This will be short and sweet, since I'm tired from a day of air travel and sleep deprivation.
Seats were great (thanks Thremp):
Game was fun. I lost my bet, but it was close for nine innings even though the Phillies dominated the stat sheet.
The Rays fans really brought the noise and enthusiasm for the most part. Of course there were some lulls, especially after the double plays, but the overall energy level in the stadium was quite an experience.
As for the Trop itself, it's an absolute eyesore from the outside, but the concourse is actually fairly nice, reminiscent of other newer ballparks I've visited. The catwalks are obviously completely unnecessary, and they serve to detract somewhat from the viewing experience. However, it was fun to root for every pop fly to hit or miss a catwalk.
Other quick hits:
- I had a Cuban sandwich for dinner, judging it to be the most regional item on the menu. It was pretty poorly done, possibly because they jammed it onto a sandwich press with four others to save time, or possibly because the meat was far too dry.
- After witnessing the Ray Team girls in person, I'm beginning to think every MLB team could use cheerleaders.
- An enormous number of fans came to the park wearing customized Rays jerseys with their own names on the back. You see these people at games every now and then, but usually only a few per night. I'd estimate that the Trop had at least a dozen per section.
I had thought this was because the Rays are a historically bad franchise that lacked players good enough to market to jersey buyers, but most of the custom duds utilized the new team colors and logo, so the jerseys were purchased this year. Maybe it's a Florida thing.
- The Bo Hart Award* went to a couple of guys who bought one white Rays jersey and one gray Phillies jersey, cut each lengthwise, and sewed together two half-and-half jerseys. Sitting next to each other, they looked like an Oreo cookie. Again, this is something I've seen before, but I've never understood why anyone would make such a statement about himself.
*Remember Bo Hart? He was the Cardinals' scrappy middle infielder before David Eckstein came along. He hit .400 for about three weeks after being called up in 2003, then immediately fell off the face of the earth. Still, to this day, I have never gone to a Cardinals game--even one at Wrigley Field--without seeing at least one fan with a Bo Hart jersey or T-shirt. This led me to christen an award for the worst jersey you see a fan wearing at a game. The mulatto jerseys barely beat out an authentic red Shawn Riggans model.
Edit: Oh, and Thremp after five large beers is obnoxious and likes to wish for players to contract STDs.