A Tale of Two Ballparks
On Monday, June 28 I watched the Cubs snap the Pirates’ 17 game road losing streak from the vantage point of Bob Uecker seats in the last row of section 506 at Wrigley Field. They didn’t look any less ugly from there than they would have up closer.
Five days later was my maiden voyage at sparkling new Target Field in the Twin Cities. What a contrast of premises AND tenants.
The Twins’ game against the Rays, a team still mired in a warehouse of a home ballpark, had some other factors going for it besides the venue: two teams in contention; real star power in the persons of Mauer, Morneau and Longoria; 4th of July hoopla courtesy of a team of Navy SEAL paratroopers who dropped in during pregame festivities; historic home runs by Jim Thome, who tied and passed none other than Twin immortal Harmon Killebrew on the all-time long ball list with his first two swings of the day.
But mostly, curiosity about the ballpark drew me there.
We had seats in an area called the Legends Club. They were parallel to 3rd base, about the distance from the field that Terrace Box would be in Wrigley and at a mezzanine level, with upholstered cushions and easy access to a spacious, air conditioned concession area that offered everything from Killebrew root beer and excellent ice cream cones to pricey multi-course meals.
As in the modern world generally, there was almost too much information provided by the park’s bells and whistles. Looking around the place in search of stats during a game is like fanning through a fantasy baseball magazine. And of course the obligatory Jumbotron loomed impressively over the proceedings.
The carved limestone roofs on the dugouts caught my eye and I also appreciated that we were able to see the logo sign on top of the scoreboard from the rooftop of the ramp we parked in and from which we skywalked in less than ten minutes to the plaza and the grand entrance of the joint.
I must say that I was pretty thoroughly dazzled by the time we left and it was nice not to care too much when the visitors came from behind to win in the late innings. Plus, a Twins game is cheaper in terms of both time and money for me. I think I may have found my first official designated AL favorite team. They also happen to run a perennially good organization.
The week had started at a kegger and ended at a cocktail party [yes, you can even order drinks from your seats in the Legends Club tier and have them delivered].
Wrigley’s engine still purrs. The bricks and ivy and scoreboard and neighborhood vibe are forever. But the passengers might appreciate some upgrades. I don’t know how you piecemeal an extreme home makeover on an outdoor facility that’s only idle during seasons not conducive to outdoor work. But it will behoove the Ricketts clan to keep going beyond the spit -and-polished pee troughs as fast as they can; paying top dollar to sit behind poles and beneath structural hair nets while watching an also-ran is starting to lose its charm. If I peel away what romance remains in my long running relationship with the Cubs all that’s left is neurosis.
"Some of the most racist things I've ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN," Schilling said Wednesday on "Breitbart News Patriot Forum." He was fired by ESPN last week.
“In the end for me it felt like that rule applied to me and me alone because I was conservative … Bigots are calling me a bigot. A bigot is someone who refuses to accept a different opinion. I will accept anyone’s opinion.”
Rolled scoring on Rizzo double
Re ZOBRIST -
Today's game is what I was referring to re Zobrist and RISP struggles. He did come through with his patented single to drive in a run - but also left the bases loaded, and two men on, no outs (called 3rd).
So, I hope he can pick that part of his game up when they start playing the better teams...
Don't see anything on the replay showing where he rolled it and he played for 2 more innings after so at first glance it so doesn't seem major. Very cold today so any discomfort is probably amplified.
How bad was Bryant's ankle sprain?
I'm gonna vote for Castillo so Molina doesn't get it but Ross has caught something in his last year and I'm loving it. He seems like an incredible guy who everyone on this team loves and if he can just be average with his bat that'd be huge this year.
Time to start the not-at-all-tongue-in-cheek David Ross for All-Star write-in campaign.
That was on crazy top of the first -- a single, two walks, 3 stolen bases -- and no runs.
Phil, DJ Wilson seems to mostly have 0-for-X box-scores, from those I've seen and remember.
1. What do you have for his XST record thus far;
2. Is he hitting in bad luck? Or just not hitting the ball very hard very often?
3. Is he having trouble with everything, or does it seem mostly like breaking stuff is what's giving him trouble?
He turns 20 in less than 6 months.
Theo just said on the Kap show that they wanted Contreras to have more development time before coming up and that he might be a 2nd half call up. Madden said too that Contreras would be a call up if a catcher injury happens later in the season and he would only get called up now to cover a single game and not to fill a DL need.
Oof. Forgot that this roster is thin at C behind Montero now that Schwarber is out. I wonder why no Contreras. He's already on the 40-man.
Montero to DL; Federwicz called up
K-DUB: Erling Moreno was at his usual 89-91 MPH for his fastball, featuring a plus-curve (definitely his best pitch), and a promising change-up. In fact, it was his "secondary" stuff and advanced command (for a pitcher his age) that attracted the Cubs to him in the first place, and while his fastball velocity is OK, it hasn't increased in the three years since he signed (minus about a year lost to TJS). But at 6'7 and only 19 years old, he will carry the "projectability" tag for a while.
NFL draft is going on at Grant park, be mindful of the traffic on Lake Shore Drive.
Also park at recreation drive off of LSD, it's free meter parking until May 31. Go under tunnel on LSD and you will be at Addison.
Any word on how Moreno was throwing? Velocity? I'm assuming Cease was his normal 97-98. Did he have command of his curve?
Having your ever vigilant eyes down in Mesa is a great resource. Thanks again!
Yes. Weather looks to be maybe a go for tomorrow's back to back Arrieta no hitter.