Monday, April 14, 2008


Went to Binghamton on April 6 for my first game of the season there.

And as I was approaching the entry game, a sense of welcome and calm came over me.

I chatted with the ticket taker a bit before heading down the concourse, and when the next familiar face asked how I was, I said, "It's good to be home."

Not just at a ballpark. This ballpark. As Ben Wrightman says in Fever Pitch, this is my summer family.

This is my happy place.

Fantasy Update

The Talkin' Baseball League has 14 onwers/managers. On April 3, the Huskytown Dukes were in 10th place.

On April 4, they were in 1st.

Apparently all of the starting pitchers on my roster pitch on the same day. It's gonna be a wild ride in that case.

Today, they're in 3rd. I gotta blame it on David Ortiz. Papi's not hitting, I've got to bench him.

Green is Good

There be grass here!

Yes, Syracuse now has a green grass diamond, and the "new" stadium finally looks like a ballpark. They celebrated Opening Day with green balloons.

Not only have they ripped up that ugly ugly blue-green cement hard carpet, they've added a warning track and padded the outfield walls. They also moved the bullpens from behind the outfield wall to along the stands in foul territory on either side; however, they've also built a small fence (maybe it's going to be an actual wall and what was visible last week is only the framework) to separate the bullpen crew from the fans.

So as long as you get quickly to your seat and stay away from the concourse, the stadium in Syracuse is not too bad a place to watch a ball game.

Because of a slew of personal problems, I haven't been able to plan ahead, so I hadn't planned to go to Opening Day anywhere, but since the weather was so nice and Syracuse had a day game scheduled, I headed that way. I was relatively late, got there about 15 minutes before game time. Yes, I know, nice day, opening day, stadium improvements, all things to draw out people who don't normally show up--like Easter Christians--so I expected to have to wait a bit. Fifteen minutes to get to the parking lot (and I ended up in the overflow lot!) wasn't outrageous, but 40 minutes to purchase a ticket was. There are eight ticket windows, but typical Syracuse management operations: 2 windows dedicated to Will Call (I saw 3 people go to Will Call the entire time), 2 windows dedicated to General Admissions (not at all busy - the upper deck was nearly deserted), 3 windows open for ticket sales, 1 window not open until after the game had actually started.

Syracuse had another day game a week later -- no crowd at all. But at least the grass looked greener.