Saturday, June 19, 2010

There's No Vuvuzelas in Baseball

The World Cup in South Africa has been besieged with vuvuzelas.

While I was listening to the Red Sox-Dodgers game on the radio, Dave O'Brien said that 15,000 vuvuzelas were going to be handed out at Sun Life Stadium in Miami at tonight's Florida Marlins-Tampa Bay Rays game.

I said to myself, "Well, at least I don't have to watch that game."

Or so I thought.

The MLB Network had scheduled the Oakland Athletics-St. Louis Cardinals game but instead showed the Rays and Marlins. So for 11 innings I had to endure the vuvuzelas with the Rays holding off the Marlins 9-8. What's astonishing is with a little over 23,000 fans in attendance the stadium was two thirds empty.

In fact, I think the vuvuzelas were a negative factor in the game. In the ninth inning, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez made a double switch in the lineup placing shortstop Brian Barden in the ninth spot and third baseman Wes Helms in the third spot. But home plate umpire Lance Barksdale didn't write down the changes correctly and Barden batting third and Helms batting ninth and conveyed this information to Rays manager Joe Maddon. When Maddon pointed out the discrepancy after a walk was issued to Barden, Barksdale called Barden out for batting out of order. Gonzalez was subsequently ejected from the game for arguing the call.

While the Marlins broadcasters discussed a miscommunication they did not mention the vuvuzelas could have impeded Barksdale's hearing. Vuvuzelas don't belong in baseball.

Yet I have a funny feeling the vuvuzelas will be heard when soccer comes to Fenway Park next month. Well, as long as it doesn't take place during Red Sox games.

No comments: