Sleeping With The Enemy, from A to Z

September 08, 2009 | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

For purely innocent reasons (which was not the case with Chip Wesley), I was fortunate enough to see two free baseball games at the parks of our (arguably) two biggest rivals - the Cardinals and the White Sox - this past week. While neither have the charm or buzz of Wrigley Stadium, each place had their own beauty marks and genitals warts. I shall now attempt to hit the highlights, from A to Z.

A is for accommodations. At the Cardinal's game I was lucky enough to sit in The Champion's Club, which meant I got all I could eat and drink, all while sitting in a sky box. C'mon, that'd even be fun at a cricket match.

B is for Busch Stadium. The $365,000,000 stadium has to be one of the nicest stadiums in MLB. It's easily accessible, plenty of bathrooms and concessions, and there isn't a bad seat in the house.

C is for concourses. Both stadiums featured main concourses that allowed you to walk all the way around the stadium, allowing for unobstructed views of the field.

D is for dollar dogs, which The Cell had for the entire game, both from the concession stands and the vendors. Well done.

E is for empty seats. 2/3 full for a Friday night game against Boston? Ouch. And who said losing Timo Perez would have no effect on the fans?

F is for fireworks. The Blackhawks sponsored a post-game fireworks show, and I have no problem saying that it was by far the best fireworks display I've ever seen. A solid 15 minutes. Bravo.

G is for gestapo, which is how the ballpark personnel are at Busch Stadium. While walking the concourse and checking out the different views, we were continually to move on unless we had tickets to that specific area. Boo.

H is for hype. Don't believe this crap about St. Louis being "a city of real baseball fans". A "baseball" city should have more than 75% of the stadium filled in a pennant race against a division rival. For shame, St. Louis.

I is for innovative. I found three different places at Busch Stadium where it was all-you-can-eat and drink. Each place provided spectacular views with a great selection of food as well as spirits. Maybe they do this elsewhere, but I've never seen it. (If I went again, I'd sit in the all-inclusive section in center field)

J is for joke. A mini-ballpark that teaches kids the fundamentals of baseball? Yeah, I'd love to shell out $40 for a ticket to an MLB game and then play whiffle ball instead of watching the game. (The Cell)

K is for strikeouts (K's), which the lowly Brewers did often, and often without even swinging the bat, probably gifting the Cy Young Award to Chris Carpenter in the process.

L is for lawn mowing. While The Cell featured the classic checkered pattern, while Busch Stadium had The Arch displayed in the outfield.

M is for monuments. Both teams have recently tasted World Series success, but the Sox monument out front is definitely an eye catcher, and definitely something that makes me wish the Cubs had one.

N is for nightlife. While it might not be the best place in the world, St Louis has many bars, restaurants, and even a few casinos within walking distance of the park.

O is for Ozzie Smith. You are overwhelmed with his images everywhere in St Louis. Sure, he was a lively personality, but I'd still love to hear an unbiased case for him being in the HOF (and let's not even mention a first ballot HOF'er)

P is for Pujols. Even if he does look like a neanderthal on steroids, you drop whatever you're doing when he's up to bat.

Q is for quality, which is the type of team St. Louis is right now.

R is for rock bands, which US Cellular had playing outside the stadium. As a music junkie, it was a nice touch. Because who doesn't like to go from "Message in a Bottle" to "Fell on Black Days"?

S is for Sox Complex. Even at a game that featured the White Sox v the Red Sox, fans taunted opposing fans with anti-Cub and anti-Wrigley insults. For as much as Cub fans take heat for not being there for the game, I saw far more near-fights in the outfield bleachers at The Cell than I've ever seen at Wrigley.

T is for trains, which I took to US Cellular Field. The Red Line stop at "Sox / 35th" conveniently drops you off a block from the stadium, which is nice, because The Cell isn't necessarily a neighborhood to be walking in after dark.

U is for uninspired. Yeah, they've done some renovations, but as far as the "modern" ballparks of MLB (New Comiskey opened in 1991), The Cell is little more than a Riverfront-esque stadium with a few bells and whistles.

V is for views. Big edge to St. Louis, where you get a nice view of The Arch and the downtown area. At The Cell you only see meth dealers and despair.

W is for WTF? As in: What the fuck? Why are there NO bars within a two mile radius of US Cellular Field?

X is for X-scape. After the Sox game was over, the remaining half of the stadium's patrons were able to leave the ballpark and get to the train pretty quickly.

Y is for y'all, which people say in St Louis far too often. It's not like it's Alabama or South Carolina here folks.

Z is for um, I dunno, z' in sleep? It's two-fold. After two games in three days and over 16 hours of driving in a cramped van, I was pretty damn tired, like you must be now of reading this long post.