On Saturday, I was sitting around my place in Albuquerque, suffering from severe boredom (I have no friends, which at least means I now have something in common with most bloggers) when I decided that I might try to hit up an Isotopes game that night. I told D. Wright Lover (aka River Bandits Scooch) about my plans thinking nothing more of it. She (yes, she, I know like seven girls and two or three of them still talk to me on occasion) called back a couple hours later telling me to go to Will Call to pick up my free ticket. Free ticket? Hell yeah.
Since I live about 1/2 mile from the stadium, I pop in my iPod so I can jam out on my walk up there. I get up to the Will Call window, a tad nervous as I may just be getting Punk'd, no signs of Ashton, and the lady at the window gives me my ticket. I check my ticket to prepare myself in case I am sitting with the scumbags, and it appears I am safe, Row A, front row, just left of right behind the plate. I can handle that.
So I get in the stadium and I begin to take a lap around the park. I take a lap for two reasons, first off I like to check out the ballpark and everything it has to offer, but second, and more importantly, I like to see what food I am going to eat at the game.
The ballpark doesn't impress me too much. Since I'm a low-life, I wasn't able to check out the suites, but they did have two levels of those and they seemed fairly full that night. They also had a Kids Zone that had one of those giant drop mechanisms, where they raise you up 100 feet, and then you drop before coming to a halt right before your gory death. Unfortunately, there's was only like 15 feet, so they just kind of made it jerk up and down. So if you've ever wanted to be on a really shitty elevator, the Isotopes have just the ride for you. The most interesting thing about the ballpark is that it has a hill like the one Houston has in center field. I don't like the idea of a hill as it's just kind of stupid and an injury hazard more than anything else, but they have one, so good for them.
As for the food options, there were some intriguing options. I first saw a stand for Dion's, which is a pizza and sub place in Albuquerque. Currently, they're building one a block from my house, so I figured I could wait off on trying that cuisine. Next I saw an Asian Noodles stand, but I don't quite trust Asian Noodles in Albuquerque. I'm not big on Asian food to begin with, and it just seems wrong to eat that kind of thing at the ballpark. They also had something called an Indian Taco, I don't know what that is, but it has a good chance of being purchased next time I go to a game. Finally, I went to their main food stand, and the writing on the menu was so small that I couldn't see it from the concourse, but I go up to the counter and I see a Philly Cheesesteak with fries for $8.50. I love the Philly more than just about anything else in this world, so I got one of those and a Coors Light to wash it down with.
As I walked past rows and rows of losers to my front row seat, I got ready to take care of business on this Cheesesteak. I first ate a fry and was pleasantly surprised as it had pretty good flavor. Then I dug into the Cheesesteak, not great, but not terrible. As I took more bites, it slowly went from not bad, to bad, to why am I still eating this, to come on, only a few bites left, to thank God that's over. Needless to say, it was not a great eating experience.
As they went through the starting lineups for each team, it became abundantly clear that Triple-A was a haven for failed prospects. Those players were highlighted by former Cubs top prospect, Brian Dopirak and former Royals first rounder Chris Lubanski for the Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays affiliate), while the Isotopes had former Oriole Jay Gibbons and former Twins Prospect (and River Bandit) Michael Restovich on the team. These guys are still celebrities in some people's eyes, as I did hear some teenager complaining about his Dad taking a picture, because he needed to get Restovich's autograph. I hope that kid isn't counting on that being his retirement fund (On a completely random note, I found an old Randy Johnson rookie card so I decided to look up how much it was worth, $2.50. Looks like I don't have a retirement fund either).
Highlights of the game included:
Mascot Entrance - Not only did the mascot bust a move, but some fat guy decided to break it down. Call me old fashioned, but I just never get tired of seeing fat people make asses of themselves.
On-Field Emcee - Just atrocious at his job. No energy, lots of awkward silences. I know for a fact that I could improve the in-game experience at that place. This isn't me being cocky, I'm just really good at stuff.
A High Scoring Game - It ended 11-10. I think it was 11-9 when I left, because I really didn't feel like sticking around for fireworks, and the later I stay, the greater chance I had of getting raped on the way home, and unlike most, I do not want anyone to FML.
Free ticket, bad food, good beer, and a solid game equals a grade of B for the Isotopes, but they do get a great benefit for the free ticket which they do not deserve full credit for.
P.S. This shirt is awesome.