And we’re off! Sort of.

Baseball Related Program Activities for 2010 have begun!

And what better way to kick things off than with a 3-1 Cubs win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field that is best described as “crisp”? Both teams played solid defense, both teams pitched well (or, perhaps more likely, given these two teams, hit poorly), and in a mere 2:23 we were out of there and into the car . . . I mean, onto bicycles and L cars for the ten-minute trip back to my house.

Notes from the game:

* Stacey came along, thus taking the honorable position of our first official BRPA 2010 hanger-on.

* The game wasn’t the only thing that was crisp: a game-time temperature of 65 degrees combined with a constant breeze to keep the upper deck just cooler than cool, and convince me to pack some jeans for the trip. Maybe mittens, too: we are, after all, going to Minneapolis.

* Some fans two rows behind us, seeing Stacey taking our photo, correctly guessed that we were on a road trip. We didn’t really try to explain that while, yes, we were on a road trip, I have been sitting in that very seat for a dozen years. (Our caps may also have clued them in: I was, as usual, wearing my Cardinals cap, while Jim was wearing what must have been a Time Bandits cap–it said “TB” on the front, and I have a hard time believing that he was rooting for tuberculosis.)

* Alfonso Soriano apparently ate all his Home Run Crunch before the game, as he hit two absolute bombs.

* I’ll be surprised if anyone even comes close to taking the title of Best Shoes of BRPA 2010 from Lastings Milledge. I can’t believe that all his teammates haven’t followed his lead and started wearing yellow-trimmed cleats. Dude looks sharp.

* Jim didn’t vomit on the usher until after the fourth bag of cotton candy. Wait, no: he didn’t vomit on the usher at all, because he refused my offer to buy all his meals on the entire trip if he would eat only cotton candy at the ballpark every night.

And now to bed–tomorrow at this time, we’ll be in Kansas City!

Another day, another Rays win

Sorry, I have no overheard cute conversations during the Angels-Rays game yesterday afternoon. A 40-something couple in the row in front of me left in the middle of the 9th inning with their team down by only one run, which I can’t understand. Also, I spent $17.25 total for a smallish cheesesteak sandwich and a strawberry milkshake, which I can’t understand, either. (The cheesesteak was “Whiz wit,” no less. I prefer provolone wit.)

Regular Angels catcher Mike Napoli was in the game at DH, and the Rays scored

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two of their runs on passed balls by backup catcher Ryan Budde (described as “little-used” in Thursday’s L.A. Times). I

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couldn’t help but imagine a conversation in the Angels locker room after the game involving the phrase “I’m not your guy, Budde.”

A definite Blue Jays difference

From the blog Torontoist, here is a great 1980 advertisement for Toronto Blue Jays-branded food items, exclusively available at Dominion supermarkets. The products are mostly of the “if you enjoy it at the ballpark, you’ll enjoy it at home” variety, but there are a couple of outliers: granola bars? Peanut butter?

There’s also milk in a Blue Jays logo glass. I assume that’s because they were selling Blue Jays glassware in the stores; however, I’d like to think it was a near-last-minute addition during the photo shoot when someone decided that, with the kids depicted eating baseball stadium “junk food” (a hot dog, popcorn, and potato chips), there should be some indication that they might be consuming something healthy at some point in the near future.

Despite having taken a year of French in college, I don’t remember having seen the French word for “peanuts” before — not even at Olympic Stadium in 2004 — and now that I see it on these packages, “arachides” is a little too close to “arachnids” for comfort. There better not be spiders roasted in those shells!

Opening Day and hot dogs

For years, at two different employers, I had a Tuesday-through-Saturday work week. One of the few times I miss that schedule is on Opening Day Monday, when the MLB Extra Innings package is free on DirecTV, and it is thus possible to watch local baseball coverage all day. At least I get home from work around 4:15 (Pacific time), so I’ll be able to watch much of the “prime time” games. Tomorrow night, I’ll definitely be watching the Rays’ home opener — I think this may be the first time they’ve ever opened the season at home, albeit shoved to Tuesday, probably so their proximity wouldn’t taint last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game. (Incidentally, the L.A. Times baseball writer actually picked the Rays to finish first in the AL East.)

And as seen on The Consumerist: since hot dogs and baseball go together like, um, hot dogs and buns, here’s a press release from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council with more details than you’d ever thought possible about ballpark hot dog and sausage menu options and consumption. I can definitely vouch for the Fenway Frank and, especially, the Dodger Dog. I cannot vouch for the hot dogs served at Wrigley Field, which aren’t very good — I suspect the reason they sell so many is that there aren’t a lot of other food options at Wrigley Field, particularly

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at the upper-deck concession stands.

Many of the “specialty” dogs mentioned in the press release sound good to me — but not necessarily while I’m at a baseball stadium, where I don’t particularly want to get hot dog toppings all over myself. I’m happy with just mustard (and I prefer “spicy brown” to yellow), and maybe onions.

Baseball HD chili

“HD” stands for “Highly Delicious” (or, perhaps, “Holycow, Dodgers!”).

In retrospect, Levi and I saw this coming at Wrigley Field on September 2nd, when we saw the Astros beat the Cubs 9-7 in 11 innings — a game which obviously impressed neither of us enough to write about it on this blog. (Also, that game lasted long enough that we had to get to bed, one of us to go to work, and the other of us to catch a flight back to L.A.)

Rays awesomeness watch: bring on the pizza!

Sports by Brooks reports that a pizza place in Denver is offering “free pizza for the world” if the Rays win the World Series.


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year, this same restaurant offered free pizza if the Rockies swept the Yankees in a June interleague series — which they did — and if an NFL team went 16-0 during the regular season — which happened. Someone there seems to be psychic and not a particularly good businessman.

All I can eat

I went to Dodger Stadium tonight with a big group from my office. Our seats were in the right field pavilion, which happens to be the all-you-can-eat section. What that means is that some of the food is free — hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, and Coke, as served by concession stands that have no lines unless someone is attempting to pay for the free food — and then there are some other concession stands selling beer, ice cream, and candy.

(You may notice that the ticket stub above shows the group name; unfortunately, it was too late to get it changed from “Yahoo! Content Solutions” to “Smellosaurus Rex.” Actually, if there was a point at which they showed the names of all the groups in attendance on the scoreboard, I missed it.)

The view from right field is pretty good…

It’s a fine place to get some studying done…

Not particularly baseball related, but I notice that although Spanish for “high definition” is “alta definition,” they’re still abbreviating it “HD”…

In conclusion, it turns out that three Dodger Dogs, two Cokes, and an order of nachos is all I can eat.

Oh, yeah, Dodgers 6, Padres 3. The starting pitchers were Greg Maddux for

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You can’t beat a pizza at the old ballpark

Nice to see television slow-motion technology being used in this

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manner, during the broadcast of Monday’s Red Sox-Angels game.

Hope you like Dodger Dogs — a lot of Dodger Dogs

The right-field bleachers at Dodger Stadium are going all-you-can-eat this season. So advance tickets there are $35, while the left-field bleachers are still $8 — even with the concession stand prices, $27 worth is a lot of food, especially with the lack of menu options.