium than they had at Ebbets Field.

Incidentally, the best Vin Scully moment of the game was him reading Jim Tracy’s lips during an argument with the home plate umpire, but not giving the exact translation: “Fertilizer, fertilizer.” The second-best was his plug for the pre-game show airing before tomorrow’s game: “I think you’ll find it somewhat interesting, as it always is.”

While I’m at it, it’s looking like the plans detailed here for me and Jason to do a 4-city baseball trip next month are not going to come to fruition, since I will have only been in my new job for a month. We may do an overnight trip just to Phoenix, for a Saturday night game. But that leaves things open for me to ask: hey, Levi, how about a Western trip in 2006?

Television programming update

The episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” featuring five members of the Red Sox airs next Tuesday, June 7th, at 10:00 P.M. Eastern on Bravo (with copious repeats throughout the following week). TV Guide gives it a 9 out of 10 and includes, as a tantalizing preview, the phrase “Johnny Damon gets foil highlights.”

Also in next week’s TV Guide, Superstation WGN has a full-page ad (in the color section, although it’s a black-and-white ad) touting their Friday afternoon telecast of the Cubs vs. Red Sox as a rematch of the 1918 World Series, for all the TV Guide readers who have been waiting for that for 87 years. Presumably, the Saturday game is on Fox (although my DirecTV edition of TV Guide only lists what’s on the national Fox schedule, so it’s “teams to be announced”) — and the Sunday game is in the week-after-next’s TV Guide, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a complete mystery where it’s going to air.

An affront to

The May 30 issue of Sports Illustrated had to be forwarded to my new address, so I only received it just today. So Steve Rushin’s column about keeping score at baseball games only just now came to my attention. This passage is of particular concern: “Those of us who keep score have joined Trekkies and train fanatics — known as ‘foamers’ in the railroad industry — in the pantheon of get-a-lifers.”

So let’s see: I know how to score baseball games and do it occasionally, Levi knows how to score baseball games and does it religiously, Levi has obviously seen “Star Trek” a few times since he often refers to me as James Tiberius Ellwanger for no good reason, and, of course, my enjoyment of trains has reached legendary status.

Original comments…

Levi: Aside from the personal slam, I have to take issue with this guy. At Wrigley Field, I regularly see people in my section keeping score. Some of them are the group of season ticket holders I’ve gotten to know over the past seven years, who are clearly dedicated fans, but I also see a lot of people with the scorecard and pencil they’ve bought on the way in, obviously not veteran scorers, but enjoying the game that way anyway.

Last week, I even had a stranger who showed up an inning late borrow my book for a minute fill in his card. I had to help him decipher my handwriting.