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Nostradamus, Salamis and Lessons for Hecklers

Nostradamus was a lunatic in the 16th century who wrote quatrain after quatrain, seemingly none of them making sense.  Now, nearly 500 years later, analysis of these quatrains has revealed a number of eerie similarities between those writings and the world's most influential moments.  What follows is one of these future-predicting quatrains...

...the Superpower shall be neautralized
When one from the past matches vigor
In the darkest hour of defeat there shall come The Young One
Donned in white with the helmet of a warrior...

As with all of the predictions from Nostradamus, this one is much easier to interpret once we have a point of reference.  Was it fate?  Did Nostradamus predict Jason Kubel's grand slam in the bottom of the 12th inning last night?  Or did I just make it up?


In a moment I didn't know was coming, the jumbotron flashed that Santana matched 1000 career strikeouts last night.  Immediately the quasi-lethargic crowd stood and rained applause down on the smokin' Santana, who took a moment to step off the rubber and raise a hand, with hat held by the brim, in acknowledgement to the fans of Minnesota.  For a few brief seconds, the fans of the 'Dome gave Johan the appreciation he deserves nearly every game.  The best part about it was that when Johan stepped back onto the rubber, when you'd expect the applause to die, it continued.  For a few brief extra moments, the hitter kept a foot out of the batter's box and Santana stood on the mound, not raising his glove, awaiting no sign from Joe Mauer.  It was a beautiful moment, well deserved by the Twins' Ace.

If You're Going to Heckle...Get It Right, Please

When you go to a baseball game, there are two inevitable points of happenstance.  One, there will be a winner to the ballgame (passing on a Selig joke).  Two, there are going to be hecklers.  Having said that, here are a couple of notes from me, your humble host of TwinkieTown, to those of you who choose to give the players a rough time.

One:  You need to be specific.

You can't chant something like "MAN-NY SUCKS!", because it's simply not true.  In the upper deck along the left field line last night there was a group of people chanting this phrase on a few occassions, and in front of me a couple of rows was a Red Sox fan.  Eventually, he said to his friends (Twins fans), "Yes, Manny sucks.  His home run totals suck.  His RBI totals suck."  I laughed.

My advice to the hecklers:  Be Specific!  When "MAN-NY SUCKS!" is so blatantly false, you need to pick something that's true.  Manny knows he doesn't suck as an overall player.  His defense, however, is pretty shoddy.  Something like "MAN-NY'S DEFENSE SUCKS AND IS STILL SOMEHOW GLOSSED OVER BY THE MEDIA BECAUSE HE HITS LIKE A CHAMPION AND OH YEAH HE PLAYS ON THE EAST COAST" would be more appropriate.

Two:  Be Creative.

Usually it's the same-old, same-old with the heckling crowd.  "__ SUCKS!", "__, YOU SUCK!", "MY GRANDMA THROWS BETTER THAN YOU!", "HEY, __, DOES YOUR HUSBAND PLAY?", and "BBLLLLAAUGHTTRAAADMMBLAAAMM!" by the intoxicated fans (who we'll deal with later) are some of the usual stand-by's.  This gets old, and players find these insults easy to ignore.

So, find something new.  For example, when Tavarez intentionally walked Hunter last night, he had thrown something ike 13 balls and 10 strikes.  At this point I yelled "HEY TAVAREZ!  YOUR BALL-TO-STRIKE RATIO SUCKS!"  Not only was it true, it was possibly something he hadn't heard before.  Be Creative, get noticed!

Three:  Be justified in your heckles.

Last night I was once again seated in the homerun porch, because that's where the homeruns go.  Behind me there was a man who kept yelling "GIT YER HEART RIGHT, UMP!" whenever he disagreed with a call.  I have a couple of problems with "GIT YER HEART RIGHT, UMP!"  First, what the hell does it mean???  I really have no idea.  Has the "ump's" HEART been consumed by the parody that is the east-coast media bias?  Has the ump's heart been wrong?  Perhaps the ump's heart has been in need of some antacids, which was leading to misguided calling of balls and strikes?

There are two points to be made here.  First, "GIT YER HEART RIGHT, UM!P" makes NO damn sense.  Make sense.  There's no justification for vague, meaningless generalities like "GIT YER HEART RIGHT, UMP!".  Second, if you're in the Homerun Porch, you can't be arguing balls and strikes, because you have no vantage point.  Sure, you have a general view of high-or-low, but inside and outside aren't in your visual judgement line.  Complain about Morneau being tagged out at second, but if you can't see the play maybe you shouldn't be whining.  Bottom line:  Be Justified!

Four:  Don't be drunk/don't be an idiot.

Good for  you that you can come to a game and spend $6.00 on beer after beer until you're absolutely wasted!  But really, do you have to show off that fact by becoming belligerent?

By the sixth inning last night there was a gentleman-turning-beast in the section to my left, who kept turning around and bitching out the crowd for not standing and cheering.  No, not just standing and cheering, because some of us were.  Rather, we were bandwagon-jumpers and other names not suitable for print on this site, because we weren't as crazy as he was.

Once we reached extra innings, even his friends weren't standing with him.  He was pointing to who-knows-who down the row, screaming that this person "SHUT UP!" and "BE A REAL FAN!"  These are all the words I was able to comprehend.  The rest of it was beer-crazed, saliva-garbled, incoherent babble.

Have a beer.  In fact, if you're not driving, go ahead and get drunk.  Just don't be a complete bafoon.  There's a line between funny embarassing yourself, and "wow-what-an-idiot" embarassing yourself.  This guy, his beers, and the belly that went with it all, made for quite the shameful display.

My Nostradamus Prediction

After Varitek's homerun in  regulation last night, Joe Mauer was scheduled to hit the next inning.  As he stepped into the box to the sound of a silent and life-drained stadium, I turned to my friend and said "It has been fortold.  The young one, donned in white with the helmet of a warrior.  He will save us," I insisted, pointing at Mauer.  Mauer then proceeded to strike out LOOKING, which never happens.  I'm going to write SABR to see how many times this has happened in his career.  If anyone on this site knows, it'd be killer information.  A guy with eyes like Joe Mauer really won't stike out looking very often.

Following Mauer's strikeout, Cuddyer proceeded to step to the plate and jettison Schilling's pitch to the same location Varitek jettisoned Santana's.  My prediction was right, but even though it was my prediction it was misinterpreted.

My prediction was not speaking of Joe Mauer.  Nor, in spite of what appeared, was it about Michael Cuddyer.  No, my Nostradamus prediction would not come to pass until the bottom of the 12th...

The Young One, donned in white with the helmet of a warrior...