Friday, May 28, 2010

Angel Stadium

Angel Stadium
2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, Ca 92806

May 15, 2010: As you may have read in our last posting, our flight to Los Angeles was epic in that it compared to a battle scene depicted in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. That being said, we made it to Angel Stadium intact. Erin’s savvy navigation skills found us a free parking spot on a side street. Sure, we had to walk a block or so to the stadium, but parking was FREE! Plus, the neighborhood seemed relatively peaceful and we had The Favorite with us, so we had no need for Mace as anyone messing with us obviously would’ve been Kung Fu-ed.

Prior to investigating the stadium, we took our traditional picture outside the stadium. We tried to set the camera timer up so that Matt could be in the picture as well, but all that accomplished was cutting out the stadium. Therefore, Matt stepped up to the plate and documented on our behalf. That is just one of the many reasons that he is The Favorite.
Erin and Serena filled out bull sh*t surveys about purchasing a Chevy and scored free Angels t-shirts. Not that we like the Angels or anything, but c’mon…it’s a free shirt. Erin and Matt guided us into the ball park through Gate 3, where they pointed out the best place to get a hot dog in the joint (Homeplate Grill) and a small bronze statue of Michelle Carew’s (Rod Carew’s daughter) upper body standing in a pretty patch of red and white flowers. According to the plaque beneath it, “her spirited battle against Leukemia raised the awareness of the National Marrow Donor Program throughout this country. In the process, her legacy has saved countless lives.” The loveliest piece of the plaque its last line. It reads, “When she went to sleep, she woke up the world.”
Having been to two stadium tours (US Cellular Field and Wrigley Field) with us already, Erin and Matt knew the drill before heading to our seats: souvenirs. The team store was located just inside the stadium at the Gate 3 entrance. Serena bought the traditional red Angels hat, while Lisa picked up a small red rally monkey. You may notice a snazzy hat upon Lisa’s head in this picture. No. That is not the hat that Serena bought. Serena has taste. That hat was free giveaway that Erin, Matt, and their former El Apartment roommate, Keith (who’ll you’ll meet in our upcoming post about Petco Park) all received at a game last season. Matt was generous enough to give his to Lisa (which she then accidentally left at the apartment when we flew home) while Erin sported hers for the game.
As ridiculous as this hat looks, you’d be surprised by how many fans complimented her on it. One fan at the team store in particular asked her where she bought it.
Lisa replied, “It’s a limited edition.”
Fan Without Taste: “Really?”
Lisa: “No. I’m just kidding. It was a free giveway.”
Fan Without Taste: “Really? Today?!”
Lisa: “Erm. No. Some other game.”
Fan Without Taste: “Dammit.”
Lisa: “Yeah. Bummer.”
After making fun of this fan’s lunacy, Erin admitted that this heinous hat was very “OC,” which is why it would be so popular. Barftastic.

Outside the team store, the Angels’ World Series trophy from 2002 is showcased behind glass. In the same display sits the American League Championship trophy, tickets from the World Series, those stupid thunder sticks, a rally towel, and several enlarged color photographs.
After making our purchases, we climbed what felt like 2 dozen ramps to get to our seats in the upper deck. Despite being somewhat in shape, we were panting and sweating heavily when we reached our seats in almost the last row of the section.
Our seats were perfect for seeing the entire field. We wouldn’t miss a single play…unless we were too busy eating. Unlike at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium (which we’ll discuss at later dates), the view beyond center field is a bit lame. We could see the parking lot, freeway, and the Honda Center where the Anaheim Ducks play. Really? The Honda Center? Professional sports are getting too corporate these days. We suppose this lackluster view is what contributed to the decision to build what looks like a mini golf course in centerfield. What’s with all that green? Furthermore, if you’re going to commit to a fake mountain range, why not really go all out?
The Angels scoreboard in left field isn’t much to write home about either. It’s definitely up to date in terms of modern technology, unlike what Shea and the old Yankees Stadiums had, but it’s small and the television screen isn’t really conducive to getting information from it unless you’re sitting closer to it. Thankfully, there is another, bigger scoreboard in right field where you can at least view the lineup and instant replays. Like the left field scoreboard, it’s not sexy, but it’s functional.
The game’s pitching matchup was Oakland’s Tyson Ross against Los Angeles’ Ervin Santana. By the time we reached our seats, the A’s had already scored 1 run, which of course angered us because we’re such “passionate Angels fans.”
Shortly after, Eric Patterson hit a solo home run. Strangely, the only fans that reacted to this were the obnoxious Oakland fans a few rows ahead of us. A few Angels fans offered bored boos, but as far as passionate displeasure being shown, the four of us were as good as it got. The only positive thing to come out of the top of the 1st for Angels fans was the discovery that Eric Chavez is no longer rocking the Brazilian chin strip (see facial hair post). Kudos to Eric for investing in a razor. Perhaps he accepted Derek Jeter’s Gillette Challenge?

The score remained 2-0 in favor of the Athletics until the bottom of the 4th inning when the Angels offense responded with a 3-run home run hit by Kendry Morales. A fountain of red fireworks shot into the sky from behind centerfield as Morales trotted around the bases. Sadly, being in awe of the fireworks display led to Serena nearly forgetting to photograph the incident, which is why all her camera got was this puff of smoke:
At least she managed to get a picture of the word, “Home Run” (said in a sarcastic tone of voice):
The home run signaled an end to Ross’ day and the A’s brought in Jerry Blevins from the bull pen.

At the top of the 5th, our tummies started talking (nevermind the fact that we had eaten an enormous lunch at Legends Sports Bar just a few short hours ago). From what we can decipher, our stomachs were saying, “H is for Hot dog. It’s good enough for me. Hot dog, hot dog, hot dog starts with H.” Since we’re not cruel individuals, we felt obligated to listen to their plea. Erin and Matt weren’t hungry (obviously full from their earlier meals because they eat like human beings, not velociraptors), so we left them in our seats and descended all of those ramps to reach the Homeplate Grill that Erin had directed our attention when we first entered the ball park. To Erin’s knowledge, it’s the only stand in the stadium that serves the hot dogs grilled (which is a must). Lisa ordered the standard issued Angel Dog for $4.50. She topped it with onions, peppers, mustard, and relish. Serena ordered the All Star Dog for $7.50, which appeared to be almost twice the length of the standard Angel Dog, and covered it with jalapeƱo peppers, mustard, peppers, and onions. This purchase prompted the comment from the friendly, but somewhat perverted cashier, “If you can eat that, I’ll marry you. I’m a good catch. I have a job, I’m funny, and I don’t live with my parents.” Um, if she finishes the hot dog? Clearly the two of you haven’t met. Of course, she’s finishing the damn hot dog. The hot dogs were awesome! If it wasn’t $7.50, Serena would’ve bought another one. Plus, she didn’t want to seem too beastly considering she had eaten her large lunch and all of Matt’s fries at Legends.
By the time we finished eating and climbing the many ramps and stairs back to our seats, it was already the bottom of the 6th and the score was 8-3 in favor of the Angels. What the hell happened?!

In the bottom of the 7th, the Angels continued to pound A’s pitching. Torii Hunter hit a scathing RBI double off of Chad Gaudin, making the score 9-3, followed by a 2-run home run by Juan Morales. Learning from her past mistake, Serena had the camera ready. Unfortunately, this time, in her hurry to turn the camera on, she accidentally switched her camera to video instead of photo and she ended up taking this gem:

video

She quickly realized the error, but by the time she switched the camera back to its proper mode, the fireworks display was over. The massacre, on the other hand, was far from over. Athletics’ coaching staff left Gaudin on the mound to be eaten by the sharks and the Angels definitely smelled blood in the water. With Hideki Matsui in scoring position, a fly ball hit by Brandon Wood to left should have given Gaudin an out, but Jack Cust dropped the ball, turning a sure out into a RBI. At this point, the four of us were begging Oakland to call the bull pen. Enough’s enough! The poor guy was drowning out there and there wasn’t single man in the Oakland bull pen moving. Not one inch. We didn’t even see a nose being picked, a jock strap being adjusted, a yawn, a spit. Nothing. Just Gaudin on the mound, flailing for a life vest.

Looking around the stands, we noticed that the previously full stadium had quickly emptied. This mind boggled us. Not only did the fans here not really cheer or support their team (even when they’re winning), but they don’t seem to stick out entire ball games. Your team is winning! Why wouldn’t you stay? Granted, the game was a mockery, but it was a Saturday night! Where are you going that you needed to leave the game early? Plus, it was only the 7th inning! Weirder things have happened. It’s not entirely unfeasible that the A’s could’ve made a comeback.

Of course, as we know, the A’s did not comeback. To celebrate the Angels’ victory, the fireworks went off again. Finally, Serena was prepared:
Before leaving, Matt snapped a photo of us ladies with the field in the background:
At El Apartment, we unpacked our furry friends, who we’re sorry to report, spent the entire day in Lisa’s carry-on bag and in the trunk of Matt’s car, and introduced them to their new friend. Mr. Met didn’t like him and refused to be in the picture. Perhaps the long flight and the neglect he felt by being left in the car made him a bit cranky.
Ottawan best described that game when they cheerfully sang, “Hands up! Angels fans don’t put their hands up! They sit with their hands down and do no cheering for their team, do no cheering! For their loooooooove, for the Angels’ looooooooooove. Angels fans *clap, clap* where is your smile? *clap, clap* Your team is winning *clap, clap* by a mile. *clap, clap* What can they do to make you cheer *clap, clap* besides that stupid rally monkey? *clap, clap*”

BallHype: hype it up!

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