Weeks after my last blog post and a lot has happened in the NL Central. First off, I would like to apologize for my absence. It seems driving across the country and settling in a new and unfamiliar state can take a lot out of a person. But that’s no excuse.
Before I get into my own personal baseball experiences, I’d like to catch up a bit with our Cards.
Sooo….We’re only a half-game ahead of the Reds right now. So, we’ve been swept by both the Braves and the Dodgers. So, we’ve had 5 players go on the DL in the past week. Through it all, we’ve battled and managed to maintain our seat atop the division. We’re looking to be on the opposite end of a sweep tonight with the Padres, after a complete game shutout from a back-to-normal Waino. And Berkman’s potentially career-ending injury seems to be only a torn meniscus keeping him out 6-8 weeks. Not to mention the fact that Jay and Craig are set to come back at the end of the month
My point is, we’re gonna be fine, people, Or at least I think so.
Now, back to live baseball. At the beginning of May, I did what every Cardinals fan both dreads and dreams of: I visited Wrigley Field. Yes, it is old and yes, it is pretty cool. But honestly, I took two things away from the experience.
First of all…Cubs fans are legit! Sure, some of them may have only been there to party, but party they did indeed. The first night we were in Chicago we happened to get off the L Train exactly as they pulled off a win against the Dodgers, and the bars were packed with screaming Cubbie enthusiasts. Granted, the Cubs should relish any chance they get to feel victorious. The next night, they fell to LA and the bleachers were still packed with frat boys chanting “chug” at each other and enjoying the moment. Take this all as you may because I don’t ever want to say anything potentially good about Cubs fans ever again.
Second…even with all the history at Wrigley, I still couldn’t shake the thought that Busch Stadium was far superior. I’m not sure it helped that it was the first MLB stadium I had visited outside of St. Louis. Nevertheless, I definitely learned a lesson in just how valuable our Baseball Heaven really is to me.
But I didn’t have to wait too long for my next out-of-Busch experience. Just a mere two weeks later, I had the excellent timing of arriving in San Francisco right as the Cardinals did the same for a 2 game series with the Giants. AT&T Park is also quite a sight to behold. The view of the Bay is really beautiful, at least when the seagulls aren’t flocking about in the ninth inning. And there are definitely many amenities for the spoiled fan to enjoy. (But I’ll get to that more in a second…)
The widescreen jumbotron was one of my favorite features, although they lost me with their unkempt field. It was clearly not well taken care of, and it seems to me that in the world of baseball, the field is like our altar. That is where we worship the game, and it was almost sacrilegious for them to overlook it so obviously.
Now to talk about the people in the stands. Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed by my Dodger-fan boyfriend, but Giants fans are an interesting breed. Many of them seem to have only picked up the sport in 2010 when it became trendy, and along the same lines, many of them seem to only attend the games for the atmosphere. That being said, they are a passionate bunch and the Giants will certainly never experience a lack of fervor from AT&T. It just might be fervor for a Posey-fly ball as being new to baseball means you aren’t necessarily the smartest fans.
This week, I found myself attending stadium number 4 and it’s one I’ve heard a lot about. The O.co Coliseum is said to be one of the worst stadiums in the MLB with some of the most eccentric fans. And after two games, I consider this only partly true.
The facility, itself, was not nearly as crappy as everyone made it out to be and I was quite surprised. (Although, the same cannot be said for the surrounding area of Oakland.) The problem with it lies in its size. It is one big ballpark with one low attendance rate. And the guest services representatives make sure you stay in your assigned seat. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to formally propose that this rule be abolished. Think about it people…If all the fans in the stadium gathered in the first few rows the crowd would look a lot bigger than it actually is, which would be good for the players egos, the management’s reputation, and the fans vision of the field. Everyone wins!
To go along with this sentiment, it made me a bit sad seeing all of the empty seats. If you live near live baseball, and it’s as cheap as O.co, I don’t see any excuse not to attend. I know that the Coliseum has been known to pack in a crowd when the A’s play well, but they’re currently in second place in a tough division. Will it get much better this year?...I think I’m starting to miss Busch Stadium again…Anyway, I did have quite a good time watching the various characters among the A’s faithful. The fans that they do have are definitely good ones.
Now, to bring us full-circle: During my visit, the A’s were playing the “ever-threatening” Angels…except for the fact that they and the almighty Albert Pujols have not been living up to expectations. But that first game in the series provided for a strange night. As a Cards fan, I’m not sure what was weirder – seeing Albert for the first time in an Angels uniform in person, or hearing him get booed so heavily.
As anyone who has kept up with my articles on this site knows, I have mixed feelings about Albert. But hearing that just broke my Cardinal Nation heart. What did he do to Oakland, anyway? Everyone slumps it is possible to rebound, as he proved last night with a bomb that silenced everyone in green and gold.
Well folks, that’s where I’m gonna leave you tonight. 4 stadiums in 3 weeks and I’m finally in California to stay. Unfortunately, my Busch Stadium cravings will not be satisfied for a while…but a girl has to have a job, right?