Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday Night Lightning

I had such a great time at the ballpark last night. Aside from the fact that the ball was jumping out of the park off Tiger bats, I had a chance to interview (ok, chat informally with) a couple Milwaukee Brewers fans who were road-tripping. Here's how it happened. The heavy rains came in and stopped the game in the bottom of the fourth with two outs, right after Curtis Granderson hit a home run. Now, some of you may whine about rain delays, getting soggy, fighting crowds on the concourse, spending a lot more cash on overpriced concessions, but not me. I decided to do something very bold. Your intrepid blog reporter went up to two strangers sporting Brewers gear, and asked them if they had come from Milwaukee for the game. Actually, Eric and Joe are from Milwaukee (and Madison), but had just come from the Brewers' sweep in Cleveland. What a series they caught at the Jake (I mean, Progressive Field). The Brewers were down five runs twice in game one of that series and came back to win, with Prince Fielder hitting his first (still can't believe it was his first) major league grand slam. Yeah, it was the Cleveland bullpen, but still.

Anyway, I rather sheepishly asked Eric and Joe whether I could ask them a few questions, admitting I was a blogger. They very graciously agreed, and off the conversation went. We talked at length about Miller Park, the Brewers' season so far, their playoff run last year, renting CC Sabathia, hoping to hang on to Prince Fielder, and J.J. Hardy's offensive woes this year (he's a streaky hitter, and hasn't found his streak this year), to name just a few topics. I asked them to compare Miller and Comerica. Since we were experiencing a deluge, the obvious advantage of a retractable roof came up right away. But I ask you, without a rain delay, how would I ever have scored this exclusive interview? Besides, I really believe that baseball should be played outside. Eric also mentioned that the seating at the CoPa seemed a little far off the field (a common complaint of mine--do not sit in the upper deck). That started me on a nostalgic remembrance of Tiger Stadium's seating, which was right on top of the action. Were Eric and Joe nostalgic for County Stadium? Not so much, but both it and Miller share a coveted feature: on site parking lots, which allow for a very cool tailgate vibe. Imagine the smell of really good bratwurst grilling (some tofu dogs for me), and pregame fan solidarity. Nice.

Eric and Joe both agreed that the rental of Sabathia was totally worth it, even knowing they'd likely never be able to sign him. The Brewers made an offer, but well, you know what happened. I mean, he did basically pick the team up and carry them into the playoffs. Must've been a lot of fun. I remember last year, during one of the playoff games, Corey Hart was not playing all that well offensively, and then he made an error. He looked like a nine-year old little leaguer out there about to burst into tears. I honestly felt badly for him at that moment, despite my disdain for all things Brewer. Joe said Hart suffers from some confidence issues (we also discussed Willis' stints on the DL for an anxiety disorder).

They asked me what was up with Ordóñez, so I did my best to blame it all on Scott Boras (who is also Prince Fielder's agent). No, I promise you, I explained it all with utmost impartiality.

Anyway, Eric and Joe provided excellent conversation and terrific insight into our current interleague opponent. Thank you both for indulging me, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the series (if that's possible to do when losing all three games). For the record, I asked them how they'd been treated by Tigers fans, and they assured me the ribbing they'd taken was all in good fun. Good job Tiger faithful--always be gracious hosts.


J Ellet Lambie said...

cool story, always good to hear about cool opposing fans and such.

BigJP said...

what he said ^^. Good article, Jen.