Saturday, May 25, 2013

A few thoughts on going to a MLB ballpark

I love taking my kid to the ballpark. Baseball is a big part of our lives, and I like sharing the game with him.
However, going to a MLB game is a really pain a lot of the time. I am not talking about the cost. I am more than willing to pay my hard earned money to enjoy an eight dollar adult beverages as long as that means my team will play meaningful games in August, September, and most importantly October.

My first issues is an issue I created myself. It is very hard to sit in the stand with a kid and watch a baseball game with out the constant daddy daddy I want this to that can we go ride the Ferris Wheel or the Merry Go Round. Also it is super hard to focus on the game for me anyways when not being in the press box or the background noise of TV and or radio announcer. The live baseball product absent any play by play really leaves something to be desired for me.

Last night I was at Comerica Park in Detroit. Anibal Sanchez threw a one hit shut out and at some point during the fifth inning I looked up from my kid and thought to myself holy crap he has a no hitter going. I almost blurted that out breaking one of the cardinal rules of baseball.

It is these rules that I really want to focus on. Maybe they are not rules so much but guidelines. I was at the game last night not only with my son but with my baseball team. Of course there are mothers with us who don't understand the complexities of being in the crowd at a MLB game. We see a guy wearing a Twins jersey and since we were sitting in what amounts to a family section only slight ribbing of the team's opponents is permitted. It's all in good fun, you just got let the opposing fans know that you seem them.

However, at Comerica Park and a lot of other MLB ballparks a lot of the simple rules of the game are not followed. They are simple courtesies that are largely forgotten in the world today, and they really effect the enjoyment of the stadium atmosphere for everyone else. Really it is the atmosphere that we shell out our dollars for, because let's face it watching the game in the comfort of our own homes on big screen TVs is way better than seeing a game in person.

Simple courtesy #1- When the home team is batting sit down. You can wait a few minutes to get another eight dollar adult beverage, a hot dog, nachos, or run to the restroom. The only caveat for that is if your kid is having an issue or bathroom emergency. My kid id 7 and he understands this rule, but through the first three innings of last nights game there were way to many people walking around in front of us disrupting our enjoyment of the game. In Cleveland, Ohio and other places this type of rudeness is not accepted and the crowd will tell breakers of this rule exactly what they think of them.

After three innings of fans walking back and forth to seats and down to the concourse to get food, the vendors showed up. Really with they would have gotten there earlier cause they may have saved us from the crowd walking up and down. However, there seemed to be a lot of vendors last night and after awhile they become as annoying as the fans who are disrupting your view of the field.

Again, going to see a game live is not so much about seeing the action on the field as it is enjoying the action on the field as it is hanging out at the ball park. Comerica Park is old enough now that there are a few great memories there and it is always nice to visit that place and build new memories with your friends and loved ones.

Of course the other people in the stands have a great effect on that simple enjoyment which brings me to my last gripe of the night. People choose very poor places to stand, talk, and/or drink beer. The steps going up to a section not a great place to hang out. that is what the concourses are for and in Comerica there are plenty of places out in the outfield to simply hang out and talk and do all that.

To the crowds credit, and I pay particular attention to this since I was there with my kid and baseball team there was not a lot of cursing. I mean an occasional shit and what not may have even escaped my lips but for the most part the crowd in my section handled themselves with class and consumed their adult beverages responsibly.

All in all it was a great trip to the ballpark, and my objections to the questionable behavior of fans is pretty minor, however It is not like I am the first guy to complain about this kind of thing.

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