Who’s Johnny?

Dylan and I and two friends of ours went to the Tampa Bay Rays-Toronto Blue Jays game this past Friday. After having a great time at the Red Sox game a few weeks earlier, I was expecting good things. The last game we went to included nice weather, World Series trophies, and the best team on the planet. This game consisted of the always-crappy Rays and Canada’s only team. My expectations may have been too high.

I like to get to the park early so I can watch batting practice and check out the stadium, so we arrived at 11:30 for a 1:05 game. As soon as we passed through the turnstiles at Progress Energy Park, it started to rain, and the temperature dropped.

This sucked for a few reasons. First of all, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Secondly, the field crew threw the tarp on the field, so no BP. Thirdly, there was absolutely nothing going on at this stadium. This place is essentially a bunch of concrete and bleachers, nothing like City of Palms park, where they have a beautiful stadium and didn’t cut any corners. So there we were, stuck standing around the concourse with the other seven fans at the game.

For about an hour it continued to rain off and on and get colder and colder until it got to the point that I made the very difficult decision to get off my wallet and invest in a long sleeve shirt. After going to four different souvenir stands, I had the choice between a long sleeve Rays shirt and a Rays sweatshirt. I reluctantly forked over $28 and experienced one of the lowest moments of my life as a sports fan.

Eventually, the rain stopped and we got to our seats, two rows up on the first-base line. We watched as the players warmed up and then started coming off the field, stopping to sign autographs and chat up the fans. Then a short, fat guy wearing #63 for the Rays came off the field and tossed a ball into the stands, right into the hands of yours truly.

I’d never caught a ball at game before so I was pretty psyched. Until I looked back at #63 to thank him and saw that he was shaking his head in disgust and calling me a few choice words. Confused, I turned around to see a 15-year-old kid, glove in hand, sitting right behind me. Feeling like a loser for stealing this kid’s ball, I apologized and gave him the ball.

As the game started, I found myself getting more and more irritated, thinking about #63 and his overreaction. I didn’t know there was a kid behind me, and I didn’t appreciate some no-name giving me a bunch of crap over it. So I decided to make Mr. Short Fuse my verbal target for the rest of the day. I quickly did some research on him and found out that he is a 30-year-old career minor leaguer named Jon Weber. Lucky for us, he was starting in center field.

So at the beginning and end of each inning, as Weber runs on and off the field, I hit him with a “Look alive out there Johnny” or a “Let’s show some hustle out there Johnny.” Each time I said something, he made a point to look right at me to give me the stink-eye. We were officially in his head.

Our exchanges came to a head in the fourth inning. As he was running off the field, I told Weber to “enjoy Double A this year, Johnny.” I don’t think he appreciated this, as he again stared me down, and then told Carl Crawford that I was something that rhymes with “brother-clucker.” Victory is ours.

After pushing Johnny’s buttons for four innings, I figured it was probably time to leave this psychopath alone, before he jumped the wall and beat me to death with a Louisville Slugger. Although, that may have made the game more exciting for the fans in attendance.

Boring game. Bad weather. Lousy stadium. $28 dollar Rays shirt. Not the best way to spend a Friday afternoon.

After the game, a few questions popped into my head:

  • At what age do kids become fair game, when you don’t have to give them the ball?
  • What kind of Employee Assistance Program do the Rays have to help Jon Weber with his anger management problem?
  • Will the Rays ever be contenders in the hardest division in baseball?

If anyone has the answers to these highly debated questions, I would love to hear them.

14 Responses to “Who’s Johnny?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    12. They can fend for themselves, go to movies with friends, and stay home alone. They can also cry in their soup for not catching the foul ball. By 12, theyre pretty set.

    Obviously they may be doing something right, I mean Delmon “Umpire Killer” Young, had 2 solid years with the Rays and nothing was said about the 50 game pine ride in AAA. Weber will be selling grills in 2 weeks when he is cut for being a 30 yr old nothing. Shit or get off the pot my friend, its time Johnny.

    Im saying 3rd place. Im still riding high on that and the Jays are as trashed as Emmitt Smith’s Gray Beard.

    Thats my take, Im sure Spanky will entice us with how many times the Yankees have won the world series at any moment, just in case we all didnt know, Ive heard its 26 or so. Although “Your World Series Champion Boston Red Sox” every time they come on the field this spring training does have a great *ring* to it.

    This is when Hell freezes over but what if, what if the Rays beat out the Yanks. Im just saying, what if?

  2. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Sorry, at school, that above was all me.

    Matt “Mascot Killer” McLaughlin

  3. Dave Says:

    I was thinking 14 should be the cut-off. 14, 15, 16 whatever it is, I’m kicking myself for not keeping the ball, then chucking it back at John Weber when his fat ass ran back in. That dude was a serious psycho, I’m glad I had a couple of strong guys with me. I really thought this guy was coming into the stands.

    I kind of hope this guy makes the team, so I can expose how bad he sucks to a larger crowd at the Trop.

    I’m still going with the AL East standings: Boston, Spankees, Jays, Rays, Orioles.
    After seeing the Rays live, I’m not very impressed with them.

    Side note: We were right next to the Rays dugout, and Evan Longoria spent most of the game chatting up some young kids. He seemed like a really down to earth, nice guy. I hope he does well.

    Dave” President of the John Weber sucks fan club” Ingalls

  4. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Alot of the younger players I have seen and chatted with in and around Hammond have all been pretty down to earth and accepting of their roles as big league players. I think there is something about John’s or Johnny’s and Centerfield that irks people in general. I mean, The Geico Caveman Yankee Sellout and now Dr. Drew’s Newest F-List Celebrity Rehabber just rub people the wrong way. You can have John Weber. Meintkeivichz is Mine.

    Matt “If Only Doug Meintkeivichz’s first name was John it could be an anti-Johnny Fan Club” McLaughlin

    I dont even think Doug can spell his last name right.

  5. Dave Says:

    It’s funny you mentioned the Minky incident. I was thinking about you and Dougie while I was in the war or words with this moron. Are we the two biggest a-holes in the stadium? Or do we just call them the way we see them?
    Dave” I’m selling my Rays shirt on Ebay, opening bid…1 penny” Ingalls

  6. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    We are knowledgeable intelligent baseball fans. The difference is, we KNOW these people are a-holes. We’re not those *ahem Spanky ahem* fans that yell at classy guys because theyre wearing a different team’s jersey.

    Doug and John can be lame and insignificant together. The Sox will just be wearing hardware again and they’ll probably be cut from yet another team.

    Weber, 5 10 out of Texas Tech L,L, and no stats. Reallllllll Winner.

    Matt “Im higher on the depth chart for the Twins than Weber is for the Rays” McLaughlin

  7. Jon Weber Says:

    I am gonna work you! You better watch your back …..chump.

  8. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Dylan + a 12 pack = All the protection Dave is going to need from a Minor League hack like you Weber.

    Throw a bat like Delmon, then you may get noticed, or just cut.

    You are AAA for the RAYS. Thats like Single A for a real team. Kansas City included.

    Matt “WE STILL NEED GUYS FOR THE FANTASY LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!” McLaughlin

    btw, whats up with thefoulline’s status of being official Red Sox Nation South Site?

  9. Dave Says:

    Matt,
    thefoulline.com owns the domain Red Sox nation south. I’m not sure what we are going to do with it. We’re still looking into what we are allowed to do. There are alot of trademark/ copyright things involved.Any thoughts on how we can implement this to make our site bettet would be appreciated

  10. Anonymous Says:

    You reach the age of no more foul balls when a normal human being grows taller then Weber, so somewhere around 10years old.

    Dylan ” I came here to drink beer and heckle Weber, and the Beer is too expensive” Hamilton

  11. Matt McLaughlin Says:

    Lets get a collection going for Dylan. No beer is a travishamockery.

    Matt “Id take the 10 year old in a drinking contest over Weber anyday” McLaughlin

  12. Anonymous Says:

    JD Drew went yard in Japan

    Dylan ” I stand by my thoughts on JD Drew and a stellar performance this coming year still” Hamilton

  13. Dave Says:

    Dylan,
    Good news! J.D.Drew hit a grand slam in the second game in Japan. 2 games 7 RBI’s. I wish this was the regular season.
    Could this guy be a sleeper for the fantasy draft? Or is Drew teasing us again?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I will not give up my secrets to a successful fantasy team, but, someone say, LIKE a jd drew may be a very good pick I think. He’s due, he owes it to his team and the fans for such a big contract for such little output last season, except late in the playoffs. I’m not saying MVP, but definately a key part of the Sox run at the 08 pennant.

    Dylan “After the Sox play in Japan, they’ll want to play again in an hour” Hamilton

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