Ballparks are full of history. They each have thier own distinct features, The bricks and ivy in Wrigley, monument park and the mystique of Yankee stadium, the warehouse at Camden, the green monster at Fenway, and more, but when you go to a park its more than to see the game, its to take in the environment. As much as I dislike it, part of going to Turner is listening to the fans do that tommohawk chant. I also enjoy seeing the statues or plaques of players who have contributed to all that history.

Each ballpark also gives you a different perspective of the game. What might be a HR at one park is just a fly ball in another. The site lines, angles and views of a game vary from park to park, even if your sitting in the same general area. Also the in game extras , like the mascot races, or singing the stretch at Wrigley, Sweet Caroline at Fenway, or the 7th inning God Bless America at Yankee stadium.

Another great thing about parks is visiting the local bar near the stadium. Harry Carays and Murphy's in Chicago, Pickles in Baltimore, Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit, Hooters in Anaheim, Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver (and Cinci), Harpoon Brewery in Boston, and Billys sports bar in the Bronx.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Playoffs 2013

NLDS Game 1 Braves vs. Dodgers 10/3/13

The Chik-fila cow had a new saying. They need to find some that make puns against the opponents of the braves. Like this one could have been something about "dodging burgers". 

Here is the logo on the field just inside the baselines. I am surprised it didn't say NLDS on it, but I guess with the wildcard game now they dont want to have to keep changing it for those teams that play in those games. 

Heres "Homer" walking around before the game. 

Chipper threw out the first pitch. That was kind of cool. With his blue jeans and hat he looks like he belongs in a Wrangler commercial.  

The match up was Clayton Kershaw vs. Kris Medlen, which was a great pitchers duel on paper. It ended up not being that way. In the 1st, Medlen struck out the side, but that didn't last. The Braves just forgot how to play defense. There were 2 plays that should have been errors that went for hits. Overall, Medlen wasn't that bad, but once a few runs were scored on him, against Kershaw, you knew the Braves were in trouble.   

The Dodgers won 6-1. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Marlins Park, 2013


As I am sitting here writing this, Sunday, 2 days later, Henderson Alvarez just completed a no hitter against the Tigers. Why do I come within a few innings of a game I am at, or a few days before or after one every year. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. 
Now that I got that off my chest, I heard a lot of different opinions on this Park, but I left my judgement open like I always do. Upon arrival I saw it from the freeway, but as I got closer, I had a hard time finding a place to get a pic of the outside because there are too many buildings around it. They are small buildings, but I didn't feel like climbing on roofs. But I found a decent spot. It definitely has a futuristic look to it from the outside. Nothing exciting, but not bad looking either. From this angle, it almost looks like a really big round office building. 

Once you get around the other side, where the sliding roof is, that is where the ramps are as well. It still has a very good clean look though. It fits the Florida theme with its look and all the palm trees around it. The sidewalks are painted in "South Florida" colors, but actually look pretty cool. The main clubhouse store is right here too, but there is no access to it from inside, and the ones inside don't have anywhere near the selection to choose from. 

The main concourse is wide open from foul pole to foul pole. It has the stands behind the last row of seats so if you want to eat your food there, or just hang out there, you can. Philly, Atlanta and a few others are like this as well. I like that so if you go to get a drink or whatever, you can still get a glimpse of the game until you get back to your seat.

This is obviously a pic from the upper deck. My seat was just inside the 3rd base dugout. I wouldn't give anything here a top 5 rating, but overall this was a very nice stadium, except for the WTF piece of art in the outfield. 

 I asked the season ticket holders I sat with about it, and they said they haven't talked to anybody that likes it. It only does its thing when a Marlin hits a home run, so I didn't get to see it in action. 

The scoreboard is nice and it fits well into the layout of the park, but once again, it's nothing unique about it. They do have all the line-ups on the side of the video part through the whole game, which not all teams do, some only put it up when needed.  

The Marlins won this game 3-2. All three runs came on this double that Stanton hit. That man will look great in Cubbie blue some day. There were a lot of Tigers fans there, and even the regular fans seemed a lot more than what I expected. In the first inning I figured out why, when Miguel Cabrera came up to bat and got a standing ovation. I realized then that not only he was there, but also Leyland,  who managed them to a World Series win. Don't get me wrong, the stadium was still more than 50% empty, but that's a lot compared to what they have had lately. 

The roof was open on and it was a beautiful night. Not only does the roof open and close for weather, but according to the regulars around me, so do the sections behind the outfield concourse. I looked it up and it appears that there are sliding doors that close that section off. It was open as well, and the breeze coming in made it a great night to watch a game. 

Speaking of that outfield concourse, as you can see from the picture above this one, from the left field line to the WTF thing it is wide open for standing room, and there is a Budweiser patio over there too. It is a very nice design throughout the whole park. They flashed up a sign on the video screen late in the game that said "rainouts year to date 0". I know that number was pretty big for them before that.  

Oh, I almost forgot, it was Star Wars night too. I think I have a knack for finding these games. This is the 3rd time I have been to a game and it was Star Wars night. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Heading to Marlins Park next week

I'm going to south Florida to see some family next week and I'm gonna hit Marlins Park while I am there. It's the last week of the season and they are Playing the Tigers. I would have hit the Rays too on the way home, but they are on the road, so I guess it will have to do. I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on it, so I will be able to give my opinion on it when I get back. I hope to see a HR so I can see that stupid thing in the outfield do its thing, just to say I saw how stupid it was. 

This pic is from the internet, and I'm pretty sure there wont be this many people there when I go, but I hope it doesn't rain so the roof is open. I have seats on the lower level between the 3rd base dugout and home plate, but I might sneak out to left field since there will be a few power hitters there. Maybe I will get lucky and Serena's (TBB) future ex husband #4 will be pitching. Don't know who that is? Click on the Travelling baseball babes link on the right sidebar!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Looking to the future

With the season almost over, I look back and realize that I have gone to more minor league games than MLB ones this year. Nothing wrong with that, but I am just used to seeing more Braves games. It appears they will be in, at least, the first full round of playoffs, so I will try to get to one of those games.

In the meantime, I just went to a Smokies (Cubs) @ Lookouts (Dodgers) AA game last weekend. I have been wanting to get up there for a while now, and since Javy Baez was there, it was a great chance to see him too. This kid is good. Nothing is ever guaranteed, but he could be a huge part of our future. He didn't disappoint, his first at bat he nearly cleared the scoreboard in left field. Shawn, who is a Yanks fan, said he looked like a "man among boys out there"  

The season took a downturn when the Cubs traded away a lot of players, which was to be expected. Even with that, we need 1 more win to match last years win total, with 22 games left. Not significant improvement, but whats the difference between 65 or 75 wins. nothing really, and we got some great prospects for some of the moves. 

Soon it will be focusing on the off season and see if the Cubs make a move for a key piece of offense that can help this line-up. There are rumors about going after Choo, or possibly Cano. I don't see Cano happening, but possibly Choo, and that would be a huge help to this lineup. If we can just add a couple of pieces this off season, and Bryant and Baez can be midyear call ups, we could be in position to do something good next season. Time will tell.