We bought cheap tickets to watch Mexico vs. Cuba in the World Baseball Classic in San Diego on Monday night. Gosh it was fun, but it was so different from an MLB game I was confused a bit...
First of all there was the free entertainment. A gang of about 8 guys with percussion instruments were dancing around and drumming. First, my apologies for speaking music at a second grade level, but they were was banging on wood sticks and bowls, scraping on the cheese grater like thing, shaking the rain stick, tapping on a metal plate, and one guy was whistling with a little recorder. So fun to watch, but I first had trouble figuring out if they were routing for a certain team, or just enjoying themselves. The hat count: 4 Dominican Republic, 2 Puerto Rico, 1 Cuba and 1 Yankees. Eventually the Cuban flag came out when the camera guy came over. They were not being vocal or abrasive, but drumming and dancing. But a few Mexico fans got their flags out and started to yell and gesture - challenging them I guess - when team Mexico scored. (That was the worst part of the game - not speaking spanish and not knowing the jeers or jokes that had everyone else laughing.)
Then the whole front of our section got up, almost in unison, and started leaving their seats. I thought the Mexico fans were just going to move to the next section to distance themselves from the percussion troupe. (The stadium was nearly empty, so there was literally no one in the section next to ours.) But no, I was just confused, again. Because everyone, including the noisemakers, got up and left and the ushers were waving at us all to leave.
So here's where I get to thank ESPN... we all got to go down to the very expensive lower section! (so the tv audience wouldn't know how empty the stadium was) Now we could see the guys with the sombreros, feather headdresses, and Mexican wrestling masks personally taunting the percussion troupe, who was still nearby after we relocated below. It was so much fun! The crowd enthusiasm and volume. The flag waving. Just awesome.