Took in my first game of the year, along with my 3 year old nephew. Taking him to his first two games last summer was the highlight of my Reds year. There's something about seeing the passion for baseball take hold of someone who's too young to realize his team sucks. During the offseason Star Wars replaced baseball in the preeminent space in his psyche, and I don't think it's giving it up anytime soon.
The cheerleaders were the first thing I saw as I entered the stadium. They were greeting fans and posing for photos. I wasn't impressed with the photo from the Enquirer, but in point of fact they're not bad. Anyways...
My brother-in-law's seats were in the club level and provided access to the 4192 club--the glassed-in area along the first base line. It would be perfect for a two hour rain delay. Otherwise it's pretty useless in my opinion. People were in there during the whole game, sitting at tables and watching the game on TV. It seemed like I was the only one who found that to be ridiculous. Another feature was servers who take your order in your seat and deliver your food. The food was slightly more upscale than the typical ballpark fare (my italian sausage had marinara sauce and green peppers on it) but not really any better. Plus they didn't have many of the ballpark staples. I had to go down to level one to aquire a Super Pretzle.
My heart sank when I saw Der Fuhrer leading off. On a brighter note I can now tell my grandchildren I saw Dave Williams pitch. I kid of course, but he's just not noteworthy in any entertaining way. Slow curve. Uses his left hand. Threw strikes and was effective. I had a feeling the Good Guys would lose--the law of averages was too much against them. Our seats were in the shade and it was kind of cold. The Reds played with Freelless energy. Even the nephew was in kind of a daze, overwhelmed by GABP's neverending sensory assualt.
During most of the action in the fifth and sixth inning I was on the plaza taking the kid to the different activity areas. I have mixed feelings about those, but I guess it's too much to expect 3-8 year olds to pay attention for an entire game. At least most of the things for kids are baseball related.
As for my scouting report on the team I've got a bombshell: the bullpen sucks. I know you don't believe it, but I was there and I saw it. You computer geeks with your noses buried in spreadsheets can't understand. When Womack wasn't making outs he was trimming his Charlie Chaplin moustache or goose-stepping around the infield.
I've complained a lot but there was nowhere I would have rather been on a Sunday afternoon. Attendance was only 22,000. Come on people. Catch the fever. As soon as I figure out how I'll post the promised photo of the cheerleaders. It will either be them licking whipped cream off each other, or doing the chicken dance with Gapper.