By now, every Reds fan has seen or heard about the most popular batboy in Cincinnati, Ted Kremer. Kremer, who suffers from Down Syndrome, made his second appearance as the Reds batboy in a 11-1 beat down of the Miami Marlins on Thursday night. In perhaps the most uplifting moment of the young season, Teddy celebrated with Todd Frazier (his favorite player) after Frazier hit a home run in the sixth inning off John Maine.
Watching Teddy celebrate at home plate and seeing the sheer joy in his face made me realize just how fun it is to be a sports fan. I decided to start blogging and covering the Reds and Bengals because I enjoy watching them play and I enjoy talking about them with other fans. I don’t do this for a living and I certainly don’t get paid to do this.
One thing I have noticed since starting this endeavor is the negativity and frustration that many fans display on Twitter and other social media forums. I’m shocked by the negative comments and criticism that so many fans display night in and night out. Admittedly, I have found myself yelling at the television and questioning certain decisions from time to time. However, watching Teddy interact with the Reds players last night reminded me why I became a sports fan in the first place.
At the end of the day, baseball is a game. While men get paid thousands of dollars to play the game, it’s still just a game. What is the point of yelling at the TV or demanding Dusty Baker be fired on Twitter? Our opinions and ideas don’t determine today’s starting lineup or next week’s draft selection. Our job as fans is to support the product on the field and stand by the teams that represent our city.
We watch sports to be entertained and to feel like we’re a part of something bigger. We’re fans because we can’t throw a football 30 yards on a dime or hit a 95-MPH fastball out of the ballpark. We’re fans because we enjoy watching the games that we played as little kids. Why do we resort to anger and negativity so quickly?
In a week that saw more senseless violence and tragedy in Boston, Teddy reminded me of the simplicity and beauty of being a fan. He reminded me that baseball is just a game. Teddy sees the good in everyone he meets and cheers for his Redlegs no matter what. Teddy is the true essence of what it means to be a fan.
We could all learn a lot from Ted Kremer.