Monday, July 27, 2009
Game 29: New York Yankees 11 @ Tampa Bay Rays 4
We got to the game about an hour and a half before the gates opened. Before getting in line and after the team shop we walked part of the Baseball Boulevard Path that eventually leads to the Rays Spring Training field, but that would have been 3 miles round trip, so we only did about two blocks of it. It was interesting to see the home plate time line of baseball in St. Petersburg that we did see. Too bad it was too close to game time and way too humid to do the whole thing.
When the gates opened we went straight to the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame. Well almost straight, as that was after almost not getting the giveaway because we were not in Rays gear, but the guy behind us who we were talking with before the gates opened helped convince them to give us t-shirts by lending us his hat. The Ted Williams Museum was way pretty amazing and it was good we did it first thing, as it became quite crowded by the time we exited. I will eventually do a post just on it.
After the museum we headed to our seats in section 321. Our seats were pretty good, as even the upper deck here does not seem far from the field. One issue, though is we were way down the 3rd baseline and they do not have the seats angled, although that does not matter in the handicap row because the seats are fold up ones. It is the one thing that does make you feel you are in a multipurpose dome and not an indoor ballpark. Other than that, though it does have a ballpark feel even including a dirt infield instead of mostly turf with small dirt sliding paths like at the other domes (Skydome in Toronto and Metrodome in Minneapolis). Also, the fact that it has its only scoreboards in the outfield instead of on both ends of the stadium makes it obviously mainly for baseball despite technically always intended to be multipurpose.
The catwalks are crazy, but they are what hold the roof up and that roof makes an enjoyable ball game. I cannot imagine going to a game here and not being in an air conditioned ballpark, but I guess we will find out in two days when we see the Marlins for our final ballpark. We already know we are not going to tent camp in the Florida humidity and try to get a Kabin upgrade there, too.
The game tonight was exciting, I guess, but not if you wanted to see the Yankees lose like we did. The Yankees had a lot of hits and scoring including four homers. The Rays on the other hand had few hits and scoring until the second half of the game and mostly the last two innings.
Overall I liked Tropicana Field. I have nothing against indoor parks and do not think baseball always has to be outdoors, especially since many would not want to come and enjoy a game (or at least not come back) if they had to be outside in the humidity. It may be a dome, but it is the best of the domes and at least really tries to feel like a ballpark despite being built to be multipurpose. Only thing I do not get is the cowbells. Mik absolutely hated all the Rays fans constantly ringing cowbells and complained about the noise the whole game, which was also related to Yankees suck and Yankee fan cheering, but just the cowbells on their own are annoying. The main thing, though, is we cannot figure out why the heck they do cowbells here at all. Mik says he could understand if it was like Texas or someplace they have ranches, but this is a beach town.
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