2007 Photo Outtakes: Buy Me Some Red Ropes and Cracker Jack
by Ken Arneson
2007-11-14 22:00

The song "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is turning 100 years old next year.  Can I tell you one of my biggest pet peeves?  I hate the fact that nobody ever sings the words "root, root, root for the home team" anymore.  Nowadays we root, root, root for the "Giants" or "Dodgers" or "Cardinals" or "Pirates" or "Angels" or "Cubbies".  Or even more annoyingly, we root, root, root for a team name that doesn’t even scan properly, like "Mariners" or "Indians" or "A’s" .

This matters.  When everybody in every city roots for the "home team", it tells us something.  Your home team may be different from mine, but in the end, all across America, we’re all doing the exact same thing.  We all have our separate homes, but our homes are united in something bigger than ourselves.

When we change the words to explicitly spell out our own provincial preferences, this message gets lost.  We prioritize our division over our unity.  I’m sick enough of this type of crap in politics, where issues get polarized and people get mislabeled for the sake of party victory all the time, all without considering the effect it has on the country as a whole.  The attitude is, if you’re not a Republican/Democrat/Red Sox fan/Yankee fan like us, we can just assume you’re stupid/evil/spoiled/whiny, so who cares about you, anyway?

It makes me sad.  If this continues, in a decade or so, there will be a whole generation of fans who will have grown up never having heard the original words in the third-most-sung song in America.

If anyone in MLB is reading this:  please, do the right thing.  Don’t change the words.  Honor the composer’s intentions.  Honor the role baseball plays in bringing America together.  Fix your 7th-inning-stretch scoreboards.  Bring back the "home team".

Comments: 10
1.   Bob Timmermann
2007-11-14 23:17

1.  I heard that Katie Casey was baseball mad.
She had the fever.
She had it bad.

2.   Eric Stephen
2007-11-14 23:20

2.  the third-most-sung song in America

I feel stupid for not definitively knowing the first two. Star Spangled Banner is one...is God Bless America the other?

I'd like to think Careless Whisper is somewhere in the Top 10.

3.   Ken Arneson
2007-11-14 23:22

3.  2 Happy Birthday.

4.   Cliff Corcoran
2007-11-14 23:25

4.  I can't honestly tell you if the Stadium tends to say "Yan-kees" or "home team." I want to say it's the latter, but that might just be because that's what I say or what plays in my head. Honestly, the Yankees still to God Bless America every blasted 7th inning, so by the time they get to TMOTTBG immediately after, most folks have lost interest.

5.   Eric Stephen
2007-11-14 23:25

5.  3 Thanks.

6.   Ken Arneson
2007-11-14 23:29

6.  The A's scoreboard used to say "home team", but they changed it to say "A's" about three years ago. I refuse to comply.

7.   vockins
2007-11-15 08:24

7.  4 I've taken pleasure in the fact that during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, the lyrics to God Bless America are on the Diamondvision, but the lyrics to Take Me Out aren't, and I believe the participation in Take Me Out is greater.

8.   Levy2020
2007-11-15 09:26

8.  4 I say Yankees when I'm there.

9.   Philip Michaels
2007-11-15 09:29

9.  I do not sing "Root, root, root for the A's" precisely because it does not scan.

I do, however, sing "Root, root, root for the Oaklands" which scans just fine and fits in perfectly with my 1890s world view to boot.

I realize that this puts me at odds with Ken. I suppose that will be a source of unending friction between us, at least until one of us is finally driven to betray the other.

Also, I guess by about 2011, I'll have to come up with something other than "root, root, root for the Oaklands." "Root, root, root for quality living starting in the low 700s conveninetly close to the ballpark" does not have the same ring to it.

10.   Ken Arneson
2007-11-15 10:04

10.  9 Your uncivilized opinions are at least ten years behind the times, and reek of barbarism. Will you ever join the aughts like the rest of mankind? Or do you plan to leave me no choice but to challenge you to a duel at sundown?

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