A waffle at the beach is a sandy Eggo

First of all, yes, there was the obligatory letter to the sports editor in Saturday’s L.A. Times complaining about people at Dodger Stadium doing the wave during Alex Cora’s marathon at-bat.

Today I went to one of 2004’s new ballparks, Petco Park, with Cathryn and Jennifer (and Jason, who took this picture)…

It is a very nice place, albeit colder than Qualcomm Stadium, thanks to the breezes coming off San Diego Bay, and the fact that we were under the overhang. In fact, we were in the very top row of the upper deck section to the left of the “first base tower” in the picture below…

In the top row, there’s some bizarreness involving the steel supports holding up the overhang, so although we had seats 7 through 10, there was about a 6-inch gap between seat 7 and seat 8, although it wasn’t like there was a giant metal post in the way or anything like that. (There was also a gap of about 18 inches between seat 6 and seat 3. Seats 4 and 5 were missing.) Anyway, this is the view of the diamond from way up there…

And this is the view of downtown San Diego. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a picture of a plane landing (they come in just beyond the skyscrapers, eventually disappearing behind them)…

The lawn looked like a nice place to hang out…

So did the seats in front of the Western Metal Supply building…

And if you’ve got to pick one Padres player to hang out with, it’s got to be David Wells…

The final line…

In conclusion, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where we’ll be on August 27th, has a lot to live up to. I already think it’s going to lose points for not being right downtown. But it may gain points for being warmer than Petco Park…next time, I’m going to wear long pants and at least bring a sweatshirt. Or try to get seats at least a few rows farther down, which will be in the sun.

Original comments…

maura: how about that ben sheets!!

Levi: On paper, the building they left in left field struck me as really dopey, almost as bad as the flagpole and hill at Bush/Cheney Field in Houston–though not nearly as bad as the stupid train at the same park.

But now that I’ve seen the new San Diego park on TV, I’ve changed my mind. The building’s kinda cool.

Jim: What? Trains are not stupid. The fact that Houston has better train service at their baseball stadium than they do at their actual train station (a 3-day-a-week Amtrak train to L.A. and Orlando) is kind of stupid, but me ranting about inequities in government transportation funding is off-topic for this blog.

Levi: Actually, the train in Houston is remarkably similar to Amtrak rides I’ve taken. You sit on it for a long time and it doesn’t go anywhere. Then it goes, but only a short way, at which point it stops and changes direction. Then you sit again for a long time.

But at least the train doesn’t turn into a bus.

sandor: Trains going forwards and backwards and forwards again? Sounds like my trip on the L yesterday. Halfway between Irving Park and the Addison, the brown line train I was on stopped, then started going in reverse. In 10 years of riding L trains, I’ve never experienced such a thing happening. I didn’t even realize they had a reverse gear. It was quite shocking.

Sorry, off-topic. But I thought worth sharing.

thatbob: “Thank you for not requesting autographs”?!? WTF?!?

thatbob: Now obviously those seats at Western Metal Supply Co. are supposed to be reminiscent of Wrigleyville rooftops, or that book depository (or whatever) in Baltimore. What I can’t figure out is if the seats are actually part of the park, ie. ticketed revenue, or just an authorized use by a lucky neighbor. What’s going on there?

Levi: Silly Bob. There’s no way that a modern park would ever let any chance at a dollar slip by. Those aren’t only seats: they’re expensive luxury box thingies, and they bring in buckets of the ready for the Padres.

Jim: “Thank you for not requesting autographs”: It was Photo Day, and you’re just supposed to take pictures of the players, not ask them for autographs.

The ground floor of the Western Metal Supply building is the main Padres store, and then there’s standing room in front of it; each other individual level is, I believe, a single “party suite,” available on a per-game basis for your corporate get-together or other function. There’s no actual suite on the roof, just some tables with umbrellas to go along with the ballpark seating, but it, too, seems to be a special group seating area.

Jason: What Jim forgot to mention – and I am shocked that he did – was the fact that he took a trolley train to the game. Must have been the sugar high from too many Hostess Baseballs to affect his memory.

Jim: I thought me taking a trolley was a “that goes without saying” kind of thing. Yes, parking near Petco Park is expensive, so the trolley was the best option.

thatbob: I’m a *big* fan of selling the crappiest seats in the house to the stupidest people with the most money! I heartily approve! God Bless You, Petco Park!

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