As of this entry, I have attended a total of 3 ballgames: Oakland vs. Kansas City, San Francisco vs. Pittsburgh and Los Angeles vs. San Diego. What I am noticing so far is the inconsistency in the pace of which I am actually able to attend the games. For instance, for the first set of games in San Francisco I had to rush to make the very first game in Oakland and then wait 3 more days until I could get tickets for the Giants game just across the bay. Of course, a little down time is nice especially in a fantastic city like San Francisco. However, the next day rush to make the 1pm Dodgers game in Los Angeles was a bit stressful. Fortunately, all is well and I am now on schedule to catch the Anaheim Angels tomorrow night.
Regarding the games and stadiums themselves, I’ve been noticing the difference between downtown stadiums and those that are more secluded. As a Seattleite, I’m partial to the chaotic atmosphere that surrounds a downtown stadium like AT&T Park where the Giants play. Fans, scalpers, street merchants and the police all mingle in a spectacle that spans for blocks around the event. Both Oakland County Coliseum and Dodger Stadium are positioned well away from the epicenter of the city they represent and as such don’t seem to create such a circus when game day comes. While there’s no denying the veracity of the Oakland or LA fans, I found the atmosphere to be surprisingly subdued in the area around those stadiums. The differentiating factor seems to be the presence of parking and the proximity to the downtown area, me thinks.
Finally, on to the topic of actual baseball: It’s early in the season, in fact it’s been the opening series for all the teams I’ve seen so far. That said, the teams I’ve seen so far really do seem to be playing like their still trying to get into their grove. In all three games, the score remained tied for at least 4-5 innings up to the bottom of the 9th (and in the case of the Oakland A’s into the 12th inning). In all three cases, the result was still a win for the home team but the oddity of none of these teams being able to put their opponent to bed sooner has resulted in some real nail-biters. I especially enjoyed the Melky Cabrera at-bat with bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and 2 outs. Every ball player dream must dream of (and secretly dread) being in that situation. However, Melky was able to plant a solid single and drive in the winning run, to the sound of the standing SF fans chanting his name. What a way to win a ballgame!