Now there's the Devil Rays we know and love

I set the TiVo to record the MLB Extra Innings feed of this morning’s game. If I’d been 100% sure it would be showing up for free, I might have woken up earlier to watch it; as it was, I had to fast-forward through major portions of the game, which turned out to be a good thing. It was the Yankees’ YES Network coverage, and it looked like they had dug up a lot of old films of teams and players visiting Japan in the past, including Mickey Mantle celebrating his 24th birthday while the Yankees were on a barnstorming tour of Asia. (Actually, maybe ESPN showed the same footage yesterday morning, but I wouldn’t know.) Also, there will be a suitable-for-framing 8×10 photo of a Yankee great inside the Sunday Daily News every week.

Anyway, now that we know I’ll be getting MLB Extra Innings free for the first week of the season, Levi, you’re invited to my nameless apartment for the real Opening Day on Monday. It kicks off with Tigers at Blue Jays at 10:00 A.M. (And then the question is, since this morning’s game was the first one in the Extra Innings package, will they define “first week” as lasting only until next Wednesday, or all the way through Sunday the 11th?)

More aerial photos

The other current major league stadiums I’ve been to…

SBC Park, San Francisco, California

Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, California

Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois

And the other major league stadiums…

Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida

Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland

Shea Stadium, New York, New York

Future site of Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio (construction site east of Riverfront Stadium)

Kaufmann Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

The Ballpark at Arlington or whatever the corporate sponsor is now, Arlington, Texas

Coors Field, Denver, Colorado

Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix, Arizona (under construction)

Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington

Finally, since Terraserver only has U.S. aerial images, Olympic Stadium is unavailable, but here’s a substitute…

RFK Stadium, Washington, DC

Aerial photos of the stadiums on the trip

There’s not much for me to do at work today, so I have plenty of time to play around with Terraserver.

John O’Donnell Stadium, Davenport, Iowa (picture taken pre-renovation, so it doesn’t quite look like this now)

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri (not zoomed in any farther because I like the fact that the Gateway Arch is in the shot, too)

Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

The future site of Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (in the parking lot to the east of Veterans Stadium)

The future site of PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (replacing the buildings to the north and west of the second bridge east of Three Rivers Stadium)

Jacobs Field, Cleveland, Ohio (right at the junction of two aerial photos, so it looks a little disjointed)

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois

Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (under construction)

And while I’m at it, here are the other baseball stadiums where I saw games this year…

Yankee Stadium, New York, New York (as a special bonus, with a subway train passing right by the stadium at the moment this photo was taken)

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Petco Park, San Diego, California (under construction)

Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Angel Field of Anaheim, Anaheim, California

Hanger-on Luke wanted to make sure I had explored all possible rental car options, including in-town locations of the various rental car agencies, especially the Enterprise location on Sheridan Road that’s fairly close to Levi and Stacey’s place.

Yes, I did, and the problems are that, as far as I can tell, Enterprise’s “unlimited mileage” is only good in the five states nearest Chicago; various others, including Dollar, Thrifty, and National, prohibit taking their cars into Canada (and they don’t seem to have any convenient city locations in Chicago anyway); and, believe it or not, Hertz and Avis are more expensive at their in-town locations than at O’Hare…but less expensive than Midway. Seriously, someone needs to investigate the Midway rental car situation.

Luke also wondered about perhaps picking up the car on the 20th and dropping it off on the 31st to possibly save some money. Also as far as I can tell, there wouldn’t be much price difference between that and the current plan of picking it up on the 19th and dropping it off on the 1st.

And, importantly for me, by getting the car on the 19th, I’ll get a chance to spend the day of the 20th at the Illinois Railway Museum, which I’ve never been to before and which is supposed to be a very nice place. (Yes, a non-baseball activity. I’m sorry, but I like trains, too.) And then on the 31st I can go play pinball at one of the semi-secret locations in the suburbs where Stern puts their new pinball machines out for testing, to see if they need to do any last-minute tweaks. Or Levi and Stacey can go buy stuff at Ikea in Schaumburg. Whatever.

In conclusion, I think we’re getting a pretty good rate from Hertz, considering how many miles we’re going to be putting on one of their cars.

(P.S.: If Southwest really was charging negative $100 for Burbank-to-Chicago round trips, I would be there for breakfast and baseball tomorrow morning, and maybe every morning. But no such luck.)

Original comments…

mr. troll: Yes, we’re all sorry that you like trains, too.

Jim: Shame on you, leaving this comment on the date of Amtrak’s 33rd anniversary.

Here it comes

And we have an itinerary for the second road trip: it will be Itinerary #3, with the addition of a minor-league game on Saturday, August 21, in Davenport, Iowa, to see the Twins’ Class A affiliate, the Swing of the Quad Cities (my new favorite baseball team name), host the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in their newly renovated stadium…a stadium which originally dates back to 1931, making it the second-oldest stadium on the trip by over 30 years.

Turns out my existing contact lens prescription is going to be just fine for watching baseball. But it’s nice to have a medical exam to find out that I probably won’t suffer a detached retina during the trip.

Something I forgot to mention in the last entry: I did check rental car rates at both O’Hare and Midway airports, and the rates at Midway are ridiculously expensive compared to the ones at O’Hare, to the extent that it would only have made economic sense for me to fly through Midway if Southwest Airlines was charging negative $100 for Burbank-to-Chicago tickets. So even though I’m a regular viewer of “Airline” on A&E, I’m flying American Airlines instead.