Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I suck

First things first: RIP Marisa Cooper

Thanks for all the harsh comments, they're pretty flattering. I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting more, or at all. I’m simply having too much fun. Please remember that if I don’t blog for a while, you can: (a) call me and see how I’m doing or (b) assume that I’m having too much fun to update this damn weblog. It’s one of those problems that grows and grows the longer you ignore it and pretty soon you feel like never writing again. I’ve tried to write a huge long update on multiple occasions and quit out of frustration every time. With that said, here is my update of the DC - Philly - NYC - Boston - Cooperstown - NY - Toronto - Pittsburgh - Cleveland - Cinci - Detroit leg: I had fun.

AlCantHang has a good recap of Philly here and Nat has some good pictures here. I can't figure out how to link the actual post on Al's page but it's posted on May 8th. Al writes better than me and Nat takes better pictures so get over there and check ‘em out.

I saw a lot of old friends and saw a lot of cool ballparks. I will say that PNC Park in Pittsburgh made its way into my top 3, along with Safeco in Seattle and AT&T in San Francisco. PNC is right on one of the rivers and has a beautiful view of Pittsburgh’s skyline in right field. Comerica Park in Detroit is probably in the top 6 or 7 and would be higher if Detroit had a nicer skyline. How about trying to rank the new-retro stadiums in order! That’ll come after my Chicago recap.

Dookie met me in Cleveland and joined me for games in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Chicago and Milwaukee. He has seen 11 stadiums now, pretty impressive. Anyway, Dookie and I left Detroit on Wednesday because Jimmy was flying in that night and we were going to paint the town red. Traffic really sucked coming into the city and the weather was even worse. There was a ton of construction and a lot of big trucks and I could barely see through the rain. Not fun. We got to Chicago around 2 or 3 PM and I was really happy to be off the road. We had plans to stay with Jimmy’s sister’s husband’s brother who Jimmy had never met and we decided to wait until Jimmy arrived at 8:30 to contact the guy. We parked near his house and walked to Wrigley Field. It’s a tiny stadium and was easy to walk around. We considered going to the game that night but already had bleacher tickets for Thursday’s day game so we decided to save the $50 and drink more. We hit a bar called Stadium Club or something and started drinking pints of Old Style. The bar got really crowded and smoky around gametime and the weather had cleared up so we decided to sit on their patio for a bit. About 5 minutes after we got seated it started hailing really hard and we were grateful that our table was under an awning. Our waitress stopped coming out to serve us but we stayed reasonably dry. At some point we got a call from Jimmy letting us know that his flight was canceled because of the weather. He wasn’t flying in until 7 AM the next morning.

Soooo, here’s the situation: Me and Dave, both semi-drunk, in Chicago at 7 PM with no place to stay. The whole Jimmy’s brother-in-law’s brother thing was a little weird anyway but without Jimmy there it was impossible. The hail had stopped so I decided to walk back to the car, hop on my laptop and try to steal a wireless signal to look for a cheap hotel that we could walk to or take a cab. I succeeded in stealing a really weak signal and could only use MSN messenger. I asked Nat to look for hotels for me and he found a one-bed, 10’ x 10’ room for $105. Dookie thought that was ridiculous so we decided to spend that money on more beer, get drunker, and ultimately sleep in the car.

Around 8 PM, we started our quest for more beer. We were north of everything so decided to walk south toward downtown. We were on a street called Halsted and stopped at the first bar we saw, called The North End. As soon as we walked in I noticed there was only one female in the whole place. I went to the bathroom after ordering a beer and got there just as a flamboyantly homosexual man got there. He asked, “Are you coming in with me?” and I respectfully declined. I went back to Dave and he whispered to me, “Are we in a gay bar?” I was pretty sure of it and my suspicions were confirmed when the bartender told us how much he loved Seattle and more specifically, Capitol Hill. I felt fine but Dookie was pretty uncomfortable so we pounded our beers and left. Apparently Shane from Road Rules was there but I didn’t recognize the person that Dookie pointed out. As we walked south on Halsted we started to see rainbow pained garages and large rainbow phallic structures. We were definitely in the middle of “boy’s town”. All the bars looked really nice but really weren’t our cup of tea. Eventually we got to a bar called The Union and saw a few girls. The bar was mentioned in a Tucker Max story so we knew it would be good. We ran inside and got some beer and chicken wings. Manly! The bartender informed us that Friday night the bar offered all-you-can drink from 6-9 PM for $10. Well, we knew where we were going on Friday!

Eventually we made our way back towards Wrigley and found some good bars on Sheffield. We watched the end of the Spurs-Mavs game 5, a game that really pissed us off at the time but doesn’t matter now, and walked to McDonalds. In case you didn’t know, a late post-midnight dinner at McDonald’s is not a good idea. We eventually made it back to the car and passed out. I woke up a few times to urinate in the courtyard of the apartment building across the street but slept surprisingly well.

Argh. I’m tired and this is too much writing. I know, I suck. I guess you’ll all have to live with that as my update for the past 2 weeks. It’ll be easier to update daily from now on.

Here’s the stadium list I promised you. Remember, these are just the new-retro parks.

1a. Safeco Field in Seattle
1b. AT&T in San Francisco
1c. PNC in Pittsburgh
4. Citizen’s Bank in Philly
5. Comerica in Detroit
6. Camden Yards in Baltimore
7. Petco in San Diego
8. Ballpark at Arlington in Texas
9. Miller in Milwaukee
10. Turner Field in Atlanta
11. Jacobs Field in Cleveland
12. US Cellular in Chicago
13. Minute Maid in Houston
14. Great American in Cincinnati
15. Chase in Arizona

US Cellular would be higher if they weren’t ridiculously elitist. They have a large 500 level and don’t let anyone with 500 level tickets walk around the lower concourse. WTF is that? I will never voluntarily give Jerry Reinsdorf my money. Great American was OK but just very boring. Chase really turned me off with its dome-like feel. I have a hard time figuring out where to put the old stadiums on this list since the new ones are obviously nicer so they have their own list. Here ya go:

1. Fenway in Boston
2. Wrigley in Chicago
3. Yankee Stadium in New York
4. Shea Stadium in New York
5. Dodger Stadium in LA
6. Rogers Centre in Toronto
7. Angels Stadium in Anaheim
8. Network Associates in Oakland
9. RFK in DC

Honestly, the top 5 on this list might all be better than any of the new stadiums. You can’t buy history and each of those stadiums gave me goosebumps as I walked through the turnstiles. The Skydome was surprisingly nice. The hotel and restaurant in centrefield really make it bearable. They use fieldturf instead of Astroturf and even though it looks splotchy, I give them props for it. Angels Stadium has been upgraded but still is kinda blah. RFK is just disgusting.

That’s 24 down, 4 to go. I’m going to Minnesota tomorrow night and driving to Kansas City on Wednesday. I fly to Vegas on Thursday and get back to Kansas City next Monday. I’m driving to St. Louis on Tuesday and back to Kansas City on the same day. I drive to Denver on Thursday and see my last game, at Coors Field, on Friday. I drive to Vegas on Saturday and I fly home on Sunday. I’m leaving my car in Vegas because I want it during the WSOP. I’m flying home on June 4th, flying to Germany on June 8th, flying back to Seattle on June 23rd and starting the WSOP in Vegas on June 27th. It’ll be much easier to leave my car in Vegas instead of driving all the way to Seattle and back. I have a number of friends there and I’ll be able to park it in someone’s driveway.

I got my oil changed today. The trip will go over 9,000 miles tomorrow. I’ve been in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. That’s 25 states and one province. I think the final tally will be 31 states.

It’s been a great trip but I’m also really excited to move on. The World Cup will be amazing and the World Series will be fantastic. I hope I’m not broke by the end of the WSOP.


AlCantHang said...

Glad to see you're alive and not stuck in a ditch in the middle of the country.

Looks like things are going great. Almost done!

Enjoy the rest.

Here's the direct link to the Philly story.

Anonymous said...

For 2 weeks you kept it pretty short, well done. Have fun in St. Louis and don't get too wet.


Anonymous said...



-Adam Junglen

Jameson said...

make sure to be some fine bbq and steak in mizzou. I'm pretty sure that Kaufmann will rank pretty highly on your stadium list as well.

Anonymous said...

Alcanthang, meet your sister and your father (fm Wikipedia):

The planet Garth has been invaded by the longtime Patron race known as the Gubru. The avian Gubru arrived on Garth to learn more about the discovery the human spaceship Streaker made in Startide Rising regarding the Progenitors, the first known sentient race.

The Gubru have also heard that a new species on Garth is almost ready to become uplifted, and they look to become the patrons (sponsors) of this species. However, it becomes a problem finding out just who or what the Garthlings are (they later turn out to be gorillas). Opposing the Gubru's effort is one human, an alien (the Tymbrini Athaclena, daughter to the Tymbrini ambassador on Garth, Uthacalthing), and assorted neo (uplifted)-chimps.

Uplift Wars, David Brin
Alcanthang, Athaclena, Uthacalthing

B, where did you first meet this Philly Tymbrini?