Fans spark move to stop the wave in Texas
Team makes tongue-in-cheek requests to do it when permissible
Make no mistake, Rangers fans, your team wants you on your feet at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They still want you to cheer and they want you to make noise.
And contrary to popular belief, they are not waving goodbye to a stadium tradition. They just want fans to know when it's OK to stand up and raise their hands in unison and when it's time to respect the "no-wave zone."
"If fans would get on their feet and make noise with two strikes in first innings, I'd love that," Chuck Morgan, the Rangers' senior vice president for ballpark entertainment, said on Thursday. "Nobody has banned anything. We just put up a couple of funny messages. Do what you want, but we just say to consider doing it at a time that does not take away from the game. Players say the wave is OK as long we've got a blowout going."
Rangers veteran Michael Young was asked about the wave in an interview with video reporter Emily Jones earlier this week.
"Between innings is a great time," Young said. "Maybe ... that's it."
Young was asked: "How about when it's 2-1 in the eighth?"
"That's definitely bad timing," he said. "At that point, get a hold of your seat and watch the game. Clap."
The "no-wave" wave started about six years ago, Morgan said, when a group of season-ticket holders complained that the up-and-down movement by fans left them feeling down and out. Morgan said the club soon instituted a "no-wave" zone in center field but the movement didn't last.
Fans simply ignored the messages.
It resurfaced this year with light-hearted warnings about the dangers of the wave on the stadium's message board.
"If a guy does not hurt himself or offend anybody, he can do whatever he wants as long as he does not break laws," Morgan said. "We got a couple of people that are appalled and saying we are infringing on freedom of expression. We have not banned anything. We are having fun with it."
Morgan admitted the tongue-in-cheek movement has taken on a life of its own.
"What's happened now," he said, "is that I'm getting tweets during the game that say, 'There is a wave in section 210. Do something about it, Chuck.'"
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.