May 4th, 2005

Calvinball

Catching Up

Been busy at work, and not very energetic at home. I did finish painting the office Friday night, although that doesn't mean I've put away the paint and necessary paraphernalia yet. Mostly I've been trying to decide on what to do in there next. More on that in a bit.

Saturday afternoon, it was off to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket with VeeJane to watch the PawSox pound Scranton 13-2. It's still one of the best places around to watch a ballgame. We had great seats, fifth row, right at the end of the backstop screen on the first base side. It did rain on and off during the game, but our seats were under the roof, so we stayed dry, if not particularly warm. The structural members of the roof make for some interesting rebounds on foul balls that hit its underside. One ball that unhindered would've landed well away from us to our right (probably out in the parking lot) caromed around and was caught by a guy two rows back and one seat to the right of us. He made a brilliant bare-handed catch, then casually handed the ball to his daughter as non-chalantly as you please, as if he does it every day. For more on the game itself, you can check out Vee's recap.

This was the second time I've been to McCoy since it underwent major renovations a few years back. I was somewhat disappointed the first time I went, because the main part of the renovation was the building of an addition to the grandstand down the third base line, replacing the old picnic area. They had to build the addition to meet newish AAA requirements for minimum seating capacity. The old picnic area, which was the Best Place Ever to watch a ballgame, was just behind third base, adjacent to the Sox bullpen, and close enough to spit on the players if you had a mind to. They replaced it with a new picnic area out behind right-center field, which is okay, but it's quite bit farther from the action. They could have just as easily built the addition on the first base side, but I do understand why they didn't. As originally built, the sun used to set directly behind the old picnic area, i.e., directly in the eyes of not only the spectators sitting on the first base side, but occasionally the first baseman as well. The new addition is well situated to keep the first baseman from losing throws from the other infielders in the sun.

It seems though, that I wasn't the only one disappointed by the loss of the old picnic area, because they've since created a new area on the first base side, the mirror image of the old one. It's actually an even better spot, what with being right behind first and all, so now I'm pleasantly pleased about the renovation.

There is one other bit of clueless stadium design at McCoy that I noticed for the first time Saturday. The refreshment stands on the concourse have their own roofs, so I guess the architects decided they didn't need to be under the main roof. In fact they start about six inches out from where the roof overhang ends. The problem with this is that the roof slants outwards, directing any rainfall towards the outside of the stadium, where it drips down into that six inch gap, creating a curtain of dripping water directly in front of the refreshment stand. On rainy days it's like the refreshment stand is behind a waterfall.

As I said, it's a great place to watch a game, and the most expensive ticket is only $9. Can't beat that.

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