Here are the lyrics to "Take me out to the Ball Game":
"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."
Substituting "home team" for the team's actual name is an allowable substitution, unless of course that home team's name is NOT two syllables. Changing to something like "Brewers" sounds better than "home team" considering that the next line "they don't win" is plural. Even though still not grammatically correct, we don't sing "if it doesn't win it's a shame." Why? Because you just don't change words for no good reason.
I do understand changing the "Let me root" singular first-person tense into the plural second-person tense of "So let's root" when the song is sung by stadia full of fans. However, I just do not understand or accept when people sing "Take me out TO the crowd." Why? That is not the proper lyric. In fact, it seems like callous disregard for the proper lyric. Saying "to" instead of the proper "with" adds nothing to the song and in my opinion completely changes the singer's intent. Who is doing this? Well obviously it's cubs fans. Every damn 7th inning stretch some jackass (today's jackass being Ron Santo) sings "to the crowd." Is this just a new addition that the cubs feel entitled to make or do all teams sing "to the crowd?" The way I see it, a preposition is a precise and essential element of a song. "Happy Birthday FOR you" may convey the same message of wishing someone a happy birthday, but much of a song's value comes from its tradition and EXACT lyrics. You wouldn't say "rbi walk with Francoeur" would you? The point the singer of the song is making is that he wants to be at the game with the crowd. The goal is the game, not the crowd, as it would be if the lyrics were "to the crowd." This has pissed me off for over 10 years. It's about time I say something. Anyone that sings "to the crowd" stand up for yourself! By the way, I think cubs fans sing "cracker jacks." I won't even get started on that.