|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers used Heat star LeBron James' cramps and the air conditioning outage in San Antonio as a creative way to encourage fans not to do the wave during critical points in games during the two-game series with the Miami Marlins this week.
|The Rangers are using lighthearted attempts -- inspired by the Miami Heat -- to keep fans from distracting players during crucial points in the game.|
Chuck Morgan, executive vice president of ballpark entertainment and productions, came up with the idea of posting a fun "warning" to fans as they started the wave. It read: "The Republic of Texas Constitution written in 1836 states: a facility has the right, when playing a team from Miami, to turn off the air conditioning in the facility. If the wave continues, the AC will be turned off here tonight."
The sign, which included a picture of Heat players carrying James off the court during Game 1 of the NBA Finals, drew some chuckles from fans on Wednesday and momentarily stopped the wave on a 90-plus degree night in Arlington. But the crowd ended up restarting it shortly thereafter.
"We've done this for four or five years," Morgan said. "I get hundreds of tweets from fans to stop the wave. I'm a guy that says that anyone can come to the ballpark and do whatever he wants, as long as he doesn't offend anyone around him. But there's some feedback I've gotten from players that there are better times to do it. You can't stop it, but we can have some fun with it."
Earlier in the homestand, Morgan made a mock-up of a bobblehead full of injuries, including a knee brace, a cast on one arm and a black eye, in honor of the Rangers' injury-filled 2014 season that has already included an MLB-high 20 disabled list stints. He showed it on the big video board above the Home Run Porch in right field, warning fans that "due to the amount of injuries sustained in this ballpark, state of Texas medical officials are advising that persons should not attempt doing the wave at any time during games."
Another time, Morgan, during a long but close game, warned parents that ushers would start handing out candy and soda to their kids if they didn't get them to stop the wave.
"We just want to have fun," Morgan said. "Fans seem to enjoy the messages."