Thursday, May 17, 2012

Game 2 - Angels Stadium

We rolled into Anaheim Monday afternoon and had a few hours to kill before a 7:00 pm start, so we decided to look for a laundry mat. Even though we have a washer / dryer on here, it made sense to stop and get it all done at once. Laundry mats, sort of like pay phones, are something you don’t really think about until you need one. It seemed like everyone we found was recently closed. But, we lucked out and found a neighborhood laundry shop with parking for the motor home right in front. This worked out perfectly as I went for my run and my mom was able to knock out all the laundry.

We arrived at Angels Stadium a few hours before game time, and were able to get great parking right by the stadium. We all showered up and get ready to check out the ballpark, and of course, Albert Pujols playing (struggling) for his new team. The fan experience started out on the wrong foot as we got stuck on an elevator for 10 minutes with one of the players’ wives. The way she was complaining, you would have thought we were taking gun fire. This certainly kept everything in perspective as we kept in good spirits. Hell, we thought it was a positive because we got dropped off on the field level and could walk right onto the field.

After getting to our seats, we quickly realized that going to a baseball game in St. Louis is pretty special, and I’m not talking aesthetics. Both the fans, and the players, seemed to just go through the emotions. People certainly didn’t follow every pitch, and seemed to be more interested in socializing. Not a bad thing, just different than what we are used to. And boy did they love booing Albert. By the end of it, I felt bad for him. He didn’t look comfortable and didn’t appear to have the same fire he did in St. Louis. I would imagine, if he could do it all over again, he would take the St. Louis deal instead of playing in front of 20k fans who don’t appreciate baseball the same way Cardinals fans do.

The stadium itself was nice and the waterfall feature in center field was pretty cool. It seems like they are really trying to clean up the area around the stadium with new retail destinations, high-end rentals, etc, but I’m not sure it will ever have the feel of ‘destination.’ I suppose winning can change all of that, but they aren’t doing a lot of that right now. After Anaheim, we were looking for a classic baseball park with a rich tradition. We would find it at Dodger Stadium.

Overall, my Dad gave Angels Stadium:

Pros: Albert Pujols, the waterfall in center field, tacos.
Cons: Albert Pujols, disinterested fan base, straight bill hats. 

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