National pastime: How it might be past your time

National pastime: How it might be past your time

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
4:13 PM

By Joe Collins

The Cubs played a makeup game in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. It was notable, not necessarily because the Cubs actually won a game in the Steel City, but because a young adult fan was spotted throwing his glove to the ground in disgust after a sought-after foul ball landed in someone else's hands. Can't beat rage at the ol' ballpark I guess. Heck...rage might be the norm in Pittsburgh, given their recent baseball history. But anyway, this guy made up for the tirade in a most ironic fashion. He actually caught another foul ball later in the game and promptly gave it to a little kid. Atta way. Seriously. This young guy was mature beyond his years in doing the right thing.

But not everyone acts this way.

Acting like a kid at a baseball game is akin to jumping on the bed in a hotel room. Sometimes we just can't help ourselves. The temptation is too great. But every once in a while, you spot where the "immaturity" has gone too far. I propose some age limits on random acts of ballpark lunacy. Like...

Bringing a Glove to a GamePainting your Face Or Body (age 18): Bringing a glove to game past age 18 is tantamount to showing up at a cocktail party with sandals and black socks. It might feel cool and comfortable, but it just looks...bad. And nobody between the ages of 18 and 65 should be hanging out in the face paint aisle at Hobby Lobby to begin with. That should be common sense. And if you insist on wearing an oversized novelty glove or one of those foam "We're Number One!" fingers, divide the number up above by two.

Hounding a Player for an Autograph (21): Depending on when you grew up, your hero could have been John F. Kennedy, Clint Eastwood, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan or even one of the Baldwins. Regardless of the era, there's a good chance that you grew up idolizing a baseball player. That should cease by age 21. Why? Because you're 21. You are the hero now. Just trust me on that one. Young people envy you because of the legitimate ID. Old people envy you because you don't have arthritis. Yet. Enjoy the ride.

Chasing After a Foul Ball (24): By the age of 24, you should have moved out of your parents wood-paneled basement. And you should be able to afford a whole bucket of baseballs by now. Instead of tearing an ACL going after a Russ Ohlendorf foul ball, let it go. Or if you do get it, give it to one of the seven kids, three ushers or five Cocoon castoffs you ran over en route.

Shouting Obscenities at Opposing Fans' Teams (30): Yelling at strangers might be acceptable if you're a burned out day trader in the pits (literally or figuratively). But once you hit 30, it's time to give the ballpark rage a break. The Pepto Bismol should be reserved for watching your team's weak bullpen mail in the game, not to ease the stress from yelling at the "bad guy" in front of you.

Wearing a Jersey to The Ballpark (35 for men, limitless for women): Once a man hits 35, it's time to give up the faded Augie Ojeda or Jose Valentin jersey--or any jersey for that matter. You're a Toys R Us kid no longer. You're an adult. Look the part. Women get a lifetime pass because they look better in jerseys anyway.

Getting to an Arthur Bach Level of Drunk (40): Who remembers the 1981 movie Arthur? It's the one where the hilarious Dudley Moore plays a carefree, drunken New York playboy. He finds true love in a waitress played by Liza Minnelli. I'm quite sure those two plot devices aren't connected. Arthur was to alcohol like how Wham was to 80's Cheese-Pop. Unfortunately, this behavior doesn't translate off the big screen. You're not a hero if you plow through seven whiskey sours before the game. Or blitz through 11 beers during it. Granted, this shouldn't be done at any age--with or without Hollywood credentials. But once a person passes 40, the drunken baseball fan looks more like an injured animal than a party animal.

And regardless of age, no fan should ever --under any circumstance-- do the wave (unless you're at a Badgers football game-- Wisconsin fans take the wave to astonishing heights). Sit down. Relax. Enjoy the game. Baseball is still a wonderful past-time. Just save the strength and go anti-wave. You'll thank me when you channel the extra energy to dig your car out of a snow embankment in five months.

Or something like that.

Coming soon: Tom Thibodeau and the Running of the Bulls

Follow Joe Collins on Twitter @JoeCSN

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

White Sox: Chris Getz's new player development role is to carry out 'vision of the scouts'

He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.

Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”

“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.

“It’s a daily process.”

Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.

“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.

Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.

“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”

“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

White Sox name Chris Getz Director of Player Development

The White Sox announced on Friday they have named former MLB infielder Chris Getz as Director of Player Development.

Getz replaces Nick Capra, who after five seasons in his position was named the White Sox third base coach on Oct. 14.

The 33-year-old Getz has spent the last two years with the Kansas City Royals as a baseball operations assistant/player development in which he assisted in minor-league operations and player personnel decisions.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]​

“I'm excited about the opportunity to help teach and develop young talent in the organization where my professional career began,” Getz said in a press release. “I was drafted twice, worked through the minor leagues, and reached the major leagues with the White Sox. Through this journey, I was able to gain an understanding of the individuals within this organization, who I respect greatly.  The director of player development is an important role, and the health of the minor-league system is vital for major-league success.  I look forward to putting my all into making the White Sox a strong and winning organization.”
White Sox Senior VP/general manager Rick Hahn added: “We are pleased to add Chris’ intellect, background and energy to our front office. He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago.”

Getz, originally a fourth-round selection by the White Sox in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Michigan, played in seven MLB seasons with the White Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays (2014).

Getz had a career slash line of .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases.