When MLB announced that they were going to reschedule the Angels’ snowed-out games at Cleveland this week to Miller Park in Milwaukee, my first thought was, “Oh, if I weren’t going on a trip in a couple of days, I’d love to go to that first game.” Then I thought, WWJD? What, after all, would Jim do?
So, in the spirit of Baseball Related Program Activities, Stacey and I called Bob, hopped in the car, and trekked up to Milwaukee after work. Following are some notes.
1. Apparently, wherever the Indians travel, Eastern Time folllows? The game started, not at 7:05 central time, as a weeknight game in the Central Time Zone would ordinarily do, but at 6:05. Now, granted, we wouldn’t have been able to get out of work in time to make a 6:05 start regardless, but had I paid more attention when I first read about the game, we wouldn’t have been surprised to see that the game was in the fifth inning when we arrived.
2. We had anticipated getting to sit a few rows from the field, near home plate, which is what Luke and I were able to do at the Marlins/Expos tilt that was relocated to Comiskey Park a few years ago. It drew 4,000.
Apparently, more than 19,000 other people had the same thought. The entire lower deck sold out, even the bleachers, which the Brewers had intended to keep closed. Concession lines were very, very long. I’ve been to Brewers games there in April against the Cardinals where the actual attendance was under 2,000, from what I could tell, with 60% of that Cardinals fans. This attendance, on 24 hours notice, was an impressive testament to the power of $10 tickets. As my coworker Mary said, “If there’s one thing Wisconsinites love, it’s cheap stuff.”
3. That attendance of 19,000+ was more than the paid attendance in Florida, Baltimore, Atlanta, Oakland, and Pittsburgh, let alone the actual attendance at about six other parks.
4. The majority of fans seemed to be rooting for Cleveland, though the only team they were unanimously against was the Cubs.
5. Though we didn’t get to see it, the Indians’ mascot, a hideous purple thing that is only excusable because a Chief Wahoo mascot would be an abomination, slid down the slide following a couple of Indians home runs. He didn’t, of course, slide into a vat of beer, because the Brewers, in order to demonstrate that they hate fun, didn’t move Bernie’s stein to the new ballpark. I guess he only drinks the hard stuff now.
6. Late in the game, the wave started. Though I’m no purist, I’m sure you realize that I hate the wave. There is, after all, a baseball game going on, and people standing up at random moments is not as much fun as watching a ballgame. But last night, after a few trips around the stadium, the wave suddenly slowed to a crawl, then slowed down even further until it was just creeping along. Eventually, as I laughed until my sides hurt, the wave looked like slow-motion video, with people quietly and ever-so-gently lifting out of their seats and bringing their arms up. After one trip around like that, getting slower all the time, the wave snapped into an instant double-time for a few rounds before petering out. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I’ve learned from a couple of sources today that the slo-mo wave is common at UW-Madison games.
7. When the Indians closer came in, the PA guy played “Wild Thing,” a nice reference to the last time the Indians played as the home team in Milwaukee, when the movie Major League was being shot at old County Stadium.