Baseball Stadiums I Have(n’t) Visited

(Alpha by “official” team location.)

  • Arizona – Not Visited
  • Atlanta – Not Visited
  • Baltimore – Visited (1997 when I was moving to Boston supposedly)
  • Boston – Visited (1987?)
  • Chicago Cubs – Visited (twice, last time was 2008 maybe)
  • Chicago White Sox – Not Visited
  • Cincinnati – Not Visited
  • Cleveland – Not Visited
  • Colorado – Not Visited
  • Detroit – Not Visited
  • Houston – Not Visited
  • Kansas City – Not Visited
  • Los Angeles Angels – Visited (several times, last in 2009)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – Visited (three times, last in 2009)
  • Miami – Not Visited
  • Milwaukee – Not Visited
  • Minnesota – Not Visited
  • New York Mets – Not Visited
  • New York Yankees – Not Visited
  • Oakland – Not Visited
  • Philadelphia – Not Visited
  • Pittsburgh – Visited (many times, last was May 2012)
  • San Diego – Not Visited (for a game — somehow I got to visit for a Little League assistant coach “training event”; it was colder than expected).
  • San Francisco – Not Visited
  • St. Louis – Not Visited
  • Seattle – Visited (several times, last was 2009)
  • Tampa Bay – Not Visited
  • Texas – Not Visited
  • Toronto – Not Visited
  • Washington – Not Visited

So something to work on then. Could still hit the Bucs in NY and Cincinnati this year and the Mariners still have road trips to NY and Toronto. Maybe.

Defunct Stadiums Visited (alpha by stadium name):

  • Astrodome (Houston) (1986ish)
  • Candlestick Park (San Francisco) (Latter-day Sports days, back when Jeff Kent hated me by name — 1998 or 9?)
  • Kingdome (Seattle) (several times, but last time maybe in 1996)
  • Qualcomm/Jack Murphy (San Diego) (several times — last time was probably 2000 or so)
  • Yankee Stadium, Old (New York) (The last year it was open — 2008?)

Bye, Dave

I always feared this day would come.

Edgar’s Double, 1995

That’s not just 50 seconds of baseball radio announcing, that’s vindication for everyone who lived in the Northwest from 1977 to 1994 and followed the local baseball team despite its historic ineptitude. Dave Niehaus was the man who made people think that following a bunch of deservedly unknown guys play through summer after summer of terrible baseball was, in fact, a good idea. The promised land was always just around the corner.

It might still be, but we’re down a guy who could say so and make you believe it.

bkd

PS, I guess it’s probably a good thing if some guy you don’t know dies of a heart attack at age 75 and it’s the worst news you’ve had in a long time. But still.

PNC Park: Pirates Win!

Went to PNC for a couple of Pirates games on their last homestand (they lost the second game — stupid Padres). Great park, great atmosphere, seems really well run and their aren’t any potholes in the concourses, which makes it feel like you’re not in Pittsburgh.

pnc park allegheny river

Coming in from the east (or south), the recommended parking is all downtown. Works out pretty well — $5 parking and a 10-15 minute walk, depending on what garage you ended up in. The walk is also cool as the closer you get to the park, the more fans you’re walking with and then crossing the (pedestrian-only on gameday) Roberto Clemente Bridge makes for a pretty dramatic final leg of the journey.

The views from the park side of the Allegheny River are also pretty good.

Roberto Clemente Bridge, Downtown Pittsburgh

PNC Park, View from Home Plate

Otherwise:

  • They really play up the pirate theme on the big screen; it’s kind of cool.
  • They have this big animation sequence before every game wherein a Pirates-themed galleon is taking on a galleon flying the colors of the day’s opponent. You’d think that should be no contest — pirates should be better seamen than, for instance, Franciscan friars — but it’s still pretty satisfying when the statue of Roberto Clemente hits a flaming cannonball out of the park and drops it right on the bad guys’ deck, sending them and their crew to the bottom of the Allegheny.
  • It’s as nice a ballpark as I’ve been to. Destroys the Big A and Dodgers easily, more interesting than Petco or Camden Yards, probably on par with Safeco.
  • Most of the fans there seem to think that “Willie Stargell” is the answer to every Pirates trivia question.
  • As losing teams go, the Pirates are easy to pull for — they’re bad because management is cheap, not because it’s incompetent.
  • And it’s fun watching some of their young guys just starting to get established (Alvarez, Walker, Tabata), not to mention guys who weren’t going to get a chance elsewhere seizing the opportunity (Jones). If they sign Cliff Lee in the off-season, they could win as many as 70 games next year!
  • It’s surprising how many fans the Pirates have given that they’ve been “re-building” since 1992. They probably deserve better.

bkd

I Went to a Basketball Game in Malibu on Tuesday

Best sporting event ever. Well, not counting the MNF game, which, arguably, *was* the best sporting event ever. That I attended. Although the ’90 BYU-Miami game was pretty amazing also. And the USA-Costa Rica World Cup qualifier. But, yeah. Comparisons are hard. And sporting events are better when the right team wins.

Assuming JL ever checks in here again, thanks again for the games.

bkd

Trip to Yankee Stadium (Before It Was Too Late)

All the convenience of a stadium built in 1923 with all the charm of one built in 1976. The building itself seemed unfortunate.

Was there back in June and, yes, am just now getting around to saying anything about it. Watched the Yankees play the Reds. I gave up Yankee-hating a few years ago and it wasn’t hard to root for them in this game. Andy Pettitte was great (until the rain delay took him out of the game).

Speaking of:

 yankee stadium reds rain delay

This never happened at the Kingdome. For as bad as it looks — and New York rain is amazing, never got anything like that in Seattle — the rain only lasted about 15 minutes, although the delay ended up running for an hour or so with all the tarp unrolling and re-rolling and field prep. It was interesting watching a game get played out with the anticipation that it might only go five innings (IIRC, the Reds brought their infield in while down one in the bottom of the fourth), even if it ended up going nine.

The stadium itself — it’s hard to say so, but I don’t think it’ll be much of a loss when they knock it down at the end of the season. The concourses are too narrow, there aren’t nearly enough entrances, concession stands, or bathrooms: classic hallmarks of its original build date. But then it was altogether too clear what happened to it in the 1976 renovation — the whole thing feels like concrete and bad signage. In style and finish, it really, honest, felt like the Kingdome (and nothing like Wrigley or even Fenway).

Seems like they’d have been better off not re-building. The LA Colosseum has tunnels that are less than six feet high, bizarre sight-lines, etc., but it at least makes sense. The place feels like its origins and you can still feel like you’re in a historic place. The re-built Yankee Stadium looks and feels like something only a Soviet could love. I feel like I saw similar in East Germany.

The impressive part of the game was the fans. And not just the guy sitting next to me who started throwing up in the first inning (he and his friend left immediately with many apologies and we felt bad for them). The people at the game actually knew baseball well, they knew the Yankees down through the farm system, and they didn’t do stupid things like cheer because they didn’t realize that a fly ball wasn’t going to make it out of the stadium. Even if I’d come in with a grudge against the Yankees, the fan quality would’ve made it a hard grudge to maintain. Quite a difference between Yankee fans and, say, Angels fans (ugh — with apologies to Joe, Elissa, and probably some other people).

I guess that’s good enough.

bkd

And Now I’ve Taken Up Road Cycling

Because my life-goal is to take up every hobby on Earth for a good, solid six-week period.

Anyway, here’s me and my new, non-robotic best friend (I have a weird-looking chin now apparently):

tsunami bike (frame) with shimano dura-ace components and Mavic Ksyrium wheels

Here are the vitals:

  • Everything: 2006 vintage.
  • Shimano Dura-Ace components (9×2 gearing).
  • Carbon front fork, seat post (Easton).
  • Mavic Ksyrium (no, not Elite) wheels.
  • Shimano SPD pedals (because I didn’t want to have to buy new shoes for another bike).
  • Tsunami aluminum frame (no, you haven’t heard of them — they’re a small outfit in Costa Mesa).
  • $900.
  • Bought it from a guy who was selling it for a friend of his who is a riding buddy of a friend of mine who’s a rep for one of our Key Vendors at work (I’d link to his blog, but I don’t got his URL at home).

My thought is that, even if I hate it, based on recent eBay sales, I should be able to part it out for that much give or take $50-100. Of course, I also had to buy some real road bike shorts ($90), non-MTB gloves ($20), and a couple water bottles (2 @ $5 ea.). So I’m in for $1,020. I already had a helmet, shoes, socks, and one road-style jersey, so I’m not counting those. And I’m not counting the sales tax as part of the cost since, really, that’s more the cost of my being too cowardly to fight what’s probably an unjust and illegal state-sponsored restriction of free commercial exchange.

I’m also leaving out the opportunity cost (e.g., $1,020 invested at an historically-estimated 10% annual return rate; the time it takes me to ride the bike, maintain the bike, and talk to people about riding and maintaining the bike multiplied by my $150 an hour billing rate and then invested with a 10% annual return rate; &c.), which is pretty reckless of me.

I’m going to try and keep a running amortization of the cost of this one — amortizing out over miles and rides. So far two rides totaling 18 miles (12 Saturday, 6 tonight — I’m guessing 3 on Thursday and then 1.5 next Saturday) = $510/ride so far (still nowhere near the $125 I got my MTB down to before giving it up after something like six months) and $56.67 per mile. I might should amortize it over minutes ridden, but that would give all four-to-six of you the opportunity to calculate how slowly I roll.

And knowing’s half the battle.

bkd

(PS, yeah, I know: “Here I am with my new, non-robotic best friend.”)

Go ’Eaters!

Fine, I’ve never been to one of their games, but still. I was there when they re-started the program after it had gotten Title IXed out of existence, so I’m stoked that UC-Irvine’s baseball team is heading to the College World Series five years later. Too bad I don’t have a TV, otherwise I could watch them.

Anteaters storming Omaha. Zot indeed.

bkd

The Padres Have Horrible Announcers

Watched the last couple of Seattle-San Diego games on MLB.tv. Am unfortunately stuck with the Padres’ broadcasters. The two clowns they got think they’re drive-time disk jockeys. The only thing they love more than the Padres is the sound of their own voices. Absolutely embarrassing. I’ve also never heard announcers more ready to complain about every single close call. Such homers. It makes San Diego look like a town full of seven-year-olds. Who else could possibly stand this kind of narration? I guess I’m okay staying on this side of the county line.

Jerry Coleman must be spinning in his grave. Or, if he’s not dead yet, I’m guessing these guys will put him there soon.

bkd