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Baseball's Best Fans are not waterproof
2007-07-27 22:02
by Bob Timmermann

At each SABR convention, there is a baseball game that is added on and this year in St. Louis, the game was Friday night's tilt between the Brewers and Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Brewers would win easily in a rain soaked game, 12-2, as Milwaukee feasted on the not quite so fearsome pitching trio of Mike Maroth, Kelvin Jimenez, and Randy Kiesler. The Brewers got 19 hits, including four by Kevin Mench and three by Corey Hart and Bill Hall.



Before the game started, a thunderstorm blew in and nearly everyone ran in for shelter. But not me. I was eating! Besides I was hot and I wanted to cool off. And as a Californian, sitting through a thunderstorm, which I knew wouldn't last long, seemed like fun. I did get very wet. But I also got a nice pretty picture!




The Brewers scored three runs in the third when another thunderstorm hit and I was advised to take cover from this one and that was likely wise. It rained, as my father often said, like a cow pissing on a rock. But only for a brief time and the delay was 39 minutes and the game went on without further delay.

By the time of the top of the third ended, the Brewers had sent 10 men to the plate, plated five runs, and Milwaukee pitcher Claudio Vargas had made two of the three outs.

Hart homered in the fourth and then in the fifth, the Brewers sent up nine men against Maroth and Jimenez and had taken a 10-1 lead. And this was about all Baseball's Best Fans could take. The weather and the score sent the vast majority of them home, which I really don't blame them for.

Not that I didn't take note of it in this photo from the seventh inning. (My battery was running low to prevent better photos):



Nevertheless, the day-night doubleheader scheduled for tomorrow is essentially sold out, just as this game was. The city of St. Louis loves its Cardinals, although they are extremely disappointed in the team's performance this year. Yet that doesn't keep what seems like 2/3 of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area dressing up in red clothing.

Busch Stadium is a nice park, yet it has a few annoying quirks. My seats, as you can probably tell from above, were along the leftfield line. But the shape of the stands made it impossible to tell what happened to balls hit into the corner.

The videoboard would never show replays of any balls hit by the opposition. So, in tonight's game, there were few replays as the Cardinals didn't do much on offense. Also the out of town scoreboard freezes up at times. The food selections in St. Louis aren't anything better or worse than any other place. I had a foot-long brat, although I failed to measure it to see if I had a false advertising claim. Mustard was hard to find. There were two large containers of it with pumps that were empty and that just left me little packets of mustard, which I decided to abandon during thunderstorm #1.

The Cardinals do a good job of incorporating the team's proud history into the stadium and you really do feel like you are in a place where baseball is important.

But when the weather is bad and the home team stinks, Cardinal fans are just like everyone else. I just wished they realized that sometimes.

2007-07-27 23:36:41
1.   Greg Brock
I'm beginning to sense layers of complexity in your relationship with Cardinals fans.

I liked it better when it looked like pure animus. Now it looks like there is room for an uneasy peace instead of open hostilities. And who wants uneasy peace?

2007-07-27 23:57:44
2.   Ryan Armbrust
Hey, it was nice to meet you on Friday, Bob. I'm sure I'll see you around again before SABR 37 is over.

At the game, I sat just a couple of sections further down from you, and had much the same experience. In fact, I also enjoyed a foot-long brat -- thankfully the mustard was still in good supply when I applied it to my meal.

It was really annoying that Busch doesn't replay anything by the opposition. I understand that they don't want to be seen as doing anything but showing off their team, but a replay of each hit isn't that much to ask, is it?

I wrote a bit more about the game, with a bunch of pictures, over at my other site, The Pastime, if anyone is interested:

2007-07-28 05:30:08
3.   Bob Timmermann
I bought a single ticket for Saturday's second game.

On the online receipt it reads, "Welcome to Baseball Heaven!"

2007-07-28 09:10:05
4.   Jon Weisman
Best rainbow picture ever.
2007-07-28 10:36:42
5.   bobsbrother
But it's not the Cardinals' fans fault. It's the team's fault. Or something like that.
2007-07-28 11:33:35
6.   Linkmeister
4 Oh, now. I admire the picture very much, but c'mon. I submit that it's quite possibly #1 in the "Best picture incorporating both natural and man-made arches in one frame," but we have great rainbow shots every day of the week in Honolulu.

(There, HVB, is that good enough for you?)

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