"Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over." -Ernest Hemingway

What About Those Phillies?

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Yeah, that’s not something I ever thought I’d ever say and really mean. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. What I have to do is root for anyone to beat the Dodgers, even if it’s the Phillies.

I say this also knowing that rumor has it that Philly fans are the worst and most obnoxious in baseball. I hear if you go to a Phillies game and have New York plates on your car, you can expect something bad to happen to your car.

I almost always cheer for NL teams over AL teams in the World Series. If the Dodgers win the NL, I can’t do that. As a Giants fan and as a Cubs fan, I simply cannot cheer for the Dodgers. I’m not sure how I’m going to cheer for the Phillies being a Pirate fan, but somehow, I’ll muster up the courage.

Besides, next year is the Pirates year. I just know it.

More baseball later. I’m disgusted at the Postseason so far.

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ALDS Game 1

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Going to see Angels vs Red Sox in Anaheim tomorrow night. Super excited. Stadium #11 this year also.

I wish I was flying and not driving though. I need a day off to just sleep. That would be nice. Maybe in January.

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New York Yankees

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From Yankees 08

This is it. The legendary Yankee Stadium, 1923–2008. The House the Ruth Built. Yogi Berra. Mickey Mantle. Joe DiMaggio. Lou Gehrig. Reggie Jackson. Just to name a few of the greats.

So, prior to the game, I got there early. I browsed the souvenir shops and had dinner at Yankee Tavern. It’s been around since 1923 and owned by the same family. Apparently the Babe was a frequent there as well. How cool is that? So the food was only average, but you don’t really go to a place like that for the food.

First thing
I noticed that day. It was raining. A lot. I’ll go ahead and say now that the game got rained out. It sucked. A lot. I wanted to cry. However, here is the positive side of the evening. They still let people into the stadium because they didn’t call the game until over an hour after it was supposed to start. So I still had 2 hours to wander around inside Yankee Stadium. It’s old obviously. I know it’s been renovated over the years, but it’s still an old ballpark.

Second thing. Maybe the coolest thing. They have this memorial area in the back of the park, outside of Left Field. Big memorials for old players. Retired numbers. Fans can go there and look at them. By the time I realized it was there and walked down there, they had it closed off because of the rain. But again, I mostly got to see it. Apparently these things used to actually be on the field. How weird is that?

Third thing. I didn’t eat there, so I can’t comment on the food, so I’ll tell you about my seat. It was right by the right field foul pole. No, not near it. Right by it. I could touch it. In fact, I did.

From Yankees 08

See? I told you I touched it. Fourth. Yes. That is me in a poncho (I told you it was raining), and a Yankees cap. Yes, I bought that Yankees cap. Please forgive me. Honestly, I really do hate the Yankees, but I couldn’t help myself. I got caught up in the magic and the history. And that, my friends, is what makes Yankee Stadium a great ballpark. I’m sad I never got to see a game there, but I did have the full game day experience minus the actual game. I walked the paths of the greats. But I’m still sad. Did I mention how much it sucked? A lot? I’d tell you I cried myself to sleep that night, but I don’t think I slept that night (early morning flight), so I spent most of the night watching Hurricane Ike destroy Galveston. It put things into perspective for me. But it still sucked. A lot.

Do you want to see the new Yankee Stadium?

From Yankees 08

There it is. Just for you.

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New York Mets

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From Mets 08

The New York Mets. This was a pretty nice day too. I hit the Mets up my very first day in New York City. I literally got off the plane that morning, went to check-in at the hostel, took a short nap because I flew all night and headed out to Shea Stadium.

First things first. This is the last season in Shea Stadium (and if the Mets don’t pick it up, their last game there if fast approaching). I know everyone things of the Mets as “that other New York team,” but you shouldn’t. I won’t get into the history of the Mets right here and now, maybe another time, but you should really read up on the Mets history. Maybe you can start here. Back to the point at hand. The Mets will be moving into a new stadium next season as well. CitiField to be exact. In the photo above, if you look and see that stadium looking building behind the field…that indeed is the new stadium and probably why it looks like one.

Second thing
. Shea Stadium is kinda a dump. Not like Oakland dump, but come on, are cup holders for the cheap seats too much to ask? They need a new stadium.

Third thing. They mostly take care of their field from what I could tell. I wasn’t super impressed but I didn’t notice any of the above mentioned pet peeves.

Last thing. I know I will probably get hate mail for this (at least from Jeff) but the Mets have the most involved fans of the games I’ve been to this season. I’m not saying they have the best fans. I’m not saying overall they are the most involved in the game. I’m simply saying, of the games I’ve been to this season, the Mets fans were the best. They were into the game. They cheered for their players. They chanted songs about players. Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Joseeeeee, Joseeeeee. They booed Elijah Dukes of the Nationals for being himself. They stayed til the end of of the really long game. They got there early. They played games outside the stadium and gave away t-shirts. And they were just plain nice people.

Overall, I really liked my Shea experience. The food was good too. I ate a lot of food there because I was starving. Pizza. Hotdog. Cotton Candy. Other stuff I’m forgetting.

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Seattle Mariners

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Well, I have so much to say, and I’m not sure where to start. I guess I’ll start with Seattle.

From Seattle Sept 08

Safeco is a beautiful park. I’ll have to rank them so far, but I’d say it’s is up near the top. First thing you should know is that it’s has a top that can close. That’s just cool. Second thing you should know is that this game probably had the biggest crowd of games I’ve seen this season. What? Seattle? Near last place Seattle? Yes. Okay, they were playing the Yankees, but still.

It’s down by the water. In fact, less than one mile from the ferry, which we took across to get to the game. No worries with parking. Third thing. They take care of their field. Taking care of your field is a pet peeve of mine. Brown spots, dirt spots, uneven grass. Those things just shouldn’t happen in MLB. Fourth thing. They’re a total sell out when it comes to food. I don’t mean they sell all their food either. I mean they “jump the shark” or just plain lame in my book. Hear this: You can get sushi at this ballpark. If you read that and thought “cool!” then we cannot be baseball friends. Baseball game food is hotdogs and beer (or coke in my case). Hamburgers are acceptable. Pizza is okay. I’d even give you chicken strips. Of course the snacks as well–peanuts, cracker jack, cotton candy, pretzels, etc…but sushi? They also have fish baskets and other seafood, as well as a whole host of other things that was making my head spin. Let it be know that the folks I was with ordered seafood. I told them I was going to buy “real” baseball food and let them be. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that bringing in the local food is good for the parks and makes it unique. I also understand that Seattle is a seafood hub. But there is a line and Safeco Park crossed it completely.

As for the game itself. It was a good game. Yankees second batter (yes, Derek Jeter) hit a homerun before I even got settled into my seat. The rest of the game was similar. Lots of hits, fair amount of runs scored, and the Seattle Mariners came away with the win. It was a near perfect game day (minus the smell of seafood around me).

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Baseball tickets!

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I just purchased tickets for my next 3 baseball games (well, after Oakland next weekend). I got my expensive as crap Yankees ticket tonight, as well as Seattle and Mets tickets. Plane tickets are bought, lodging is reserved, so all the major details are taken care of as of now. Just food and transportation.

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O Happy Day!

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I just bought plane tickets to Seattle and New York for more baseball games! I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something, so I’m really happy. Besides, I’ve never been to New York so I’m super excited to go, even to Yankee Stadium.

And it all started with this grand idea. So, I’m not hitting all 15 stadiums I hoped. But 10 this season ain’t bad. Maybe 11 if I can get back down to Anaheim.

Next year gotta hit Boston for sure! So much baseball, so little time!

This might be one of the best days of my life.

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The Five

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I am in a baseball mood today. So here it is…the 5 worst and best teams in baseball (based on their win % which isn’t always the best predictor in post-season, but oh well).

The 5 Worst:

5th worse team in baseball: SF Giants. Yep. Sucks to be me. I bet Barry is sitting back laughing at them. I don’t blame him.

4th …: Colorado Rockies. They have however won 7 of the last 10 and are on a 2 game winning streak. Hey, it’s something when your average is .406

3rd…:Washington Nationals. I could careless. I hate expansion teams. Yes, even the above mentioned Colorado.

2nd….:Kansas City. Nothing to add about them. I don’t like them and don’t care, but come on, .391is pathetic. Anything below .400 and you just need to quit for the season.

1st…Worst team in baseball thus far this season: Seattle Mariners. They’re not just below .400, they are .351. The 2 best teams have lost more games each than they have won, and are still the best teams. And they are 16.5 games back right now. Just give it up. Come back for spring training.

The 5 Best:

5: Tampa Bay. I hate expansion teams, but they’re beating the Yankees, so I’m happy.

4: St. Louis Cardinals: Ugh. .592 is respectable though.

3: Anaheim Angles: Yes, I still call them Anaheim. If I have to cheer for a winning California team, I guess it’s them….just barely beats out St. Louis… .594.

2: Boston Red Sox: I love teams over 600. (.611 here). It says, “we’re so much better than you,” especially to the .351 team. The BoSox are hot again this year. Keep beating the Yankees and I’ll keep cheering for you.

1: Chicago Cubs: The Cubbies are really hot right now. .643 is nice. St. Louis is on their tail, but the Cubs are keeping their distance.

Think about this. If things continue and the best teams actually come out in the end at the World Series, we’ll have the baseball match-up to end all match-ups. The Cubs and the Red Sox. Granted the Sox have managed to break their curse, but still. Those are some die hard fans there.

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Trip Pictures

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Pittsburgh
Cubs
White Sox
Chicago
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Baseball: Cubs

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Wrigley Field.

What can’t you say about Wrigley Field? Wrigley opened in 1914, so it’s about 6 years shy of a century old. Wow. I have plenty of pictures to come, but I’m having trouble uploading tonight. I won’t list out all the pros/cons of Wrigley. It’s a great park. I haven’t been to Fenway yet, but as far as baseball atmosphere goes, Wrigley would be tough to beat. It’s a small park. I love the bleachers on top of the buildings surrounding it. It is old. There is nothing fancy about it. No escalators. It’s not particularly clean. If there was anything I didn’t like about it, I have to say I miss the video screen. They have an old school outfield scoreboard. It’s electronic, but looks like a manual one. However, the scores for the other games going on is manual, which is pretty much awesome. But, like I said, I do miss the big screen replays. What can I say? I’m spoiled. Suffice to say though, the Ivy, the bleachers, the fans, Wrigleyville, and everything else more than makes up for that one thing.

Best ballpark, I’ll buy that. Nicest, not a chance, but who ever said those two things went hand-in-hand.

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