In the past, I was an uptight, miserable human at ballgames. Like any teenager in a record store, I was judgmental of everyone around me, and like a crazy person, I refused to get up, even when the sum of hot dogs, pretzels and beer were impacting my bowels, for fear that my scorecard would get messed up. But I've mellowed, I'm more accepting. I now use the Phil Rizzuto method of marking 'WW' for Wasn't Watching anytime I want to get something to eat, run to the bathroom, or stare longingly at the stirrup socks of the fourth outfielder.
I've also relaxed my regulations about what it means to be a fan at a ballgame--it's perfectly fine to show up and know nothing about the game. Do you like drinking beer in the sun? Come to a game! Do you want to get your kids out of the house for a few hours? As long as they don't bother me and you don't ask me to look after them "just until halftime," sure, come out to the yard. Baseball is not the SERIOUS ACTIVITY with LIFE OR DEATH consequences that my younger self thought it was. Instead it's a diversion that can provide hours of enjoyment for both baseball junkies who study the minor shifts of the infielders in between pitches and the people who just like to shout WHOO! every 3-5 minutes.
Still, even with all of this peace, love, and understanding in my heart, I think it's time that we came up with some very easy to abide by ground rules. For the betterment of all peoples.
We get it. Games on weeknights are hard to get to, what with work and picking your kid up from detention for inappropriate Facebook status updates. Any arrival before the 3rd inning on a weeknight is entirely excusable, especially if you run in with a briefcase and say, to no one in particular, "Boy, the boss sure was a hard ass today, huh?"