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BASEBALL PLUS | CHATTER

Fight Back Against Annoying N.Y. Fans

August 13, 2000|BILL SHAIKIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Must we deal with the New York Yankees again? The schedule says we must.

We do not object to the Yankees. We do object to their persistently obnoxious fans, who will pack Edison Field this weekend and chant relentlessly: "Let's Go Yan-kees!"

We could take pity on these souls, delirious refugees from a self-absorbed city where the ability to order takeout Chinese food at 4 a.m. is often cited as evidence of the metropolis' cultural superiority.

We could take pity, yes. But, frankly, it would be more fun to heckle the displaced New Yorkers. That's right, Angel fans, yell back.

Angel fans, you need help. Angel fans cheer for the rally monkey (sorry, New Yorkers, you just wouldn't understand) and fireworks shows, but they do not heckle.

Technology has come to your assistance. Simply flip on your computer and visit http://www.heckledepot.com, where 689 heckles are provided and categorized for your convenience. Most of the barbs are intended for players, but you can search for the proper verbal dart for umpires, vendors and fans too.

But, before you flip off your computer, click on the "Hit the Heckler" link on the heckledepot.com home page. An animated heckler moves across a baseball diamond, challenging you to shut him up by hitting a line drive off his face. All the while, the faux Yankee fan taunts you as a "wimp" or "loser."

Imagine that "whack-a-mole" carnival game with a baseball theme, and you've got the idea. Take out your aggressions in a legally sanctioned manner, and then enjoy the real game.

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Promotion of the week: You live and die with your team, you say? You sure about that? If you're a fan of the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs of the Class-A South Atlantic League, you might get a chance to back up your bragging.

Ladies and gentlemen, the RiverDogs are proud to present . . . Funeral Night!

"Baseball fans are romantics balanced by a pragmatic approach to life," team President Mike Veeck said. "When they say, 'If we don't win, I'll just die,' they're only half-kidding."

According to Baseball America, the grand prize winner at Funeral Night receives a funeral package worth $6,000, courtesy of the RiverDogs and McAlister-Smith Funeral Home.

"There is obviously not going to be any time limit to redeem the prize," McAlister-Smith vice president Mark Smith said. "In fact, I would encourage the winning fan to delay redeeming their award as long as they possibly can."

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Great moments in Angel history, revisited: After a game in 1991, the doors to the Angel clubhouse swung open and there sat infielder Luis Sojo, with a glum look on his face and mysterious wrapping around his hands. Sojo said he had accidentally cut his hands--both of them--on a drinking glass.

Actually, Sojo was too embarrassed to tell the truth. He had slashed his hands while playing with a knife belonging to catcher Lance Parrish. If Sojo were going to cover up his injury with a phony story, you'd think he would have done better than, uh, cutting himself on a drinking glass. Nobody would believe that, right?

Well, maybe. Triple-A Pawtucket pitcher Paxton Crawford recently lost two pints of blood, he said, after falling off a hotel bed and onto . . . you guessed it, a drinking glass.

"It was 2:30 in the morning and I was halfway asleep on the bed, on the edge," Crawford told the Boston Herald. "Me and my roommate had a movie going that we weren't even watching, and I rolled over to get up because I had to go to the bathroom.

"I fell flat on the glass, right on the small of my back. I didn't think it was anything. I put my hand on my back and when I got to the bathroom my hand was red. I called my roommate and once he walked in the bathroom, I got all sweaty and passed out."

Crawford required stitches to close an inch-deep gash into his back. No truth to the rumor the movie he and his roommate were watching was "Dumb and Dumber."

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