Tag Archive | "stadium"

You don't have to be sitting in the front row to appreciate baseball in Wisconsin...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 20 Milwaukee Brewers

Posted on 20 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Milwaukee – The parking lots are named for Brewers heroes. They’re also filled with brats and beer and a convivial tailgate and picnic that makes the whole thing feel very summery and baseball-like. But, then, you enter an airplane hangar. I’ve seen many games there over the years and when the roof is open, it’s OK but it’s still baseball in a barn. Oh, and Bud Selig bent over the entire state of Wisconsin in a power play for hundreds of millions to get it built. My advice here is to arrive early on a nice summer day and make friends with the locals in the tailgating community. The stadium is a nice, clean, open facility but they’ve downgraded since Bernie Brewer no longer comes down the slide in the beer mug after dingers. In theory alone, that’s a sad concept. Remember to drink Wisconsinably…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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A bit of an airplane hangar but it's got the best air conditioning in MLB...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 21 Arizona Diamondbacks

Posted on 19 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Arizona – You can’t really keep Milwaukee and Phoenix apart on this list because they both play in virtually the same stadium. As Curt Schilling pointed out on WNST recently, it sure is nice to come inside and play baseball when it’s 114 outside and 72 inside. But it’s a big, hollow, chilly (well, from a mojo standpoint) place and other than the pool in right field it’s a generic building that feels almost abandoned when no one is in the seats on a weeknight. It’s a nice enough building but it’s hard to find anything unique here besides the heat on the outside. Oh, and whatever they were thinking in changing the color scheme of the uniforms was very short sighted. The new uniforms and logos suck. I attended a Throwback Thursday night. I’m glad the Diamondbacks weren’t wearing the maroon of their football cousins in Glendale.

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Why is Yankee Stadium so low on our stadium rankings? Well, because it sucks...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 22 Yankee Stadium

Posted on 18 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

New York Yankees – So, why so far down the ranking scale for this giant, sprawling mall of a rebuild? Well, it sucks compared to the real thing. Ask anyone. Sure, it took billions of dollars and the painstaking reassembling of every nook and cranny and archway from across the street. They tried but failed. This is very simple – the new stadium has very little to recommend it as being better than the original. Less than 10 miles away, some engineers found a way to take the shell of Madison Square Garden and make it better. Here in The Bronx they had so much money that they believed a wrecking ball and a fresh plot of land would improve Yankees baseball. It hasn’t. It has simply increased the revenue, raised the cost and lowered “the experience.” Yankee Stadium makes you very happy that no one in Boston or Chicago got the bright idea to rebuild Fenway Park or Wrigley Field while promising to increase the space and the nightly receipts. The whole spirit of Yankee Stadium died when they tried to “go Vegas” with this monstrosity that is a monument to how having more money and “improving on the original” being a sad, stupid idea. Someone called it the “video game experience” of Yankee Stadium. I said it was kinda like going to “New York, New York” in Las Vegas once the Billy Joel “Miami 2017” experience happens. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. For the most part, as new stadiums go, this one sucks. I’d rather just go to a real mall rather than one disguised as a kingdom of baseball royalty.

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Everything is bigger in Texas. But is it better?

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 23 Texas Rangers

Posted on 18 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Arlington – There’s not much to recommend any outdoor activity in Texas in the middle of the summer and this ballpark is just one hot, exceedingly large place. Other than the obvious knockoff elements of Camden Yards in the seating bowl, this place is swallowed up by its own grandeur (much like its big football twin, the world of Jerry Jones, in the adjacent parking lot). Everything is bigger in Texas and here’s your proof. The Rangers Hall of Fame is so well done that you shouldn’t miss it. The BBQ and nachos in Arlington have been legendary since Brooks Robinson did the color commentary in the old ballpark. Just don’t expect much relief from the heat. And don’t expect a seat to close to the field. It’s just big and wide open. A nice ballpark but nothing special…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Sure, it's a dump in Oakland. But there are some redeeming qualities...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 24 Oakland A’s

Posted on 17 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Oakland – Ok, so this one is always beaten up and maligned and rightfully so. It’s old. It’s falling apart. I reported about the fly infestation in the men’s room that was certainly among the more gross moments of my 30 days on the road but there are some points to recommend this old dump. First, it’s the closest thing – really the only thing – left that approximates Memorial Stadium and my experiences as a kid. Really, if you wouldn’t laugh I’d have this 10 spots further up the list because I’d definitely return to the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever they’re calling it this week) before I’d go to a bunch of places higher on this list. They had a variety of food, dudes banging on drums, people were watching the game and the vibe was great for a baseball game if you lived baseball in the 1970s like I did. Just don’t expect any V.I.P. experiences. From a personal standpoint, this is a dump I recommend and it’s easy to get to on the BART. It gets a huge boost in my rankings simply because it’s unique. Make sure you get to this place before it deconstructs or simply evaporates. At some point it’ll fade to dust and you’ll be sorry you missed it.

It’s also the last place on earth where they play NFL football on a baseball diamond.

So, you can visit for a football game. But hurry. You’ll have to go to Los Angeles to see the Raiders the next time!

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Welcome to Toronto – the dome that time forgot.

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 25 Toronto Blue Jays

Posted on 16 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Toronto – I remember when this joint jumped. I was about fifty feet away from where Joe Carter’s home run landed on that fateful night in October 1993 when baseball was celebrated and ultimately died in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street. Now, it’s almost like they’re closer to joining the Montreal Expos than to galvanizing the baseball gods of the Great White North. Sure, Geddy Lee wasn’t at Rogers Centre on my night in Canada but the baseball “experience” of Toronto has been left to the ghosts of “Ok Blue Jays” in the seventh inning stretch and the pink suits of my pal Gregg Zaun. I can’t really pick on this dome any more than it’s been decimated over the past two decades. Oh, every time the ball hits the turf a giant blast of black plastic shrapnel leaps into the air. It’s like fake baseball. Only, it’s real. Honestly, if you go, you might want to consider watching the game from the bar/restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel attached to the dome. It’s a nice seat. And it’s free with a tab or dinner. Buy dinner, get the game free. And, honestly, you wouldn’t be missing much here.

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Another Camden Yards clone, there's nothing really wrong with Turner Field but the Atlanta Braves are dumping it anyway...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 26 Atlanta Braves

Posted on 16 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Two years from now, we won’t have to worry about Turner Field. The legacy of the Braves many accomplishments are but it’s clear they haven’t put any money into most of the stadium since they’ve been attempting (and succeeded) in escaping north to Cobb County. Nice Hank Aaron statues and pitching memories but this is another Camden Yards clone – albeit it a blue one – that is quite sleepy when it’s not boiling in the Georgia sun. Loved the parking lot tributes to the legacy of Hammerin’ Hank but they’re about to blow this operation up and it’s clear there’s not much being left behind as far as romanticism for baseball in downtown Atlanta. I just hope they dig up the Phil Niekro knuckleball statue and get started on the Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine statue. I hope my pal Leo Mazzone somehow gets bronzed along the road to Cobb County, too.

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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Sure, it's a short drive from Baltimore to Washington for a National League but why in the world would you bother?

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 27 Washington Nationals

Posted on 15 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Let me start by saying, “Screw the Washington Nationals.” Hands down, the worst people I dealt with in Major League Baseball. And the stadium isn’t much better. It’s a Philadelphia knockoff and that’s really not saying much. The neighborhood around the place isn’t getting any better as a destination for games. Most Nats fans thought the good news was that the team was going to be decent with a clear commitment to winning. But, then July happened to them in the NL East standings. But the stadium has a plastic feel and kinda makes me want to snooze off. The vibe is reminiscent of everything that went wrong when the Orioles moved from 33rd Street and recruited the wine and cheesers and readers of The Washington Post back in the 1992. Major League Baseball left Washington twice during the decade of my birth and the only thing that brought it back was the ineptitude of ownership in Montreal, combined with the despair and greed of the MLB owners. And a decade later, all of the money is in the pockets of Peter G. Angelos in Baltimore. Mr. Angelos has made $2 billion off MASN and the Orioles since the birth of the Nationals. And the stadium is nothing special, not a place anyone would say you need to see in your lifetime. The only time I’ll enter that place is when the people who mistreated me are fired or gone – or maybe when Bruce Springsteen puts the band back together again and decides to play this place that made Peter Angelos even wealthier. Or maybe if Billy Joel or the Caps come back to play a game. But, the Washington Nationals are dead to me. Looks like they’ll be golfing in October, too. And that won’t hurt my feelings. Hey, I’ve had no problem disliking the Washington Redskins over the past three decades, right? Oh, and their stadium sucks, too…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 29 Miami

Posted on 11 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Hard to believe the louses who own the Miami (nee Florida) Marlins could not only connive their way into ever getting this hard-to-get-to and even harder to return “shiny gem” built in an area that even people who live nearby don’t want to visit. I had a great time drinking beer at the Clevelander in left field – and yes that young lady behind me in the picture is wearing her birthday suit and a little body paint in left field – but it can hardly even be considered a ballpark at all. It’s really just the Skydome, built two decades later, with a nightclub in the outfield and a crappy team on the field that no one cares about and based on this weird Willy Wonka ballpark, no one will ever care about this awful franchise. It’s a giant indoor carnival. The place smells like sugar, like a confection factory or some place on a boardwalk. Miami Beach is ten minutes away. Who is the world would want to sit in this joke of a monstrosity and watch baseball in South Florida. Seriously, this should be the second-to-last-place you should ever want to see a ballgame in your life. But if you do go, make sure you jump into the pool.

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

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What's the worst MLB stadium? Nestor says No. 30 was easy: just go to Orange County and see what the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have under a broken halo...

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MLB #GiveASpit Ballpark Ranking: No. 30 Anaheim

Posted on 10 August 2015 by Nestor Aparicio

Well, someone has to be “last.” Simply put: this place is a dump. I visited “The Big A” in 1991 when it was still a two-sport relic and they’ve had me believing from afar for nearly two decades that they actually fixed the place up. I dunno. Maybe I just harbored higher expectations. I watched it again last weekend when the Orioles visited on television and nothing cosmetically on the broadcast prepares you for how ordinary the whole experience is once you arrive in Orange County. The concessions are so far inferior to every other ballpark as to be laughable. The alcoves in the stadium are dark, dreary and awful. It’s not really structurally much different than I remember it from 24 years ago – and even then it was an awkwardly shaped, multi-use facility at a freeway exit near what used to be orange groves that are now strip malls or outposts of Disneyland. Now, to point out some positives: even the worst place (and last place) in MLB to see a baseball game had some bright spots. I did see a visor for $6.88 and I have great remorse that I didn’t purchase it to match my Dodgers “LA” visors. I also bought a draft beer in the 3rd inning at a discount stand for $4.50. And it was a real beer ­– like 16 ounces and tasty! But, overall, the place is an eyesore, really, if you judge it against the other 29 parks. I’ve been to many minor league parks with more to recommend them, including Aberdeen. The Angels should be embarrassed, especially considering how great the fanbase has been and how cute those monkeys are all over the place. I walked around all 30 MLB ballparks in 30 days. This place is the worst. And, for me, it’s not really close. Well, except for perhaps No. 29…

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On Sept. 8-9-10, I will be releasing an extensive essay documenting my 30-30 MLB #GiveASpit journey of 2015. You can read it and all of my work here: http://wnst.net/author/nestoraparicio/

 

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