May 16, 2005

The Ballpark Tour Begins

I’m planning on going to baseball games at eight different ballparks throughout America this summer, and the first stop was Saturday in Philly, where I watched the Phillies lose 12-4 to the Cincinnati Reds at Citizen’s Bank Park.

First I must say: it’s a beautiful ballpark, and a wonderful place to see a game. If the eventual Minneapolis stadium is half as good, I’ll be a happy man. Unfortunately, the team that plays there isn’t looking so good- with the majors’ fourth-largest payroll ($95 million), the Phils are five games under .500, leading folks in the very tough local media and on the radio to call for the heads of manager Charlie Manuel and GM Ed Wade (Bill Conlin sums up the thoughts of many in this column).

While the Phils won on Friday and Sunday, things didn’t go so well for them Saturday- while the Phils got off to an early lead, heretofore impressive reliever Ryan Madson had one of the worst outings I’ve ever seen, giving up six runs in a third of an inning to more than double his ERA for the season.

It got so bad that the guys behind us spent the entire second half of the game heckling, chanting “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!” and (my personal favorite) gambling on balls and strikes. Speaking of which, I attempted to initiate a game of Moundball- but when I explained the rules, my girlfriend looked at me like I had two heads.

Despite the loss, an all-around fun night at the ballpark, and the rain that had been forecast never materialized. Next on the agenda- PNC Park in Pittsburgh, next month.

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 16, 2005 06:32 PM

If you like Citizen's Bank Park then you'll love PNC, which unlike Citizen's bank, is built where a ballpark should be: downtown. It's also refreshing to see some different materials used (why does steel always have to be painted red? PNC was blue, if memory serves). A few years back we did a PNC, Jacobs Field, Wrigley, Miller Park run... in a few years when the "building boom" is over, maybe I'll finish my tour.

Posted by: Ryan at May 17, 2005 11:24 PM

PNC is an incredible ballpark. We lived an hour north of Pittsburgh last year, and took the opportunity to catch a game at PNC. The downtown view is breathtaking, especially at night. For some good grub, if you like wings, check out Quaker Steak & Lube, it is a regional chain with a setup at PNC. Pretty damn good wings.

Pittsburgh is a cool city, I do miss living close to it, we really enjoyed it.

Posted by: Laura at May 18, 2005 09:19 PM
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