Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Rockies – Astros

So I just got back to seeing the Rockies-Astros game. Rather than try to write this up in any cohesive way, you get a bulleted list:

  • Coors Field is really nice. It does remind me a lot of Miller Stadium in Milwaukee, except if you’re sitting right of the plate, you see a giant mountain range on the horizon.
  • The stadium is literally one block from my apartment. I cross one street, cross another, walk a block, cross a street, there’s the north entrance.
  • I had to gimp in on the cane, but for whatever reason, that meant I did not get searched, while I watched a group of schoolchildren getting wanded.
  • Aside from the typical hot dogs and cracker jack, there’s a microbrew attached to a semi-nice restaurant. I went there (because buying a bunch of to-go carryable food and a gallon of Coke in a giant bucket is a lot less fun when you have to carry it all in one hand) and I got a spicy buffalo and cheddar bratwurst. It wasn’t bad.
  • My seats: extend the line from third to home in that direction, and I was 15 rows up from the wall. If you’re sitting down, the dugout is immediately to your right (I mean right across the aisle immediately) and half of your field of vision (to the left) is the net, but everything to the right is a really good view of the field.
  • Walking down all of the steps to my seat was absolute murder. I knew two things: I could not under any circumstances go to the bathroom, and I would most likely be killed when trying to get out if I stayed the entire nine innings.
  • Over half of the attendees were either geriatric or pediatric.
  • I left the house and it was 60, so I wore a jacket. When I got to my seat, it was very hot and sunny, so I dropped the jacket and cursed the fact that I would be getting horribly sunburned. Seven minutes later, a cloud rolled in, it looked moments from a t-storm, and it was 60. Repeat this 297 more times.
  • The game starts. I am amazed at how young NL players look. When I was a kid, the Astros looked like giants. Now they look like scrawny punks you’d see loitering outside of a 7-Eleven.
  • They seem to change the ball out an insane number of times. I read somewhere it’s because of the humidity. They keep the fresh balls in a humidor.
  • One of the first Colorado hits is a massive home run. Based on what John Sheppard has told me, I assume there will be about 28 more home runs this game, due to the altitude.
  • …Well, except there is a freakish windstorm, and there are bursts of 20-25 mph winds going right at home plate. Hank Aaron could hit a full-on slam to the back wall and have it end up behind the umpire.
  • Because of said winds, at least ten pop fly balls go up, behind the batter, over the net, and land within 20 rows of me. In good health, I probably can’t catch a pop fly if the ball’s painted orange, so I’m somewhat scared shitless since I can’t walk or run, I don’t have a glove, and it’s cloudy out. And given my luck, I absolutely know I will get beaned, and some other fuck will take the ball away from me.
  • Of the women from age 20-40 ate the game, 95% of them have the same exact haircut.
  • There’s a group of grumpy old men a few rows in front of me, all of them taking score on paper. At least one of the vendors knows them on a first-name basis.
  • I really want to root for the Rockies, but they’re fairly pathetic. Houston scores four runs in two innings; the Rockies can’t even hit the ball, and it’s their stadium.
  • A group of women in their early twenties sit a few rows behind me, at about the 5th inning, and they will not shut up. Their overly loud conversations were about the most inane things, and they were so stupid I don’t even remember. But when certain Rockies players came to bat, they would SCREAM AND SCREAM their names. Their first names, only. It was not based on most popular players – I think it was largely based on who they wanted to fuck. I would have assumed they worked at a tanning salon or something. But later I deduce from their excessively loud conversation that they are third-year medical students.
  • The game got worse and worse, and I promised myself that if the Astros got ten points ahead, I would leave.
  • Here’s where it gets interesting – Lance Berkman is at bat for the Astros. He swings, and loses his bat which HITS A BEER GUY IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. Beer guy hits the deck, Coors is everywhere, and the crew of white-haired old ladies that check your ticket stubs freak the fuck out. They try to stop the game; cops are all over; paramedics jump out of nowhere; everyone is standing up to see if there’s anything cool to see. (The game does not stop, BTW.) One of the old ladies took the bat, and everyone in the section starts chanting “GIVE HIM THE BAT! GIVE HIM THE BAT!” I mean, if you get clocked in the head with a bat, you might as well get to take it home and put it on the bookshelf as a conversation piece, right? Also, everyone in the section started chanting for Berkman to apologize to the guy, and he didn’t. So everyone booed, and only because of the fact that nobody outside of our section could figure out what the fuck was going on, there was no riot.
  • I decide maybe I should root for the Rockies.
  • It looks like it’s about to pour rain, and I feel a drop or two. I also realize that it will take me 45 minutes to climb the stairs to the main level. See above comment about being trampled.
  • Top of the 8th. 6-4 Astros. There’s no way they’re going to pull out of this one. I get up and leave.
  • From now on, I am not leaving a baseball game, even if it’s 28-1 at the bottom of the ninth and the stadium is on fire.