Wednesday, August 01, 2007

As always, fun is good at the crappiest ballpark in America..... if not the world

The newcomer made a splash in New Haven...

Make no mistake: Yale Field really is the epitome of a crappy, crappy ballpark. I really truly did hear crickets chirping on Monday night. The place is in disrepair and there’s garbage everywhere. The concessions are awful, the ticket prices are ridiculous, the playing field is choppy… nobody likes Yale Field. And it shows – there were no more than 300 people at each of the games on Monday and Tuesday.

Yes, all three of these pictures were taken DURING the game.

But with that said, for the second year in a row, I had a freaking BLAST at Yale Field. It probably helps that the Spirit are 5-1 in my trips to Yale, and pulled off a very exciting win on Monday night. I also greatly enjoy being able to yell GO SPIRIT and having it echo back to me about 2 seconds later because the place is so empty. I enjoy the strange, quiet atmosphere at the park.

“For all its faults, New Haven…........ sucks” –Grant

And I think what is most enjoyable is the sense of humor with which the Cutters employees handle their franchise’s hopeless situation. The food vendors walk through totally empty sections yelling, unenthusiastically, ‘peanuts,’ ‘soda,’ or whatever – and sometimes they walk right up to people and ask them personally if they want something. The “fun team” goes out and recruits people to participate in on-field games. When NH’s mascot came over to us on the first base side and started ragging on us for supporting the opponent, Grant said “Hey, it’s not a crime to support a successful team,” and the mascot shrugged his shoulders and nodded his head.

"The World's Most Famous Mascot"... or not

A member of the world-famous Cutters Fun Team during "30 SECONDS OF MAYHEM"

Everyone loves Sumo Wrestling, so needless to say it happens like once a year at Fraser

If I were to make a list of things the Cutters do wrong as an organization, it would take up this entire post, so instead I want to focus on a few things they do right, which the Spirit could certainly pick up on:

  1. -Their program is much meatier and better than ours – fewer fluff features, more information about the makeup of the ballclub and information about the league. The Spirit’s 2003 program was pretty good at that, but the programs have gotten worse each year.
  2. -Out-of-town updates: I’ve been harping on this for a while now, but it really does make a difference. Every game, during the 8th inning, they run through the 4 other Can-Am games, along with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets. It really isn’t that hard to do.
  3. -Their ‘fun team,’ which I guess is their equivalent of Julie a few years ago, and random interns now, is very enthusiastic. They are very nice people and seem to really like their job. They also all sit together on one side of the park and cheer for the Cutters throughout the game. It was a nice touch.
  4. -They do a good job of constantly promoting future games and promotions while at the park, but unfortunately there aren’t many people there to hear the advertisements.
  5. -Tripper is actually a cool mascot, and doesn’t look like a dead fish, which is what usually comes to mind when I think of Slugger.

What a cool scoreboard...not

Now THAT is a tough job... seriously

The games themselves were fun as well. Monday’s game was outstanding – Welch made a great first impression with a game-winning squeeze bunt in the top of the 9th, and Dennis Robinson worked around ten hits to earn the victory. The Spirit followed up with another win on Tuesday.

Two victorious days to open the trip...

Today’s loss was a rough one to take, but that’s baseball.

The Spirit fell down 8-2 after Joey Siak absolutely lost it late in his outing and started getting shelled. They made a great rally from there, however, culminating in a 5-run eighth which featured Luis Lopez’s 3 run home run to tie the game. Luis had 2 homers on the day.

Now that's a wild game...

Unfortunately, Donny Langdon served the lead right back up in the bottom of the 8th and the Spirit lost 9-8. It was encouraging to see the offense do so well, however. You can’t win ‘em all. But I liked the resolve showed by the team.

All together now.. dun-da-dun-dun, dun-da-dun-dun, ooooo-weee-oooo-wee-ooo-wee-ooo

Tomorrow’s game is now a big one – 3 out of 4 against the resurgent Cutters would be very, very nice. A split would be pretty disappointing after taking the first two.

Either way, I’ll be sad not to be there. I sure hope both teams still exist next year – unfortunately, it’s looking rough on both fronts. But if the Spirit do take on the Cutters at Yale Field in 2008, I’ll definitely be there.

Au revoir, New Haven....

This video has magical powers - the Red Sox took the lead as I put it on. Woo Roche!

Update: I just want to sincerely thank Spike for informing us that the batters can't hear us when we shout at them. I was totally unaware of this fact, and I assumed all along that their first thought was the people in the crowd and not the ball traveling at them at about 90 MPH. We are so fortunate to have been enligtened by the Great One on that issue. From now on, I will be sure to use the only baseball cheer that is 100% proven to be effective- namely, yelling "Rocketfire." Thank you again. -JG


DaveCo said...

Joe.....This post was magnificient.

After reading the opening paragraph I litterally spitting out my soda laughing. I'm so glad I decided to stop drinkign soda after that--for I was laughing more at this post then when someone says steriods,don imus,or sussex to Jonathan.

Glad to hear you had a good time down there.....and I'm even glader (<--even a word?) to hear that even though they have the worst attendance in the league,some of their employees have a good time and their organization knows how to do some good things (SEE: Programs/Sumo).

wooden said...

Joe - If you're ever in Northern Virginia, I can take you to the actual crappiest ballpark in America.

I love/hate Yale Field, too. I always made a point of going to every weekend Spirit-NHCC "clash" since my brother lives in Southington.

And nice takedown of Spike. Koo Koo Ka Choo. (Anon - That's a reference to a Beatles song, since you've proven to need a hint and/or a clue).

Grant Salzano said...

i cant believe you remember my new haven quote hahaha

Anonymous said...

I'll bet ya smell like a Walrus too...