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Home » June 2009 Game CommentsJune 2009 » Heckles


Game 59: June 10, 2009
L: Chien-Min Wang (0-4)
34-25, 2 game losing streak
WinRed Sox6
W: Tim Wakefield (8-3)
H: Ramon Ramirez (8)
H: Hideki Okajima (10)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (15)
35-24, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: Last night I tried my hand at Polite Heckling™. I was perfectly positioned to do so: Section 94, Row J, Seat 5. My seat was five rows directly behind Pesky’s Pole. Polite Heckling™ mainstay Nick Swisher was not more than 30 feet away from me.

The Yankee multipurpose player Nick Swisher made it too easy for Polite Heckling™. In the second he missed an easy fly ball to right that slipped by his glove and bounded into the stands for a free ground-rule double and run batted in for Dustin Pedroia.

“Nick! Perhaps you should ask Melky if he would switch places with you,” I bellowed when the SwishHawk took his spot to field J.D. Drew’s at bat.

Swisher chased down George Kottaras’s foul ball hard in the third inning, so hard he wound up over the wall and in laps of the people in the first row of the right field seats. He was about 10 feet from me and as a baseball fan I was impressed. He knew he mucked up on Pedroia’s fly ball and was attempting to make amends. I thought to myself that if Swisher were on the Red Sox he would be one of my favorites.

But he’s not, so he got more of the business. “Nick!” I noticed whenever I started my taunts he would shake his head slightly as if he were thinking to himself, “Here we go again.”

“Why are you still playing in right? Didn’t you ask Melky if he would switch with you? You would like playing in center better.” I paused. Pracitioners of Polite Heckling™ look out for the well-being of their targets. “There are no seats in center for you to fall in,” I offered helpfully.

The Red Sox knocked out a Yankee starter in under three innings for the second night in a row. Phil Hughes balked facing his first batter.

“Nick! Perhaps you’ll be pitching tonight,” hoping that Swisher recognized the good cheer I was trying to spread. “You did a good job last time! If you impress Mr. Girardi, perhaps you’ll make the rotation. You know, in case the outfielder thing doesn’t work out.”

Mike Lowell had a double robbed by Swisher in the seventh. It was another great gutty play that I would rave about if it were made by a Red Sox player. After he made the catch he sprawled on his back in right-center and held the ball up in his gloved hand defiantly. He hung out with Melky Cabrera as Joe Girardi swapped out Hughes in favor of another Phil, Phil Coke.

When Swisher returned to his spot in right, I was this close to acknowledging that I respected him as a ballplayer. But my Polite Heckler™ training took over. “Nick! Did you apologize to Melky for taking his putout?”

I thought I would have another chance at Swisher in the bottom of the eighth, but Swisher walked and Brett Gardner ran for him.

Had Swisher returned to the field, I would have waited for a conventional heckler to call him a bum.

“Nick! Don’t listen to them! I don’t think you’re a bum,” I would exclaim. “In fact, I voted for you on my All-Star ballot.”

I’d wait for the crowd to stop their tittering. “It’s a new category. The Jim Edmonds Unnecessary Dive Award.”

One of the best conventional heckles I heard last night: “You take steroids” with rhythmic claps during Alex Rodriguez’s last at bat.

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