Sunday, May 27, 2007

Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons (4-9)

The Bats lost with a season-high four errors. Let’s just get that out of the way to begin with. Season-high four errors. Just goes to show you that I am, indeed, anathema to sports teams and competitions in general. Should you ever go to Churchill Downs with me, it’s in financial your best interest to offer to pay for my beers (or mint juleps) so you can get my “hot picks” for each race. While I can’t help you pick the winners, knowing my picks will at least tell you which horses not to bet on. In the privacy of my own home, I rock Jeopardy!, but put me on a Pub Quiz team and I am definitely not smarter than a fifth grader.

After an afternoon hanging in downtown Louisville, I decided to hit my first Bats game. Since I moved here, I’ve been aching to go to a game, but somehow it’s never panned out. Roommate is out of town, but after a little hemming and hawing, I decided that going to a baseball game alone is no more pathetic than going to a movie or a bar alone, and I do both happily.

Bull Durham it ain’t, much to my disappointment. But that and the loss were the only disappointments.

$7 admission at the door for reserved seats (note to self: either reserve online in advance to get a better seat or pay less and sit in the bleachers or on the lawn—the view was as good as it was from my lousy reserved seats). After I got over the shock of seeing so many people eating pizza at a baseball game (Papa John’s is a ubiquitous presence in Louisville as the city is home to the YUM! Brands), I was happy to see the usual ballpark fare offered at Slugger Field, along with some more unusual food like pork chop sandwiches and Philly cheese steak nachos at reasonable prices. I spent $3.50 on an Italian sausage with peppers and onions, and while it was fantastic, my guts are a bit gooey today. You have to look a bit harder for premium beers, but they do exist, including the fairly potent RedHook ESB on tap. Premium beers are smaller than the piss beers, but they’re the same price-- $4.50, pretty much what you’d spend in most of the Ville’s bars.

Slugger Field is small and very family-friendly. There’s a carousel and a playground and a ton of give-aways and promotions for kids. The preponderance of children there last night may have been because of the Memorial Day weekend or because they were giving away free gloves to the first 1,000 wee ones, or maybe it’s always a kid-fest. (Note to parents: if you’re going to let your kids come and go ALL GAME LONG maybe you should ask the people on the end seats to switch places. More ESB went on my lap from kids bumping my knees than down my throat.)

You really can’t beat it with a stick though. Seven bucks for three hours of sports and entertainment (see: BirdZerk!) in the fresh air. Beautiful sunset over the Ohio River free of charge. I never felt odd being alone, and by the second inning, I was looking at the multiple game mini-packages (unfortunately, I’ll be out of the Ville for a chunk of baseball season and it was impractical).

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