While the rest of the Sons have been watching the wonders of small sample size manifest itself in the form of Mark Hendrickson's pitching line (sounds like the Infinite Monkey Theorem at work to me), the littlest Lasorda and I went deep into enemy territory to check out the ballpark and do a little advance scouting on two division opponents: the D'backs (hmmm, sounds like D'Vaughn should be playing CF for them, no?) and (obviously) the Padres.
While I won't bore you with the details of the game (after all, when you see Jake Peavy hit one triple, you've seen them all), I thought I'd share a couple of the differences between a trip to the Doghouse (I mean, Petco Park? Really. How droll.) and Dodger Stadium.
1. Parking. At least the San Diegans get it. If you have a ballpark in a downtown setting, you don't need acres of parking. While most of the lots were private (and charging $20), we were able to park the Lasordamobile on the street and plug the meter. Even parking a few blocks further, I think we would still be closer than those lots beyond the Think Blue sign at Chavez.
2. Bleachers. The bleachers at Petco are actually more like concrete amphitheater rows, sort of like the ones at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, with some grass planted in the walkways and a huge sandbox/play area for kids to play while the adults get their drink on and cheer for the home team (or, in my case, lustily yell for Peavy to blow out his elbow). Decidedly more kid friendly than dodging a few beachballs on the hot aluminum seats.
3. Food. Apparently, the concept of haute ballpark food for the good jarheads of San Diego encompasses bratwurst, pulled pork sanwiches, and fish tacos. What, no sommelier? Call me a traditionalist, but a ballpark needs to provide a decent dog, you know?
In all fairness, I think the McCourts could learn a thing or two from that team down to the south (no, further south than Anaheim), however, I don't want them to read this and think that trying to build a new ballpark closer to Staples Center is the right idea. Frank and Jamie just need to provide better options for transportation and family amenities, and stop trying to supersize the masses with the Olmedo Saenz Pavilion to Gluttony while downsizing their wallets by charging more for parking.
Has anyone had similar experiences (good or bad) at other ballparks?