Monday, May 18, 2009

Under His Skin

When I was at Sunday's game, the guy sitting next to me mentioned that he and some buddies had been at Saturday's game sitting in left field.  He said they got under Matt Holliday's skin "pretty good."  I asked how and he said the whole section was chanting "0 for 4, 0 for 4."  And then when Gerald Laird hit a gapper between Holliday and Sweeney in the 7th, they heckled Holliday further, saying "that's how you get a hit."

Apparently, they really DID get to Holliday, because he turned around and flipped them the bird.  

Wow.  I don't think major leaguers are supposed to do that.  In fact, the official MLB rules expressly forbid it:

"3.09 Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectators, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game."

Ooh, Holliday could have received disciplinary action for that little gesture.

Holliday may be a little cranky due to the fact that he's slumping, hitting only .267  with 4 home runs, .338 OBP, .412 SLG.  He may be suffering from weighty expectations and the criticism that his hitting was inflated by playing at Coors Field.  His splits do tell the tale--he hit .357/.423/.645 at Coors and .281/.347/.454 on the road (Baseball Reference).  Pretty dramatic disparity.

Hecklers can either be very funny or incredibly annoying.  There's nothing worse than a loutish heckler who repeatedly yells the same tired line:  "you suck."  You've got to be funny and original.  It's got to be gratifying to get a reaction from a player.  You know you've done your job as a heckler, and helped out the home team by taking a guy out of his game.


Grand Cards said...

That's awesome. As a kid, my baseball team would go to a Tigers game each year and would taunt the opposing team in much the same way. I vividly remember the lot of us yelling down at Rickey Henderson from the Upper Deck bleachers at Tiger Stadium all game, only to have him turn around, look up and flick us off towards the end. I'm guessing the rule was in place then too, but at some point if you're forced to take it, why not dish it out a little bit too? Still one of my most vivid and enjoyable childhood memories

OldEnglish said...

Wow, you got to him all the way from the upper deck bleachers? nicely done

Grand Cards said...

You remember how close those seats were to the field--we stood up against the fence in the front row of the bleachers and we were basically on top of the players. I'll also give most of the credit to my teammates, I was not much of an instigator, more like supporting cast.