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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Boof in Chicago

Oh I am young but I have a past
Traveled far to find the start

you’re so damn scared and I've been burnt

But life's too short


Last Friday

Phone rings….

Roommate: Hey you, I need a favor.

Boof: uh okay
RM: I need you to get a crap load of ice for me because I’m having this huge party that’s going to last all weekend
Boof: cool. Alright I’ll get some ice.

Hangs up…


I gotta get out of here was my first thought. Nothing against my roommate or anything but I just was not in a party mood and with it being hotter than hell this weekend I thought about my options. Plus, partying with a bunch of old people for an entire weekend wasn't up my ally.

At this point the Twins were in their 2nd game against the White Sox and beating the ever living piss out of them. Morneau hit his 2nd home run of the night and the whole atmosphere had fun written all over it.


Man, that would be awesome to be there right now.

Hehe I could probably go to Sundays game but I probably couldn’t or could I?

What if I went to Chicago?


I thought about it and I didn’t have any solid plans for the weekend and I haven’t seen US Cellular field before… hmmm


Oh but the cost of a room will kill me though
I thought it would anyway.

I went on Priceline and found a room for $45 in a 2 star place.
The trip was on. It was completely whimsical and off the cuff but it’s the kind of trip I’ve always wanted to do. Just get up and go pretty much. This time it was in Chicago to see the Twins against the White Sox.
So I went.

The trip to Chicago wasn't too bad. Not much for traffic.

I can't seem to have a trip without taking one of these cool rear view pictures.
When I finally arrived at my place I was a bit worried because the area surrounding it looked like it was what was left of the dot com boom. There were all these newish looking companies that were abandoned. This area was desolate and a bit hard on its' luck. It was right next to the airport and I was worried I'd have jets taking off constantly overhead especially since my room was only $45.
As it turns out it was a pretty nice place. It was probably the cheapest place I had ever been but also pretty nice and convenient. Take this kitchen for example. I've never had a room with all this stuff in it before.
Silverware!
Gee, what a great place to hang clothes!
pots and pans with a strainer! Hell, I could've made some spaghetti!
They even had ice in the ice trays! I was very impressed by that.
Then I had to check behind the refrigerator because otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Hey, I'm curious okay. As you can see, no signs of dust or lint anywhere! Dang this place is nice
Then I had to decide on where to eat. Now of course I'm going to have pizza because any trip to Chicago without pizza is pretty much a waste as far as I'm concerned. So I had to decide between Geno's East, Edwardos, Giordanos, Lou Malnati's, and Mr. Beef and Pizza.

Mr. Beef and Pizza was very close to being my choice but I had to go with Giordanos.
When it comes to pizza I don't like to experiment too much. Basically if I know something is good, I have it. I don't usually want to screw around when it comes to Chicago style pizza. Sorry Mr. Beef and Pizza but I had to go with the sure thing.
The people in the restaurant thought I was nuts for taking a picture of pizza. I'm not nuts!
I couldn't eat the whole thing...obvously so I took my precious cargo home with me. This cooler is from my previous trip to Chicago when, again, I had to take pizza home with me.
The next day I arrived to US Cellular field for whole reason I went to Chicago in the first place. The ballpark is surrounded by a huge ass parking lot so there's never any trouble finding a spot. After growing up with the Metrodome, basically any patch of grass outside looks better so whenever I approach a ballpark I've never been to, the appeal is always high for me.
I know this place as the "New Comiskey Park". It opened in 1991 and it's always been considered the worst new ballpark out there with a very steep upper deck, lack of a atmosphere outside the ballpark, and no real features. So basically I came into the game thinking US Cellular was nothing more than a bronze piece of poop.
Home plate of the original Comiskey Park. People would stand this home plate and treat it like a grave. People would stand quietly and eventually step in the batter's box. If this is correct, Babe Ruth and virtually most American League player from 1910-1990 stood here.
I find that really cool.
I purchased the cheapest ticket in the building which was a $25 upper deck researved which wasn't too bad but they wouldn't let me roam around the lower decks. I felt like a 3rd class traveler. Anyway the upper deck wasn't terribly bad. The concourse walls were decorated with cool White Sox history and vintage pictures of...everything.
The hot dogs weren't terribly bad either. They had a 2-for-1 deal on dogs ($3) so I had to cash in. As I was walking up to my seat I remembered that Chicago is known for their distaste for people putting ketchup on hot dogs and add to the fact that I was wearing a Twins cap and I'm surprised no one said anything. Actually one guy gave me a dirty look (or the 'stink eye' as sugar tits would say) but I ate my dogs in like 30 seconds anyway.
Seriously, some people feel very passionate about ketchup on hot dogs. I mean some will basically berate you for doing something so "stupid".



I remember my first game at an outdoor ballpark at Coors Field. It was hotter than hell and it just doesn't come into mind to worry about sunscreen and getting enough water until you're sitting there thinking, "damn, it's kinda hot". Luckily this covering covered the sun for most of the upper deck seats so I got to sit in the shade for all of the game. That alone made these cheap tickets pretty nice.
Also the issue with how people have to climb a mountain if they sit in the upper deck is a bit hyperbole. I mean it may be a little steep but it's nothing really to bitch about. I liked my seat.
I had to laugh at the FUNdamentals section here. I don't think the Sox had much for fundamentals on Friday when they committed 5 errors in the first game.



This is the smoking area right next to the FUNdamentals area. As you can see the Chicago skyline looks very nice!
And these have to be the ugliest mother effing jerseys in the history of mankind. I never knew the White Sox had the ugly baby blue and red jerseys but holy Christ these are the worst of the baby blues (and they're all bad) I have ever seen.
I tried to covertly take a picture of this guy's jersey by fumbling around and tripping over my own feet. I think everyone in the concourse was looking at me except Mr. Grossman here. I hope this guy found this jersey at the Goodwill dumpster.
It was very nice to sit in the shade with the warm breeze. Like I said this was considered the worst new ballpark because it was built before the retro era. I took a good hard look at everything and I must dissagree. I think US Cellular is a nice place to see a baseball game.
I mean US Cellular doesn't have anything terribly exciting about it but it doesn't have anything gimmicky about it either. It's a very suitable place to watch baseball.

I know some renovations have been done in recent years and I have no idea what the place looked like before that but now I think it's nice. People have said that US Cellular is amongst the worst third of ballparks but I believe that to be very harsh. In my opinion I would take US Cellular in a heartbeat over Miller Park (shocking I know) and honestly I think US Cellular has some similarities to Coors Field. Don't get me wrong, I think Coors is clearly better but I wouldn't discount US Cellular as terrible. I would classify it as a very decent ballpark and not the bronze plated turd I was expecting.
Perhaps it's the comparison to Wrigley Field that people make that gives it the bad rap. Comparing anything to Wrigley isn't exactly fair. Hell, comparing the Parthenon to Wrigley isn't fair. But oh well.

Game ended with the Twins losing 6-2 with Silva getting shelled.

In terms of ballparks that I've seen. I believe I have a pretty good scale by seeing one of the best ballparks (Wrigley) and worst (Metrodome). So with 10 being Wrigley and 1 being Metrodome...

10-Wrigley Field
8- Kauffman stadium
7- Coors Field
6- US Cellular Field
4.5 Miller Park
1-Metrodome

2 comments:

The Steph said...

Grrrrr.

Aliecat said...

Ketchup is the work of the Devil...