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Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Miserable Night At The Phillies

Tonight the Phillies rolled to a 7-0 lead over the New York Mets after 3 innings, only to see that lead disappear in the next two Mets at-bats against Joe Blanton. Then the Phils regained the lead and went on to a 10-7 win. If only there had been that kind of excitement last night, when I was at the game. Or any excitement at all, really. More on that in a moment. First, this public service announcement:

Dear Snapple: please don't give away free samples of your product outside a subway station near a stadium which doesn't allow glass bottles inside. As for you, people of America, you don't have to take every free sample someone offers you. I didn't take a Snapple before the game because I knew I couldn't take the bottle inside. I didn't take a free Powerade (outside the ballpark) after the game because I was frozen. I didn't take a Sun Drop (again, at the subway) after the game because, besides the cold, I had no idea what the hell it was.

So the game was pretty dreadful -- Cole Hamels gave up 6 runs in the third inning and was removed to a chorus of boos as the Mets went on to a 7-1 win. The volume of the booing was a real surprise, considering it was his first start of the year. And it wasn't like he was really crushed -- the Mets basically had a bunch of singles, with a couple of walks mixed in, and a number of them were softly hit and found a hole. One was a bunt single. Unfortunately, the first and last hits of the inning were by the Mets' pitcher, Chris Young. That's a big no-no.

But what was worse was the cold.
Officially, according to the box score, the temperature at game time was 49, with a 17 mph wind. It felt a lot colder. The wind was gusting throughout the evening. I was in the highest deck, three rows from the top, so there was nothing blocking the wind. It was frigid. And to make things more fun, I was in a row that was bisected by the girders holding up a bank of lights, and I was right next to the girders. Once I made my way through the row of people already sitting in their seats, I knew I wasn't going to be getting up and climbing past everyone to run out for food or something. So there I sat.

Almost all of the other people in the top four rows of the section, and into the next section over, were part of the same group. Many of them were teenagers, and they were wearing yarmulkes. A few wore what looked like Phoenix Suns yarmulkes with Steve Nash's name and number as well as the team logo. I tried to find an image online, and couldn't. Perhaps you'd be interested in one of these instead?

A lot of those kids had a major flaw: they were Mets fans. But the whole group left about 9 pm, well before the game came to a dreary (for me, not for them) conclusion, thus freeing me to eventually get up and go to the concourse and wander around the rest of the night, checking out the ballpark. Thus, while I was pretty much mentally checked out, I was physically still at the game, because a true fan doesn't leave until the game is over.

I found a display I hadn't noticed before (perhaps it's new or perhaps I just missed it) depicting all of the Phillies' "P" logos in their history. They also have a new "Philly Fresh" food stand. From Phillies.com:

Philly Fresh stand, behind Section 139, featuring healthier menu options. Includes the Hall of Fame Salad (mixed greens, red grapes, pistachios, dried cranberries, blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette); Shanghai Chicken Salad (grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, crispy Asian-style noodles, carrots, scallions, low-fat ginger soy dressing); trail mix; whole-grain pretzels; strawberry banana and mango smoothies; low-fat yogurt and berry parfait; hummus dip with pita crisps; carrots and celery with low-fat ranch dressing; Go-Gurt yogurt and sugar-free Tastykakes.

Yes, Tastykakes are now sold at Phillies games. Chocolate Cupcakes, Butterscotch Krimpets and Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, the ones with sugar, are sold at various stands. I'm sure they cost more than they would anywhere else, like every other food and beverage item, so you may want to buy your Tastykakes before going inside.

Finally, there's the new HD video scoreboard above the left field bleachers. It's the largest board in the National League and it's spectacular. As I walked along the concourse I got near the area leading to the left field gate and Ashburn Alley, and saw it up close and was even more amazed. A few times last year the Flyers opened up the CoreStates First Union Wachovia Wells Fargo Center to show road playoff games on their video screens (most notably Game 7 vs. Boston). If they go far in this year's playoffs (ummmm...) and the Phils are on the road, the Flyers should use Citizens Bank Park for these games instead. With that video board a hockey game would look incredible.

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