Friday, August 22, 2008

Point of Know Return

The trip reaches its western-most point today, and tomorrow heads back east, although, in terms of miles, it is well past half over. In fact, after two quick games (tonight in Kansas City, Saturday in St. Louis), I'll be on a flight and back in Boston by Sunday night. As always, there are mixed emotions about this. The good thing about getting older is that, after being away from home for more than a week, I tend to want to get back. This, of course, softens the blow of the end of vacation, but doesn't completely negate those end-of-vacation blues.

Kaufmann Stadium
Forget what I previously said about my seat at Miller Park being the best I've ever had. Tonight at Kaufmann Stadium, I sat in the 5th row, directly behind home plate...literally. My 9th row seat at Miller Park was actually just to the right of center. The ticket price for tonight's game: $37. I think you can still get a standing room only ticket, or a bleacher or outfield grandstand seat, for a little less than that at Fenway.

I also take back my somewhat critical comments of a couple aspects of the Metrodome. Kaufmann Stadium also has trough-style men's bathrooms, but, unfortunately, no mango hand soap. More importantly, though, there was some type of promotional game or gimmick between every half inning: trivia, a "Name that Royal" baby photo contest, text message contest, hot dog race, etc. The only difference between this and a minor league game is that the Royals actually did a pretty good job of not holding up the game in the process.

There was a Casey Fossum sighting at the ballpark tonight. During pre-game warmups, I spotted a skinny goateed player with very distinctive facial features, wearing the uniform number 49 for the Detroit Tigers. I was pretty certain it was Fossum, one of two major league players named Casey whom other people have called my look-alikes. I verified later that it was, in fact, Fossum, whom I've lost track of over the past couple of years. My other look-alike, Casey Blake, is a slightly higher profile player, who is a little easier to keep tabs on. He recently was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I designated this a no alcohol night, but I did drink a few of Kansas City's own Boulevard Pale Ales yesterday. This nicely hopped brew, which I'm considering the second best beer of the trip so far, was also available at the stadium, in addition to the standard Anheuser Busch products.

Bannister vs. Granderson
Detroit won the game 4-3, and it was a pretty exciting finish, that I have to admit I missed. I left early, with Kansas City trailing 4-1 in the top of the 9th. In my defense, I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow, but the leaving early to beat the traffic thing is also a product of getting older. Fortunately, the Royals comeback bought me some time as I searched the parking lot for my car. Losing my car seems to be a theme of the trip, and completely out of character for me, as I also couldn't remember where I parked in Madison the other day.

As I walked through aisles and aisles of cars that weren't mine, I was taunted by the cheers I heard from inside the stadium. But, at that point, I knew there was no turning back. Eventually, I looked at the photo I had taken of the outside of the stadium on my digital camera when I arrived, to realize that I was looking in the wrong location of the parking lot entirely.

Overall, Kaufmann has a lot in common with the Metrodome, as would be expected, considering they're both older stadiums. The concession areas weren't very congested, but, of course, the attendance was an especially woeful (for a Friday night) 18,361. The food selection was, not surprisingly, pretty limited as well. The major edge Kaufmann earns over the Metrodome, however, is that it is much more aesthetically pleasing, making it possible for it to survive as a modern venue with the renovations that are to be unveiled next year.

Baseball Lesson of the Day: Tonight's game ended with David DeJesus being thrown out at home plate, by Brandon Inge to Fernando Rodney covering, trying to score the tying run on a pitch that Rodney threw to the backstop. I spent considerable time looking at all the online box scores trying to figure out if this was ruled a wild pitch or a passed ball, when I realized it was neither. Since DeJesus failed to advance, and the game ended on the play, so the other runners are considered as not advancing as well, it is neither a wild pitch nor a passed ball.


  1. Hey man, your writing has been fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing you next week for the "pool" party. I was in Denver last year and will wholeheartedly compensate this year.

  2. Did Casey Fossum run in the mustard, relish & ketchup race?

  3. Now I've figured out who kumod is...been seeing his comments all over Lee's Steez.

  4. Maybe it's because it was a rental car and you forgot what it looked like?