Why the wave doesn’t belong at Yankee Stadium

Yanks unable to complete sweep, fall to O's
The expectations of playing losing teams

The video above comes to us from our friend Ross at NYY Stadium Insider. He shot it in April as the crowd did the wave while Curtis Granderson legged out a triple. Few fans were paying attention to the actual game, and the audio on Ross’ video is quite hilarious. It serves as a great introduction to this morning’s guest column on the wave.

Written by Larry Koestler of Yankeeist, this piece explores why many die-hards and more than a few newcomers can’t stand the modern phenomenon of the wave. I’ve always enjoyed the “Take the wave to Shea” chant, still relevant today even if Shea is just a parking lot.

A disturbing trend has come to pass at Yankee Stadium during the 2010 campaign. No, it’s not the seemingly automatic way in which the Yankees continue to compile wins at their beautiful ballpark. Or the proliferation of ridiculous Yankee paraphernalia that fans deign to wear to the Stadium. No, I’m talking about something much more sinister and disturbing: people at Yankee Stadium have — shockingly, and much to many long-time Yankee fans’ collective chagrin — resuscitated The Wave from its rightful place in the mausoleum and have been seen performing this paean to boredom at nearly every Yankee home game thus far this season.

That’s right. The Wave. At Yankee Stadium. God help us all.

The Wave began in the 1980s as a way for fans of National League teams to pass the time, because nothing says fun like a lame human ripple effect ringing around the upper deck of a baseball stadium. Then again, if I had to watch my pitchers hit I’d be bored as hell, too.

Kidding aside, participating in The Wave is basically the most insulting thing you can do to your team. You are literally telling everyone — as you wait to see if it’s going to make it all the way around and back to your section — that (a) You absolutely do not care about the fact that you are fortunate enough to be attending a baseball game, and (b) You have absolutely no interest in what or how your team is doing. You may as well have switched caps with a fan of the opposing team, because seeing as how they made the trip out to Yankee Stadium from wherever they’re from, they actually give a damn about the fact that a baseball game is being played.

In addition to displaying a complete and utter lack of interest in the events unfolding directly in front of you, The Wave also serves as a distraction to the folks who showed up to watch a ballgame. While playing at home may not statistically hold much of an advantage, a team’s fans still play a large role in both cheering the team on and trying to psyche the opposition out. Perhaps the most frequently recurring comment from opposing teams — at least about the old Yankee Stadium — was that once those 55,000 fans got going, there was no other noise on earth quite like it. The sound was deafening. The acoustics of new Yankee Stadium don’t allow for quite the same decibel level, but the proceedings can still get pretty loud, especially come playoff time. If people are trying to start up a Wave, it can be an immense distraction to the paying fans who know better, and also takes the crowd out of the game — how can 45,000 people will their team to victory through intense cheering and clapping when forced to shake their heads in disbelief that their fellow fans would rather throw their arms up in the air than clap for two-strike fever?

As far as I’m concerned, real Yankee fans don’t do The Wave. I attended well over 100 games at the old Yankee Stadium, and I honestly can’t remember a single instance of people even attempting to do The Wave. While I’m sure it broke out several times over the years — most likely during the dark late 80s/early 90s — it must have dissipated as the Yankees got better, because I seldom recall seeing it this past decade. At the old house, if you tried to do The Wave in the Bronx you’d have been more mercilessly razzed than a Red Sox fan.

Speaking of which, do you ever see fans at Fenway Park do The Wave? If you have, it probably happens fairly infrequently — I don’t remember seeing The Wave take place during any of the Yankee-Sox games I’ve watched over the years. Do you know why? Because Boston fans are obsessed with baseball and love and respect their baseball team. The idea of The Wave rarely if ever crosses the mind of a Boston Red Sox fan, because BoSox fans live and die with every single pitch. Every single pitch. And it should never be crossing the mind of a New York Yankees fan.

Clearly one of the reasons behind this atrocity is that a good number of classic, die-hard Yankee fans have been priced out of the new Stadium, and their seats are now being filled with people who barely even realize they’re attending a baseball game. However, that does not excuse things, and also begs the question: Why are you spending money to attend a baseball game if you’re going to be that bored? Do you know how many Yankee fans would kill to have your seats on any given night? Additionally, I don’t care if the team is losing 30-1; I’d rather you leave in the 6th inning than feel the need to participate in this atrocity.

I can’t believe I even feel the need to write about this; but it keeps coming up and something needs to be done about it. I was apoplectic when I saw The Wave at the first Yankee game I attended this season and actually had to stand up and put both hands up in an effort to “stop” The Wave while scolding everyone in my section. The Wave reared its ugly head again when I was back at the Stadium a couple of weeks ago, and I once again went hoarse yelling at people to quit doing it. And last week, Michael Kay even pointed out that people at Yankee Stadium were doing The Wave on the YES broadcast, which was the last straw.

So to the people who have been attending games at Yankee Stadium this season, I implore you: Stop doing The Wave. It’s incredibly disrespectful to the game and the players and makes all Yankee fans look like we couldn’t care less. Obviously that couldn’t be further from the truth, and I know not everyone attending a baseball game at Yankee Stadium is going to be hanging on every single pitch through all nine innings like obsessives such as myself, but if you’re really that bored, then go home. Or if you absolutely must do The Wave at a baseball game, then become a Mets fan and bring it to Citi Field, where it belongs.

Larry Koestler eats, drinks, sleeps and breathes the Yankees at his blog Yankeeist.

Yanks unable to complete sweep, fall to O's
The expectations of playing losing teams
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    The Wave is distracting as all hell. Save it for a damn concert.

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Preach, brother.

  • Grandersonslam

    The wave was first introduced during the Soccer World Cup in Mexico in 1996.

    Even though it’s really popular in some sports and countries, I believe it’s a huge distraction for the audience and the players, specially in a game such as baseball that demands extreme concentration from the players in every pitch.

    • Mr. Sparkle

      I think you made a mistake here on your date. I clearly remember the wave as far back as 1986…as Mets fans, always more interested in everything except for their own team, used to do it non-stop at Shea. Thanks to the idiot media coverage (even back then) it was “popularized” at Shea because of their love affair with that nauseating team. They thought it was the greatest thing to ever happen to baseball.

    • Astorian

      The wave was being done in the US well before the 1986 World Cup. In fact, it was already out of style in the US by that time.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    I don’t know what old Yankee Stadium you were going to, but I’ve seen the Wave plenty of times there too.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      That was my reaction to Larry as well. The Wave was prevalent at Old Yankee Stadium, and it sucked just as much then as it does now.

    • J.D.

      I saw the wave at the old stadium too but, it never got past the bleachers. I recall on multiple occassions that the creatures would start yelling “leave the wave for shea” and fans sitting in other sections did too.

  • Jim Johnson

    God, I hate the fucking Wave.

    • LI Kevin

      We need the Bleachers to make it stop.
      They’re our best and last hope.
      Call to arms, Creatures!
      We need you.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        Sections 202 and 203 are participating in the wave these days.

        • MSBNYY

          Section 203 does NOT participate in the wave. Neither does section 204. Section 201 and 202? Yes, and they get booed. You may see some stubhubbers do the wave once, but usually, they are few and far between, and they tend to stop the second time around. The wave sucks.

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

            People are doing it there, I can see it from my seats. Yeah I guess they’re getting booed and I have no doubt it’s not the season ticket holders doing it but it’s happening.

  • http://theyanhkeeu.com Moshe Mandel

    I disagree, and I’m sure Larry knew I would because we have discussed this before. I don’t mean to minimize what Larry, and I’m certain many of those that will follow my comment, feel about the Wave, but it really does not bother me when done at the right time.

    Honestly, I can concentrate on the game fine if my section stands for a split second. And check the video- once that ball is struck, the Wave died immediately. I’m not saying that it always belongs, but I think we, as diehards, try to hold all fans to our standards when it is simply not possible. Yes, occasionally the non-diehards get bored when the Yankees lead the Orioles 8-2, and they look to entertain themselves. In that situation, I think you can afford to miss maybe a pitch or two, if that, so people and kids can enjoy themselves. I’ll agree that in a close game, or in the 9th inning of any game, the Wave needs to die a painful death.

    Also, another point that will probably be widely disagreed with, but this idea that the New Stadium has created a wildly different atmosphere than the old place is, to me, a myth. It’s been the “in” thing to do to rip the crowd at the new place since the start, and I think a form of confirmation bias and romanticizing of the past has set in. I was at over 100, maybe 150 games, at the old park, and I saw the wave all the time. In fact, I even saw a beach ball a few times. Conversely, I’ve only been subject to the wave 2-3 times in my 10 trips to the new park. I think everytime someone sees this kind of stuff at the new place, they automatically file it under “this never would have happened before” even when it did in fact happen before. When you combine the romaticizing of the old Stadium with the confirmation bias about the new one, it creates this culture where “everything was always better in the past, in the old place, before the corporate fat cats moved in,” that I just do not really see. I have no more money than I did before, yet I find it just as easy to go to a game. Those of us that dont have the funds for expensive tickets can allmost always find cheap ones on stubhub. I really havent seen a major change in the composition of the crowd, although there are more amenities to distract even the hardcore fan.

    • Chris

      I agree with all of this.

      Particularly the supposed differences between the two stadiums. No one remembers what a 9-2 game against the Orioles in May was like at the old stadium. All that people remember about the old stadium are the good times (like game 7 of the 2003 ALCS) and are comparing them to the typical games in May.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “No one remembers what a 9-2 game against the Orioles in May was like at the old stadium. All that people remember about the old stadium are the good times (like game 7 of the 2003 ALCS) and are comparing them to the typical games in May.”

        Look… Agree to disagree about this stuff… But don’t tell me, because I disagree with you, that my memory is distorted. I was a season-ticket holder for years in the Tier Reserved in the old Stadium and believe me, I remember the mid-season, mid-week games as well as the postseason games and I’d venture a guess, since I attended so many games, that I remember them as well as or better than most people.

        • Chris

          Everyone’s memory is distorted. It’s the nature of memories. It’s why stats are a much better measure of the past than someone’s memories.

          Specifically, do you really think that a mid April game where the Yankees are winning 6-1 was really that different in the old stadium than in the new stadium?

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “Everyone’s memory is distorted. It’s the nature of memories.”

            Obviously nobody’s memory is perfect, that’s not what I’m arguing with. What I’m arguing with is your opinion that people who disagree with you have a more distorted memory than those who agree with you.

            “Specifically, do you really think that a mid April game where the Yankees are winning 6-1 was really that different in the old stadium than in the new stadium?”

            I do think it’s different, yes. I also think, however, that the change really started a few years ago in the old Stadium, it didn’t happen when they moved. It was just sped up and became more pronounced when they moved. I think as the prices rose to ridiculous levels (this was happening in the old Stadium and just got worse in the new one) the demographics of the game-attending fan-base changed.

            Going back to the memory point… I don’t know, this is a very quick observation, but it kinda seems to me like the people who notice the change in the crowds are people who attended, and attend, more games than the people who don’t. Totally a guess based on a few comments, might be very wrong. I’m just not so sure you should be so quick to dismiss those memories if the people recalling them are avid fans who attended a lot of games.

            • Chris

              What would you consider the “good years”? Because certainly before 1998 was nothing like it’s been in the past year or two. If your argument is that the atmosphere from 1998-2003 is different from what it’s been since, I can’t really argue with you. Of course, a lot of that may have something to do with the Yankees making the World Series in 5 of those 6 years.

              • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Honestly, I haven’t really thought it through enough to identify time periods like that. But yeah, I’m definitely of the opinion, as I said above, that this wasn’t a sudden change or anything like that, but was a more gradual change whose rate accelerated when they moved across the street.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      As an anti-wave person… I totally hear where you’re coming from, and I think many other anti-wave people would agree with me that I get why kids like doing the wave (yes, even the great and powerful Congressman was a kid once) and I don’t begrudge them from doing it or anything. Wishing it didn’t happen and not getting why kids like it or why they do it are two different things.

      I think it’s really just a sign of the changing times at Yankee Stadium. The demographics of the game-attending fan base have changed with the times, and so the behavior of the fans has changed, too. Those of us who don’t like the wave are probably just holding onto an era that has kind of passed by (or is passing).

      Clearly I disagree with your last paragraph, but whatever, that’s really neither here nor there and is a discussion that has been beaten into the ground over the last year and a half already.

    • http://www.yankeeist.com Larry Koestler

      As usual I find myself agreeing with a lot of your points, Moshe — I know you and I have discussed it at length, and while we disagree about the general idea of The Wave itself, I certainly see your side of the argument.

      It’s obviously way easier to romanticize the old Stadium, especially since it no longer exists and we (or in this case, I) can choose to selectively remember certain aspects about what it was like to attend a game at the old place.

      For what it’s worth, Ben said that he remembers seeing The Wave plenty of times at the old place, and as I said in the piece, I’m sure it happened but I seldom recall it. I’m sure it’s not an old-versus-new-Stadium thing as much as a small sample size problem — for whatever reason, in the three games I’ve attended this year The Wave has broken out every time thus far.

      I went to 15 games last season and don’t remember seeing it — again, this could very well be selective memory, but I almost certainly would’ve griped about it to either my daily Yankees e-mail list or Twitter.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        It’s happening a lot more this year than last for for whatever reason.

        In YSII people would frequently try to get it going and it would get killed along the way, now it goes around like five times. It’s really confusing when you wonder what people are cheering about and it turns out they’re cheering the freaking wave.

  • red5993

    Everytime there is a wave at the stadium, I scream to bring that crap to citifield.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I still say “take it to Shea.” Just a reflex.

  • red5993

    fyi my co-worker has season tickets at fenway and he says waves happen quite frequently there.

  • Rose

    “All I need are some tasty Waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.

    Jeff Spicoli

    • http://yanksgoyard.com Joe West

      +1 for the Fast Times reference.

  • Ellis

    Wow, this post is ridiculously high-and-mighty. “Incredibly disrespectful to the game”?? Seriously?

    Baseball games are about having fun. A lot of people think doing the wave is fun, or else they wouldn’t do it. If you don’t like it, then watch the game.

    If Yoda were here, he would sense a lot of anger in you.

    • Rose

      Great post, Ellis. I agree with you whole heartedly. I’m not a big fan of the Wave but I don’t really see a problem with it. When it starts coming around over and over again constantly I get a little frustrated because it’s unnecessary…but once through and back again is perfectly fine for me. Shouldn’t be a big deal in that case.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      My issue with the wave is that people pay a ton of money to watch a baseball game and then have such ridiculous ADD that they can’t sit still and watch it for three hours without doing the wave. I also have the same problem with people who can’t stop getting up when they’re sitting in the middle of the row. I don’t feel as vehemently negative about the wave as Larry does, but it’s very distracting as a game I want to watch is unfolding.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “I also have the same problem with people who can’t stop getting up when they’re sitting in the middle of the row. “

        Those people will burn in their own little corner of Hell. I’ll add to that: People who not only constantly get up and make the whole row get up so they can get their 8th hot chocolate of the night, but the people who do so and refuse to either wait until the inning is over or at least make their move between batters or pitches.

        • Aaron

          Yes, the wave is annoying. But why are we really getting mad over this? Personally I find it to be just as annoying to read blogs/tweets that complain about the wave. IT IS NEVER GOING AWAY. Get over it.

          “You’re coming off kinda contrived and pretentious
          You’re not sayin anything we haven’t heard before
          You’re caught up in an argument…

          …Don’t lose touch. Don’t lose touch.”

          And you are not in the minority of opinion. Stop acting like you are.

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

            People are allowed to complain about things they don’t like and suggest that maybe people cut it out.

            If Larry doesn’t like the wave and he has a reasonable argument, why should he just shut up and take it? Hell, even if he just wants to rant that’s okay too.

            I don’t see the strong push for people to just ~deal with it~ for everything they don’t like. If you never speak out about anything, you get nowhere.

            • Aaron

              My problem is that the complaining/venting turns into constant whining. Everytime the wave happens the same lines and rants are repeated. How do you propose that we get rid of the wave? I mean, if it is so evil, shouldn’t you figure out a way to stop it instead of whining about it?

              That is why I suggest that people get over it. It isn’t going to go away and repeating yourself is rather obnoxious to others. I also have the right to bitch about the anti-wave sentiment.

              The other aspect that is annoying to me is the elitist attitude towards the wave. It is like anti-wave people think that they are some counter-culture minority. Do anti-wave people view themselves as the Rebel Alliance or something? Get serious and do something constructive instead of whining.

          • Andrew518

            Isn’t that what the internet is for?
            Complaining about things that will never change.

        • claybeez

          If they try to come through during a pitch, ask them to wait until after it’s thrown. If I’m on the aisle I do it all the time. I saw a HR I would have missed in the Division Series, last year, because of it.

      • Doug

        “people pay a ton of money to watch a baseball game”

        this is where we differ, ben. imo, most people pay a ton to GO to a baseball game. part of going is watching the game as you mention, the other part is everything else, including doing the wave.

        lots of people are just going to get out of the house, enjoy the weather, things like that. to these, the game is actually incidental.

        • dygg

          Agree. Sometimes it’s just nice to go to the park. At day games, there are always a dozen people reading the paper. (That being said, 12 guys reading the paper aren’t quite as distracting as a 12,000 doing the wave.)

    • jeff

      I came here to post the exact same thing, almost word for word, except for the Yoda part.

      Jesus, relax. If people like doing the wave, who cares? I think it’s silly and I don’t join in, but I’m not such an egomaniac to think I should be able to decide what’s fun and what isn’t for other people.

  • T

    Further evidence that Yankee fans take themselves way too seriously.

    It’s a game, people. No one else cares that you are “the most successful sports franchise in the history of sports franchises.”

    Maybe standing up for the wave will help you dislodge those sticks up your asses.

    • Andrew518

      I’ve taken pride in taking myself too seriously for many years, that’s what being a Yankee fan is all about right.

      I’m not saying you can’t do the wave, I’m just saying keep it out of Yankee Stadium.

      Some resturants require you to wear a jacket, whether you would normally wear one or not, when you dine there you must.
      If you don’t want to wear a jacket go to McDonalds.

      When you come to Yankee Stadium things are different. You should at least pretend for the duration of your stay that you care about real baseball, the actual game on the field.

      If you don’t want to you can go to Shea, or New Shea or whatever they call it over there. That’s why we have two ballparks for you to choose

  • Rose

    If we’re getting rid of things that are slightly annoying…we shouldn’t first focus on the Wave. Let’s throw out the popcorn, soda, ice cream, beer, peanuts, etc. guys yelling and screaming in your ear.

    • Klemy

      That kind of goes hand-in-hand with the people in the middle of the row getting up to leave all the time. Having to hand their refreshments and money back and forth repeatedly gets annoying as hell as well.

      I dislike the wave for getting in the way of the game, but not nearly as much as most people who are complaining about it here. I guess I just accept that some people like it. Going to the game is an experience for people. Some people enjoy it differently than I do…I get that.

  • Craig

    Great work here – get the wave out of my face when I’m watching the game!!!

  • pollo

    You can blame the jackasses at sectio 306..every game i’ve been to they’ve been the ones instigating.

    • boogie down

      For some reason, I laughed really hard when I read this comment.

  • Pete

    The wave is a major facepalm inducer

  • Jammy Jammers

    Most people in society are idiots. Yankees fans are certainly no exception. Add to that the fact that tickets (and concessions) are kind of tough to afford for ‘the average joe’ (especially with a kid or two). You get dumb yuppies who know nothing, business people taking clients and sponsors giving away tickets to people who don’t care about the game (or even show up).
    Also, most of the people there are dummies from Long Island, Jersey or Westchester. Complete meatball idiots. Of course the wave will be happening.

    • Pasqua

      Generalize much?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=sgm Andy In Sunny Daytona

    The idea of The Wave rarely if ever crosses the mind of a Boston Red Sox fan, because BoSox fans live and die with every single pitch. Every single pitch.

    They are the greatest fans in the history of sports. Better than ever the Romans in the old Coliseum….and of course, St. Louis Cardinals fans.

    • Pete

      this isn’t true though – I’ve seen the wave every time i’ve been to Fenway, usually several times per game.

  • brewster’s millions

    Best post in awhile…I hate the wave. It makes the crowd look like total douches, and yuppies who don’t realize why they are there. It’s been happening a lot, it never goes around once, it goes around nine times, it becomes a thing to see how many times they can get it going. I dont mean to sound high and mighty or I have a stick up my ass, but why cant you just watch the game? In my opinion it makes the stadium of fans look like jerk-offs who don’t have respect for whats happening on the field. I do blame the bleachers (not fully), if theres at least one strong section who doesn’t participate than it will quickly die down and others will follow. Anyone in section 428 on Friday nights doing the wave, I will be one of the guys yelling at you to take it to shea…I’m sorry for yelling..

    • Rose

      How are the Hackensack Bulls doing these days?

      • brewster’s millions

        Was this an I’m from Jersey implication? I’m a die hard New Yorker, that hates the wave.

        • Rose

          haha what? No, they’re the team Richard Pryor plays for in the movie “Brewster’s Millions”. Did you ever even see it? lol

          • brewster’s millions

            haha…nice reference…havent seen it in a while…you know how new yorkers get when they think they are being compared to new jersey…unless your from new jersey…my bad.

            • Rose

              haha nope. I know what you mean though. I’m not from NJ, so it’s ok lol

  • steve (do)

    The wave sucks, but the tone of this post is ridiculously out of proportion and frankly a little embarrassing to read on RAB. Feel free to flame away.

    • nsalem

      I can think of some other words for this post but embarrassing
      will suffice.

  • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    wave is teh epic suck

  • http://fmylife.com JobaJr

    Three words: Live a little. Nothing wrong with “The Wave” at a baseball game.

    And to answer your Red Sox question, I live in Mass and have been to dozens of Sox games over the years, and I NEARLY ALWAYS see “The Wave” break out in the 7th or 8th inning.

    • Rick in Boston

      Yeah, it usually coincides with their singing about an 11-year old girl.

      • rbizzler

        In MA they call that ‘sexy time.’

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I’ve seen the wave at YSIII (STOOPID) but never in the Grandstand which is where the real fans sit.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      Then you haven’t been to many games because I have seen it there plenty of times this year.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I agree, the wave sucks.

    I have been to probably 100 games in Fenway (and 3 or 4 in YSII and YSIII) and the wave is certainly prevalent in Boston. It’s actually gotten worse in the past 5 years or so, as going to Sox games is now the “cool thing to do” and there are a ton more “fans” at Sox games who can’t tell you what position Dustin Pedroia plays. The percentage of knowledgeable baseball fans at Fenway has tanked since 2005, and the wave has certainly picked up. Probably, like Larry said, less prevalent during Yankee games, but the wave is alive and kicking at Fenway as well.

  • Matt DiBari

    The wave doesn’t belong at any stadium, concert or event. If you’re that bored, go home.

  • bonestock94

    The Wave was always something I saw at low-rent Shea.

  • Sizeole

    I have a theory that states: the relative intelligence of a city is in perfect inverse correlation to how many times they will watch The Wave go around a stadium. I lived in Los Angeles and now live in Atlanta and average 15-20 games in those parks. All I can tell you is these goofy hipsters/inbred hicks love them some Wave.

  • IvanS

    They do the wave at every single Red Sox game in Boston. THAT is reason enough to not do it…

  • Doug

    personally not a huge fan of the wave, and i don’t participate in it when it comes around, but not against those who do it.

    what i’m missing here is how doing the wave equates to being bored. this was mentioned in the post as well as a few times in the thread.

    can’t people just have a good time when they’re at the game. if this is how they choose to do it, so be it.

  • Matt

    This is a little, melo-dramatic Kabak.

    The wave maybe happens once every five games or so and lasts for under five minutes!

    If the wave bothers you that much, just stay home and watch the game.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      This is a little, melo-dramatic Kabak.

      I didn’t write the post. As it clearly states, this is a guest column written by Larry Koestler. Reading comprehension FTW!

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

    Larry I’ve actually seen people at Fenway doing the wave on national TV this year, it’s an epidemic.

  • anon

    Jeter needs to address the crowd.

    “You’re the greatest fans in the world, but for the love of god stop doing that. You look like a bunch of tools.”

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

    Hate the wave, of course. This story illustrates it for me.

    Two strikes, two outs, what do you do? Stand and cheer, of course. A few weeks ago an asshole sitting behind me (in the bleachers, no less) kept yelling for me and my buddy to sit down. With two strikes and two outs.

    Then the fucker participated in the wave. So yeah, the wave sucks, take it somewhere else, especially if you’re going to complain about people cheering on the team.

  • Matt

    Also, if you find the wave distracting, the Yankees might as well stop serving beer. Tons of fans get liquored up before and during the games causing huge distractions.

    Posts like this make me think that Yankee fans are a little too obsessive.

    • Pasqua

      Nice point, actually. I don’t participate in the wave, but there are plenty of things that I would label as “more distracting” than a few minutes of people standing up momentarily and then sitting down again. Like…say…people standing up and drunkenly screaming at the field, other fans, each other, and then NOT sitting down again.

  • Nickel

    But they did the wave in Field of Dreams! :-P

    • Pasqua

      And a little girl choked on a hot dog in Field of Dreams. Don’t you see?! The wave kills!


  • steve s

    I am squarely on the side of hating seeing the “wave” at Yankee home games but, for a second or two, I did experience it through the eyes of my 8 year-old who didn’t quite know what to make of it at first and then was (excuse the expression) “swept” up in participating in it. I explained to him why I didn’t like it and how especially in Yankee Stadium it should never happen and now he boos when it does happen. The moral I guess is that there are plenty of attendees at Yankee games that are not Yankee lifers like the posters on RAB and for those experiencing a “wave” for the first time (kids especially) it’s kind of fun.

  • http://www.nomaas.org K.B.D.

    Disrespectful to the players? The reason they have jobs is that people plunck down their hard earned cash to come to the Stadium and watch. If those people then choose to do the wave (which doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t paying attention) then that’s fine.

    As for the wave as annoying: it’s a minor, minor inconvenience. Your vision is obscured for half a second. If it’s a big dude and you really don’t like it, maybe ask him to stop so you can watch the game? If you’re not an asshole, maybe he will. If it’s a little kid and it bothers you, seek help immediately and try to remember when something so simple made you happy.

    The people doing the wave are, in large part, trying to enjoy the game just like you. The fact that they enjoy it in a different way isn’t disrespectful to the players. Your way of enjoying a baseball game isn’t any better. If the wave distracts you from the game, then you have ADD just as bad as the people who “can’t sit still for a few hours.”

  • Rose

    Speaking of which, do you ever see fans at Fenway Park do The Wave? If you have, it probably happens fairly infrequently — I don’t remember seeing The Wave take place during any of the Yankee-Sox games I’ve watched over the years. Do you know why? Because Boston fans are obsessed with baseball and love and respect their baseball team. The idea of The Wave rarely if ever crosses the mind of a Boston Red Sox fan, because BoSox fans live and die with every single pitch. Every single pitch. And it should never be crossing the mind of a New York Yankees fan.

    Entirely disagree with this part. I’ve been the Fenway a bazillion times and they do the Wave a good amount of the time. The difference is the dimensions aren’t exactly great for it to look all that cool. Unlike the Stadium or other stadiums where it’s more traditional and looks “nicer”.

    Do you know why? Because Boston fans are obsessed with baseball and love and respect their baseball team.

    If this isn’t boversimplification, I don’t know what is.

  • Pasqua

    Up next: “Why Box Seats Really Do Suck”

  • Rick

    I think I’ve heard that idiot yelling for people to stop at the games before. If a 5 y/o wants to do the wave, let him do it. Christ.

  • http://unclemikesmusings.blogspot.com Uncle Mike

    I was at the game at Camden Yards last night, enjoying the trip if not the result. And those fans were cheering the Wave. Really. I thought Baltimore was a tough, gritty major league city that took its baseball seriously. And there they were, doing the Wave and singing “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” (Well, I got me a wife, she’s a cousin I diddle… I think that’s how it goes.) People, you’re in the Northeast, not the South or the West Coast, have some pride!

    • claybeez

      I don’t like the wave as it interferes with me watching the action. However, I remember what it was like when I was younger, when being at a game was a rarer occurrence. While the game was the thing, the event seemed to amplify it’s importance rather than diminish it.

      Along the way, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand the game more. I get more out of what it is I’m watching. The game has become so fundamental, the event is superfluous. I think for those in love with the game it’s a typical process.

      I won’t begrudge my 6-yr old son or any child for showing some enthusiasm at a game. Over time, as he becomes more capable of understanding the nuances, beauty and complexity of the game his interest in the wave will probably diminish. I think the same can be said for those adults who love the wave. Maybe, if you share some of your knowledge about the game instead of dismissing them, maybe they, too, will eventually be to enraptured by the game itself to give a hoot about the wave.

      • claybeez

        Refreshed the page first, but still posted as a reply to the above post, which it’s not meant to be. Sorry.

  • B-Rando

    I normally agree with everything you post, but I’ve got to call you out on the Boston wave thing you brought up here.

    I live in Boston, so I attend MANY more games at Fenway than I do at YSIII. I’ve seen the wave happen on many occurrences at Fenway. I absolutely despise it because at Fenway chances of you being able to see are already slim, then add in people jumping up and down in front of you and it becomes painful.

    However, the main argument you make about Boston is that they live and die by every pitch, which is complete BS. I cannot tell you how many “poser” sox fans live in Boston and attend games. Every college student that moves to Boston instantly becomes a Sox fan because thats the “cool thing to do”. I’ve been to parties where the Sox have been playing the Yanks and people will get in my face about me being a Yanks fan. If I went down the usual list of questions about them being a Sox fan (ie: can you even name 5 players on the Sox) most would fail miserably. My point here is, lets not give the Red Sox fans too much credit. I can say I have an insiders perspective here, and there is just as much BS going on at Sox games as there is at Yanks games.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Again, I didn’t author this post. Larry Koestler, as it says in both the second and final paragraphs, wrote it. Hence, the “guest column” tag. Take it up with him.

      • B-Rando

        Sorry Ben, completely missed that.

    • Rose

      Ben didn’t write this. It was a guest post…but I’ve gotten the impression that the majority of the writers agree with the post (at least for the most part).

  • http://www.scottschulthess.com Scott Schulthess


    Complaining about the wave?

    Geez dude just way 30 seconds and it’s over.

    • pat

      Geez dude just way 30 seconds and it’s over.


  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    To all the people saying people who don’t like the wave have something against having fun, or something to that effect… I mean, look, I don’t like the wave, but if kids/parents or anyone else want to do it, good for them… But I’m curious as to the “fun” aspect of it…

    Wait for it… Wait for it… Wait for it… Wait for it… OK STAND UP AND SIT DOWN! Oh the excitement of standing up and sitting down at a certain time totally improved this ballpark experience for me!

    To each his own, I guess.

    • http://baseballalamode.blogspot.com Crunchy Frog


      And, when I look at someone near me watching the wave I expect drool to fall from the corner of their mouth.

    • Rose

      I’m sure most adults could do without it…but when they bring their kids to the game it’s become some sort of tradition for the game. And kids like it, perhaps, the same reason babies and younger kids like Peek-A-Boo so much. Who knows.

  • Tom Zig

    If you’re gonna do the wave, fine, but don’t do it when the Yankees are up at bat. Do it when the other team is up.

  • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

    I am not a fan of the wave and never partake, but if other people want to enjoy it who cares? As long as it doesn’t go down at postseason games it doesn’t grind my gears.

  • JeffG

    I know I have caught a game on MLBTV this year and seen the wave in Fenway… I think it might have been againt either Texas or the Angels and there was a wave toward the end of the game.

    I agree though… I have come to not like the wave.

  • http://baseballalamode.blogspot.com Crunchy Frog

    Isn’t the wave like human NASCAR?


  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Was Dick Vitale doing the wave when he got nailed in the stomach with a line drive?

    • Rick in Boston

      Dicky V only does the wave if Coach K tells him to.

  • bakes

    as someone whos never read yankeeist. I really don’t see how someone who just talked about something that has nothing to do with baseball is going to make me go over and read their blog. Also, after reading the article i can’t tell if it was completly sarcastic or the wave ate this guy’s children.

    • 24fan

      Also, after reading the article i can’t tell if it was completly sarcastic or the wave ate this guy’s children.

      IETCVM (despite misspelling completely)

  • ToddnCali

    This “holier than thou” attitude about the wave is sickening. Who the hell is anyone to tell me and my eight year old son to not participate in the wave. If it gives him a few seconds of joy, to hell with all of you “purists.” Where is the post and outrage about drunken idiots swearing and the “A-hole” chant? As a father of an eight year old and a four year old, this whole “stop the wave” thing is arrogant and condescending. I am just grateful no one has the guts to tell my kids to stop when they are getting a few cheap thrills at a baseball game.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      When I was 8, my dad taught me that appreciating a baseball game does not at all require the wave or chanting curses and/or immature taunts. There’s a very happy middle ground.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yikes, dude… Might not have been the best approach to responding to that comment. lol

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Why? My point is that it’s not a kids thing. Kids don’t start the wave and don’t really get it until someone explains it to them. As a little kid, I got far more joy out of the game than out of the wave.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I just think a worked-up parent might take that comment as a statement about how they should parent. I was just kidding, I just wasn’t sure he’d take that comment so well.

      • Andrew518

        I agree, I went to ballgames as a child and was taught to pay attention, to score the game in the program and not do the wave. There were no playgrounds, no whiffle ball parks, bounce houses, and all of these other nonsense things for kids that most ball parks have these days.

        The point is I had a great time without all of these things. The joy of the game was enough for me as it was for most of the generations before me, I’m not as old as my puritist sentiment suggests.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      In defense of people who don’t like the wave, I don’t think most of us have a problem with a little kid doing the wave, and in defense of RAB, there have definitely been posts here about stupid fan behavior relating to dumb chants etc. Nobody is excusing that other behavior, and the fact that worse behavior exists doesn’t mean we can’t also discuss this particular behavior.

      • ToddnCali

        I understand what you are saying. But even Ben’s response is proof of the condescending/arrogant/self-righteous attitude and tone that seems to permeate this discussion.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          I take it you realize your comments sound just as “condescending/arrogant/self-righteous” as those from the wave-haters, right? I just want to keep that point clear.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Dude, do they offer a negotiation seminar at NYU law? lol

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Thanks… One thing though… I’m not saying you’re being condescending/arrogant/self-righteous, because I hear where you’re coming from and I agree, your kids should stand on their hands and do the wave for all I care… But the bad attitude can go both ways. Some of the reactions here to the anti-wave sentiment are a bit over the top as well. It’s the freaking wave… If I say I don’t like it and I liked it better when we didn’t do it, I’m not attacking anyone or anyone’s kids or being an asshole, I’m just saying I don’t like it. Let me stew in my memories of wave-less days and drink my beer the same way I’ll let you do the wave and be happy, there’s no need for the angry responses.

          • ToddnCali

            Point well taken and I completely agree. And for the record, I am not angry. But re-read the last paragraph of this post, particularly the “then go home” part. I would hardly consider my response on the same level as the original post which provoked my response. And I am not immune to being annoyed by the Rally Monkey or those thunder sticks at Angels Stadium. It just does not invoke the same feelings that it is “disrespectful to the game” and those people should just “go home.”

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I think a lot of us don’t love the wave but I think we’re looking too hard for reasons why, I think the real reason, at least in my mind, is as simple as: we used to not do the wave at YS, and now we do, and we liked it the old way because that was our thing. I think not doing the wave was kind of an identifying factor among Yankee fans – they did it everywhere else, but we didn’t do it because we were unique and different. I never sat there and thought to myself: “Self, I’m glad we don’t do the wave, because the wave is stupid and the people who do it are stupid.” If I ever thought about it I would just think something like “it’s cool that we don’t do the wave here, because we’re not like all those other fans in those other cities, we’re different.” Now that we do the wave, we’ve lost one of those little things that made us, as Yankee fans, unique. I really think that’s all it is, when you get down to the root of the issue for some people (myself included). I never had any problem with the wave, the people at Shea and the Kingdome and in Jack Murphy and wherever the hell else all looked like they were having fun doing it, so whatever. I just liked that we didn’t do it because it was part of our code, in a sense. Now, we’re more like the people in PetCo than we used to be. So it goes.

  • spark

    I have no problem with fans having fun at the game. Baseball is for the kids. It’s a kids game. Throw a beach ball around. Do the wave. Whatever. It doesn’t make you less of a fan or less knowledgeable about the game to just let loose and for 3 hours be a kid again. Isn’t that what’s supposed to be so great about baseball?

  • guy

    The wave is an embarrassment. Someone needs to design a stop the wave t-tshirt. Watch the game this is yankee stadium for christsake.

  • Mac

    I go to a handful of games at the Stadium and Fenway each year and I see the wave more at Fenway.

    The only time I do not have a problem with it is if your team is blowing out the other team. I always saw the wave as a way to “rub it in” to the other team.

  • james

    Seriously? Get over yourselves, people. Everybody goes to the park to enjoy the game in their own way. Some enjoy the game, some enjoy the atmosphere and some enjoy the wave.

    You’re like the curmudgeons who are offended by pink Yankee caps. Stop puffing yourself up by worrying about who is the most ardent or authentic Yankee fan. Just have fun and enjoy the day.

  • beachbum

    We don’t like the wave because we like to think of ourselves as die hard Yankees fans. Not liking the wave is just affirmation that we differ from the casual baseball fan (just like knowing what WAR and FIP means and following the draft day chat). That’s fine, but so are the “casual” baseball fans who fill Yankee stadium, buy the product and help pay the salaries of the players on the field that we love to root for. There’s room for everybody – in fact the wave-lovers are probably necessary for the Yankees to field the teams that they do. It’s here to stay, but we don’t have to participate in it.

  • http://Wenevertradeagoodstarter TLVP

    Wow. Pretty strong feelings…

    Two observations:

    The wave could be done mid inning without disturbing the game. Would the wave haters still hate it then?

    Doing the wave during play is pretty inappropriate though

    • Mr. Sparkle

      I will certainly still hate it. In an earlier post I cited the fact that I remember it being a huge thing at Mets games in 1986 (and beyond.) Yankees fans DON’T follow…they lead in New York and they don’t lead with lame “boredom killers.” What’s next, playing “Who Let the Dog’s Out” to generate rallies?

      Leave the wave to the amateur fans at Shea who never care about their own team anyway. Yankee fans are better than that. Besides, if you’re so bored with the game…give your tickets to a real fan and go somewhere else for your entertainment.

  • Chris

    I live in Boston and go to a handful of games every year, and let me tell you absolutely every game they do the wave along with Sweet Caroline sing along….So that part of your post is incorrect, they do it all the time at Fenway.

  • Mr. Sparkle

    I’ve been to New Yankee Stadium twice and both times was sickened by the lack of people actually watching the game. People are busy “BS”ing and walking around the concourse areas. I’ve seen people in the gift shops DURING the game! A lot of people have disappeared around the 4th and 5th inning, never to return.

    Bottom line…this is no longer a Stadium and more of a tourist trap. It’s depressing. I actually hate going to the new Stadium. It’s expensive, the sight lines are awful, the parking situation is far worse than the old park and worst of all…it’s no longer fun to watch a game there since there’s more excitement about the game in my own living room.

    Ironic that in the Yankees’ desire to create a place where there are plenty of things for fans to do, they’ve taken away the primary reason for being there, the game, because no one that can afford to go even cares about the game anymore. The true fans have either been priced out or can only afford seats so far from the action that they couldn’t be heard with a bullhorn and binoculars are a must.

    I’m sorry and it’s sad to say, but they’ve replaced one of my favorite places on Earth, with a bland, boring, miserable venue. And now it has the wave. Great.

    • steve (different one)

      the sight lines are awful,

      wait, what?

  • 209ed

    The 209 will weigh in after a full Bill-Jamesian analysis…

  • Andrew518

    There is no bigger scourge in the game than the wave. I was at a triple-A game the other day and it still bothered me to my core.

    I’ve grown up as one of “those” Yankee fans. The smug pretentious types, that believes, or at least used to that there were no better, more knowledgeble fans on the planet than that of the Yankees. I still believe this is true but I fear that most true fans have been priced out of the opportunity to cheer on their team personally. Why should I have to buy my tickets off of stub hub for an unreasonable price when it seems that everyone at the stadium isn’t paying attention, only eating gormet food, I mean for the three hours that a ball game takes you can eat a freekin hot dog.

    As a smug fan I never thought I’d see the wave succesfully completed, I never thought I’d see the statuim crowd cheer on a drug cheat as he tries to surpass the true Yankee greats, allright I’ll leave that for another day, and I certainly never thought I’d see the crowd show up as consistantly late and leave as early as they do now. It’s not LA for cryning out loud, It’s the Bronx, there’s no beating traffic in the Bronx. It’s personally embarassing to me to see the number of empty seats by the ninth inning.

    At least in the early ninties when they were only drawing 25,000 those 25,000 all cared what was happening on the field…or at least untill they started brawling in the upper deck.

    For now do all you can. Booo the wave. Tell them to take it to Shea, as I still do, or Anehiem for that matter. Just because people are sitting in your section doesn’t mean you have to be nice to them, if you see them taking part in this reprehensible behavior don’t be afraid to tell them to knock it off.

    • Kiko Jones

      I obviously got here late but…

      There is no bigger scourge in the game than the wave.
      Um, how ’bout fans being out-priced? Or an excess of teams leading to the diluting of the game’s overall level of quality? What about teams pocketing revenue sharing funds and fielding losing teams while fans get shafted?

      I don’t like the wave, have never participated in it, never will. Hope I never see it again at YS. (Don’t mind little kids doing it. Especially if it keeps them from doing something truly annoying.) All of this ranting against it is just too much, tho.

      I’ve grown up as one of “those” Yankee fans. The smug pretentious types, that believes, or at least used to that there were no better, more knowledgeble fans on the planet than that of the Yankees. I still believe this is true…
      I don’t mind when fans of other teams hate on the Yankees ’cause they are rich, spend the money, have won so many championships, strive to win, etc etc etc. But this “we are the greatest” mentality is indefensible. I’ve met way too many meathead, knuckle-dragging Yankee fans and plenty of knowledgeable followers of other teams to know we don’t have exclusivity on great fandom in the Bronx. After all, how great can we be if we occasionally boo our own?

      I never thought I’d see the statuim crowd cheer on a drug cheat as he tries to surpass the true Yankee greats
      And you are absolutely certain that those “true Yankee greats” were clean, as it were, or is this selective nostalgia on your part? I mean, I love Whitey Ford, but the guy was a cheater and admittedly so.

      Just because people are sitting in your section doesn’t mean you have to be nice to them, if you see them taking part in this reprehensible behavior don’t be afraid to tell them to knock it off.
      Yeah, that’ll end well.

  • forensicnucchem

    I think I got it now.

    The real fans aren’t the ones doing the wave. The real fans are the ones who videotape it and then get so outraged at it that they spill their beer, move around, and don’t even acknowledge or realize what just happened in the game.

  • http://www.gloriousfootball.com Mike

    Utterly pathetic. You know in the real world, fans are supposed to be creating their own enthusiasm at sporting events, not being prompted left right and center by hype-men with microphones and huge “NOISE NOW!!” graphics. The wave, appropriately timed, is just another tool for the passionate fan (and that’s what they are, those who try to add to the atmosphere of the stadium) to ensure that Yankee Stadium, MSG, or whatever other venue doesn’t sound like Church Mouse Central.

    Unfortunately opinions like yours mean that every American venue is a dead zone compared to international fans.

  • Karen

    Excellent, excellent post – now someone needs to show this to Michael Kay, who commented on it today when it went around. He was like “I don’t get why people get so offended by it. It’s people having fun.” Now, obviously he’s a Yankee shill and wouldn’t dare complain about the paying customers’ actions, but to NOT understand why people hate it is something else. Then again, no one’s blocking his view in the TV booth when it goes around, so I guess he wouldn’t get it…

  • Yankeefan

    I go to a lot of Yankee games, and I attended yesterday. I attended a game earlier this year when the Yankees were trying to rally and instead of cheering the team, the fans thought it was just the right time to do the wave. You may call me arrogant, self-righteous – whatever, I don’t believe the wave should be done at Yankee Stadium. I agree with the writer. It’s distracting to those fans who actually are more interested in watching the game and showing their enthusiasm and CHEERING ON THE TEAM. As for the young children doing the wave – they wouldn’t do it if the adults would not initiate it. When I was a child, my mom and dad taught me about baseball – its history, the strategy of pitching, hitting, fielding. Today, fans are a bit more casual – fine. If these ADD fans simply cannot control themselves, then do it between innings. It’s one thing if the wave was focused on something on the field, but it’s all about YOU and not the team and what they are doing, which is why I thought we were going to games in the first place. Sports fan etiquette is non-existent these days. It’s all about “don’t tell me what I can’t and cannot do. I pay for my seats and I have the freedom to do whatever I want.” Well freedom doesn’t give you the license to be a tool.