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Ballpark review!

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Bubbler, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I think it would be a cool thread to do ballpark reviews on here, especially if you're making your first visit to one.

    Then again, a lot of the things I think are cool are decidedly uncool, so there's that.

    Anyway, here's my stab at it ...

    Finally paid my first visit to U.S. Cellular Field Comiskey Park today.

    Some impressions ...

    -- First off, it was an absolutely gorgeous today. Maybe one of the best weather days for baseball I've had as a fan in a long, long time. It was 75 degrees with a light breeze and light overcast skies. God couldn't have scripted a more beautiful day.

    Yet the Sox -- currently in first place in a heated pennant race with the Tigers -- can only manage to draw 25K against Oakland, a team that would currently make the playoffs, on a perfect Sunday afternoon?

    What the fuck, Pale Hose fans? That's some serious weak sauce there.

    -- Those who did show up were pretty unenthused, other than when A.J. Pierzynski batted, which I think was a half-hearted obligatory nod to Sox fans' sociopathic reputation.

    -- They like class warfare at Comiskey. As anyone who has been there before knows, the upper deck and lower decks are segregated from each other. In other words, you can't wonder down to the lower deck if you have a seat in the upper deck. Not a big deal to me, but I don't understand why that is.

    -- I sat in an upper box behind home plate. I was only six rows up -- so my seats were pretty good -- but I now fully understand why everyone complains about the steepness of the upper deck there. The poor shits sitting in the rows above me looked winded before they even climbed the stairs.

    And my "upper box" seat is segmented ticketing and preferred pricing gone mad. The row above mine was considered upper reserved and there was not one iota of difference in the seats. No row separating us from each other, etc. I know ballparks have tried to create about 90 different strata of seating/ticketing, but its become really ridiculous.

    -- The White Sox won the World Series in 2005. It got them off the hook from their own Cubs-like championship curse. But the Sox have still won just one World Series in 94 years. Given that, they might have overcompensated just a tad for that one season of glory with this ...


    Holy moley is that thing garish. It's worse in the flesh, it's busier than a Leroy Nieman acid trip. I swear to God it has a Sportsflicks element to it. There was secret 3D shit in there that future generations will need a Hawk Harrelson Rosetta Stone just to decipher.

    It's the Dude With Small Dick Driving A Red Ferrari in baseball monument form.

    Between that and this ...


    In which it is clear, in death, Harry Caray has morphed into Freddy Krueger from Dream Warriors, or if you like, an Evil Dead II demon and has begun to swallow the souls of unfortunate Cubs fans, Chicago has truly cornered the market on horrid baseball statuary.

    -- I never went to old or new Comiskey when the neighborhood around it was really bad, but I kind of wish I had. At least it would have had some character. Stepping off the Red Line, you quickly realize they have sanitized the area around Comiskey to the point where there's no vibe at all. Since baseball has been played on 35th Street from the 1910s, I would've expected some of the old character of the neighborhood to shine through, but I think they bulldozed it all.

    I did like the merchandise shop across the street. It had a pretty definitive collection of Sox gear, including nearly every cap the Sox have worn, which is a lot.

    To the game!

    -- Chris Sale is pretty fucking sick. He had 10Ks through five innings. He tired from there, but dude is really good. He got a deserved standing O.

    -- I saw the dark side of Moneyball today. The A's kicked the ball all over the diamond (three errors) and were fortunate not to have a few more miscues. The A's infield looked utterly incompetent at times.

    And then, there was this bit of massive fail ...


    It's called covering home, A's reliever Evan "Bucky" Scribner. Egad.

    I know the A's have overachieved, and their fielding isn't that far below AL average, but that didn't look like a team built to last in the postseason if Oakland makes it.

    -- Did you say 1972 throwbacks? Yes!


    These uniforms are awesome and should be adopted immediately. Glad I got to see them play in them. The spirit and cigarettes of Dick Allen were with me. Stupid A's blew it by NOT wearing their 70s throwbacks. Would've been a great combo.

    Next? Play in these ...


    -- In the Worst Idea I've Yet Seen That Drafts Off The Brewers' Sausage Race Heat, the White Sox had a race featuring their best-known 1972 players.


    Are you fucking kidding me? First off, Dick Allen should own each and every last single one of these copycat races.

    Any other result would be contrived and perhaps even be considered borderline racist. Just as Harold Baines should own a 1983 mascot race with Ron Kittle and Coked Up LaMarr Hoyt.

    Today's race featured Bill Melton's doppelganger getting gang-banged by a bunch of visiting mascots as Goose Gossage out-raced Dick Allen to the finish line.

    Not bloody likely.

    And why Goose Gossage? Allen and Melton I totally get. Allen was the 72 MVP and Melton was a long-time Sox slugger (even if he was injured for most of that season) emblematic of that era.

    Gossage is in the HOF, sure. But there were better Sox to pick. Wither Wilbur Wood?

    -- Final thoughts? Pretty pedestrian, non-offensive, but charm-free stadium. Among current stadia I've been to, it's better than Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark -- which has all of the architectural charm of a Dollar General in a strip mall -- and it's better than many of the departed stadia I've been to -- Metrodome, Olympic, every cookie cutter -- but it's not like I feel the need to rush back there again.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, New Comiskey is the first (and now the oldest) of the generation of HOK-style "new ballparks" that appeared in the 1980s/90s, so they made all their mistakes on that one.

    It was seriously improved in the major renovations about 8-9 years ago, when the upper deck was cut down and a shade roof added.

    At the time basically New Comiskey looked to me like a rehash of Royals Stadium, which at the time was the newest "baseball park" in the majors.

    Pretty much all the 80s/90s stadiums are identical, except the domed ones.

    The outdoor ballparks are pretty much all the same except for minor differences in trim color, scoreboard placement, exterior scenery, etc etc. (Texas being the only exception.)

    Basically if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all.

    Funny, because in the 80s and 90s when the big sell jobs were launched for the new parks, one of the big reasons given why we needed new stadiums was that the 1960s/70s generation of multipurpose ashtray cookie-cutter stadiums all looked alike, and we ended up with a set of stadiums far more identical than that bunch ever was.

    Of course, the new parks start reaching 30 years old about the end of this decade, which will mean it will be time for a whole new round of campaigns to build new ones.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I'll also add that Comiskey is a great place to watch meth'ed-out Sox fans attack opposing coaches during the game.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think Coors Field and Jacob's Field were in that group built in the 1990s where it was just done right. San Francisco's ballpark (whatever it's called these days) may be my favorite of the newer ones I've been to, but I haven't been to any of newest group of ballparks, really anything that's been built in the last 5-7 years or so...
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    They're both the same basic HOK blueprint plugged into slightly different scenery settings.

    As far as the "newest group," that consists of what, Minnesota, Washington and Miami?

    Pretty much everybody else has a new park or is never going to get one (Fenway and Wrigley).
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Been to Coors & SF and thought both were great places to watch a game.

    I haven't been there but I've heard PNC Park is the better than both of them.
  7. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    I have never been to new Comiskey, but I always read it was the last of the old parks, not the first of the new style parks.

    I still can't get over the fact that the last row of the upper deck in old Comiskey is closer to the field than the first row of the upper deck in the new park.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Oriole Park is terrific, easily my favorite of the six or seven I've been to.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    They're not all created equal.

    One reason I pan Cincinnati's ballpark is that the city of Cincinnati went cheapo on the project because they wanted to build both a football and baseball stadium in the chepest possible manner. It has an erector set feel to it. It doesn't look like it was built to last.

    But you go to PNC Park and it has a totally different feel. Well done. Aesthetically pleasing, etc.

    St. Louis is in the middle. Definitely the kind of nuevo-cookie cutter Starman was referring to -- there isn't anything really distinctive about it -- but there's nothing really bad about it either.

    Then there's monoliths like Miller Park that are in a category all their own.
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Never went to old Comiskey, but the vantage point I had yesterday from up there wasn't bad at all.

    Then again, I was just six rows up.
  11. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Yes. Of course, biased as a Birds fan. Everyone I've talked to who has been to both PNC and Camden Yards says PNC wins in a rout. I really want to get to a game there.
  12. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Camden is my top seed. I've also heard great things about PNC, but it's going to be difficult to top Camden.
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