Thursday, March 4, 2010

What’s with the crowd?

I featured this 2010 Topps Kevin Youkilis card when I discussed the new baseball card releases. I happened to be looking at it yesterday, when I noticed the crowd in the background. I have to wonder what exactly was going on.

The focus of the picture is, naturally, Kevin Youkilis. He’s making a play on a ball. The ball is still in his hand as he is about to make some sort of running or jumping throw. Pretty cool, right? Not if you ask the people sitting behind him.

I can clearly make out about 20-25 people in the stands. Two of them are sitting back with their arms crossed. Two of them are sitting with the head in their hand. None of them are smiling. None of them are even pretending to be having a good time. Judging from the outfits their wearing, it looks like a beautiful summer day. They have some pretty good seats. They just couldn’t care less.

I’m willing to give them a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, and assume this picture was taking during warm-ups. If this was live game action, just by accident you’d think someone would be following the play. But, still. Show a little interest! Nobody is even involved in a discussion with their neighbor. Nobody is writing in a scorebook, or flipping through the day’s program. It looks like they’re all forced to be there.

Check out the kid in the front row. Let me say that again…in the front row! He could not be more bored. An MVP candidate is making a play about 20 feet from him, and he can barely even bring himself to watch. What is this, LA? The two ladies behind him in red aren’t much better. They are just waiting for this torture to be over. I don’t care if the Sox are losing 20-0. Look alive! The girl in blue on the left at least looks involved. She’s leaning in a bit, and looking in the general direction of Youkilis. The girl with the white straps on the right is also looking in the general area, but not with much excitement. The guy behind her is also so bored he needs to prop his head up. These are fans in the first couple rows behind third base? Really? I know it’s risky to make a judgment from one snapshot in time. But come on Fenway. You’re embarrassing us here.

Get in the game!


  1. See, once again all the good seats are always given to the wrong people.

  2. I promise, that when I was in the front row, I watched every warm up toss...unless I was talking to the umpire.

  3. Ha, I had seen your original post about the Topps set, and was psyched when I then got this very card in my 2nd pack! Only my version was the gold, #364/2010 or something.

    I have also thought about the crowd in this shot, and while I of course am on the side of "the real people" who don't get to sit in the field boxes, I will defend these 25 people by saying this:

    1. I don't think it's warmups--there's no way everyone would be seated and focused on the play if it were.

    2. Think about what happens when you're watching a play--grounder to third, You gets it and quickly throws. At this point, you wouldn't be standing up or clapping. You'd be focused on him (which they all are), then as the throw is going across and you realize they may have a shot at the out on a fine play, you'd probably start leaning in.... and only after the call is made would you have an outward, visible reaction.

    Now granted, front row kid can suck my ass. Chin should be off fist by this point. And if Youk really did make a great sttop on this ball before throwing, you'd think there'd be an open mouth at least. But I'd really have to see the next 3-5 seconds to judge most of these people. Even when you see a shot of, say, Ortiz post-swing and looking out toward the outfield, the crowd will still be seated, just kind of gazing out.

    Then again, there are so many people who cheer wildly on any hit ball by the Red Sox, thinking every batted ball is a 500-foot HR. They never learn. But my point is, even those people would appear motionless if you saw them at the moment of the batted ball, based on natural human reaction time.

    Final note: Unless we can figure out which play this is, we really don't know what's going on--it could be the middle of a 6-run inning, we just made two errors, and now Youk bobbled a ball and instead of eating it, is making an unwarranted throw to first way too late.

    Just my opinion. I like blog entries like these...and your "I Scored" series. Nice work.


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