One of the greatest things is a night at the ballpark. It isn’t just the baseball being played that is fun, but the entire environment is incredible. The sights, the smells, everything about it just screams, “this is what being an American is all about.” Despite the steep (cough, bullshit, cough) prices, you still pay it for those messy nachos, that ballpark hotdog, and that ice cold beer so you can get the full night at the ballpark experience.
Most nights, that’s all good and well for all the fans in attendance of the game. However, sometimes it is all about the baseball. Like when it is game 4 of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros. Then, it becomes all about the postseason baseball that has fans glued to their seats. With the Astros down 2-1 in the series, everything was riding on a Houston win to tie the series up and not get too deep in a hole.
Then, it happened – every fan’s worst nightmare since the Cubs and Steve Bartman incident in 2003.
With the Red Sox already holding a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first inning, the Astros were trying to rally to even the game in the bottom of the second. With a runner on, reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve took a pitch oppo’, heading into the right field bleachers, and it looked like Houston would get the runs they spotted the Sox back.
However, that is not how things planned out – due to the Astros fans themselves.
As Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts leaped up to rob Altuve of a homer, somehow Betts’ glove got moved off course once he reached into the crowd to make the player. Replays showed that it wasn’t just a missed glove-squeeze by Mookie, but that a Astros fan moved his glove away as the ball was about to meet it.
No one knows if Betts would have caught the ball or if it would have landed in the seats for a game-tying two-run homerun, but damn it – it doesn’t matter.
As a baseball fan myself, there is one thing I know fans (especially in a game of that magnitude) should be thinking, “Dear God, do not make me a mistake that will make me hated by my favorite team and their fanbase for the rest of my life.”
Apparently, a few fans of the Astros did not get that memo, and potentially caused their team a devastating loss in the ALCS, and are now one loss away from being bounced from the playoffs.
I do feel for these guys. I am sure they did not mean to screw their team, or cause them to lose the most important game of their season so far. In the heat of the moment, you just 1) want that souvenir homerun ball to tell your friends about 2) don’t want that little white blur to kill you as it heads for you.
But this wasn’t any of those 162 games they played for the past six months. This game wasn’t about the hot dogs and beer – this was about getting the Astros back to the World Series. So let this be a lesson to fans all around the world: do whatever you can to not become that guy, at all costs.