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Miller Park is great, but weenies need a nudge ...


At the risk of creating something that sounds like a fourth-grader’s report on what he did over the summer vacation, I herewith offer a few observations from my recent Milwaukee Brewers/Northern Wisconsin Golf Outing. This at least explains why I haven’t blogged in nearly a week, since my computer literacy extends to this office and doesn’t travel with me on actual vacations.

I’ve been to a handful of Brewer games over the years since Miller Park opened, most notably that icky All-Star Game that never reached an acceptable conclusion in 2002, but it wasn’t till this last one that I realized that the unique nature of a roofed facility actually makes it look small. That’s not a criticism, just an observation.

Having walls that go all the way around a stadium cuts off that wonderful expansive view from beyond the outfield wall; either that or as I age things that used to seem massive to me now appear much smaller. I visited my old ship, the U.S.S. Midway four or five years ago at the harbor in San Diego where it’s now a museum, and it seemed small to me now. Maybe it was because it was docked next to one of those cruise ships, which weren’t nearly as large in 1970 as they are today, or in any event weren’t docked next to us 40 years ago.

Back to Milwaukee. The Brewers have cheerleaders, which I didn’t know. SCD’s managing editor Tom Bartsch tells me that they are only there on certain days. Again, not complaining, since I haven’t reached the point yet of bemoaning the inclusion of scantily-clad hot young babes at almost any venue short of funerals and bar mitzvahs, but I wasn’t expecting it.

It’s hardly insightful to point out that modern-day baseball clubs labor frantically to provide countless “entertainment experiences” along with the rudimentary baseball game on the field, but I still find it overwhelming. I contend it's a reflection of the grand corporate belief that in order to attract fans it has to somehow augment its product to the point of silliness. Considering the corner that MLB has painted itself into requiring so many millions of dollars in revenue – much of it from corporate “fans” whose interest and understanding of the game is fairly questionable – it’s understandable that they feel they must gussy up their package, but ....

The formula for a great ball game is still stunningly simple at its core: the game itself, the players, the stadium, and, drum roll, please ... the food. I will probably get in trouble for this, but the food at Miller Park was lackluster at best, and I am being gentle here. Ballpark food doesn’t have to suck; I have had great ballpark fare at Jacobs Field, for example (do they still call it that?).

Sigh. I guess I really am an old geezer. Forty-five years ago when I started going to Mets games at Shea, the weenies were probably just as pathetic, but I was in such a state of elevated consciousness that I didn’t even notice.

Still, I’ll never get to the point of crabbing about going to a baseball game. But the quality of the food would improve dramatically as we headed north into the wilds of the Wisconsin wilderness for five days of golf.