I know what it looks like: the 500 Level Fan has been to three consecutive games in the 100 Level. But don’t worry, my G20 tickets are gone, and I will be back with my beloved 500-ites soon. Last night was potentially my final trip to the good seats this season, and man-oh-man was it a classic!
There was very nearly a tie in the fan of the game voting. In the first two innings, Samuel P. Clapper was a heavy favourite. Mr. Clapper looked to be in his 30′s, and loved to clap. Trust me, he LOVED to clap.
It is normal fan behaviour to clap when a Jays pitcher reaches two strikes on a batter. The entire stadium wants to see him finish off the strikeout. But normally, the vast majority of fans wait until the late innings or for pressure packed situations to get involved in the 2-strike clap.
Not Mr. Clapper.
Beginning with the first batter of the game to reach a two strike count (Joe Mauer, top of the first), he started clapping: clap…clap…clap, slowly picking up speed until the pitch was delivered. This practice continued the entire game. Every single two strike pitch.
The thing about Mr. Clapper that made him so lovable was the fact that not only did he clap, but he had to be the FIRST in the entire Rogers Centre to clap. And he was. Every time. And more – when his clapping did indeed lead to the strikeout, he unleashed an incredibly exaggerated fist pump. Beautiful. Check out the video of him in action.
But unfortunately for Samuel P. Clapper, one man caught him and then overtook him as fan of the game. He looked to be in his 50′s, sitting directly behind me. He was a half-intelligent baseball fan, meaning he knew enough about the players, the teams, and recent history to get by and sound smart, but a lot of his factual information was wrong. Example – Orlando Hudson used to play for the Jays (correct) until they traded him (correct) for some bum pitcher (incorrect – Hudson left in the Troy Glaus deal). And he was negative. Very, very, very, very negative.
Ladies and gentlmen, may I present….the Anti-Fan.
I wasn’t able to snap a photo of the Anti-Fan, and there really isn’t a story that goes with him. But take a moment to read the below quotations – verbatim quotations I might add – and you’ll get an idea of what a treat it was to sit within earshot of him. Enjoy.
“The Jays have pretty good pitching this year, but can’t hit a lick. They suck at hitting. Imagine how good we’d be if we could hit” (Fact – the Jays lead of all baseball in home runs.)
“They are all hovering around the Mendoza line.” (Fact – the Mendoza line is a .200 batting average. Only Adam Lind and Aaron Hill are hitting below .210)
“Oh, here comes Vernon Wells. This guy sucks. We’re paying this retard 20 million bucks a year.” (Fact – Vernon Wells is an all-star)
“Do you know how many players we could get for this stiff?” (Fact – probably none due to his contract)
“I don’t know why we didn’t re-sign Rolen and instead went out and signed this stiff Encarshin.” (Fact – Rolen was traded for Encarnacion. Re-signing him was not a possibility, especially after he asked to be traded. And it is Encarnacion, not Encarshin.)
“Encarnashin is useless.” (Fact – well, he might indeed be. Anti-Fan is correct.)
“See that? That is the 500 Level, where all the rowdy people go. You don’t want to go up there.” (Fact – yes you do.)
“This guy is Mr. Pop Up tonight. Holy sh*t. Fred Lewis.” (Fact – Fred Lewis went 1-4 with a triple, two fly outs to left, and one (ONE) pop out)
“This guy can’t throw a strike. Holy sh*t. He’s got a left handed hitter. Holy sh*t.” (Fact – Marc Rzepczynski threw 99 pitches, only 36 were balls. He walked one batter – Michael Cuddyer, a right handed hitter.)
“Double play coming up. Here watch this. Nope – the pitcher threw him a changeup and the idiot retard bit. Unbelievable.” (Fact – Alex Gonzalez batted with a man on first, one out, in the 5th. Anti-Fan predicted a double play, but instead Gonzo swung and missed. The pitch was 91 miles-per-hour. That is a fast changeup…)
The end. And I swear that is entirely true.