My son, knowing of my fascination with the physics of baseball (and perhaps mistaking it for a love of the game as it’s now played), wanted to surprise me with tickets to the Cubs-Rockies game when I was in Denver last week. That was the day when an afternoon hailstorm broke out windshields all over the city. Rain continued non-stop: it was perfectly clear to anyone with half an eye and a two-digit IQ that no baseball would be played that night.
Yet the official word was that the show would go on. So we duly drove downtown during rush hour in a cold, steady drizzle to crawl our way into a parking deck and trek miserably to the ballpark. Since nobody could take a seat in the unprotected areas (and since Cub fans represent a massive cult in any American city), the bottled-up throng could scarcely be navigated. Moving from A to B was like trying to get a red square on one corner of Rubic’s Cube without shifting the blue one on the far side. (I could never master the Cube.)
With my martyred wife in tow, we tried to find something edible. Really amazing, how a big league ballpark can’t even give a concession to Chipotle or Subway. Disgusted by the options, we exited the stadium to explore nearby sports bars and bistros. Of course, all were overflowing… and the rain continued to pour.
At last we returned to the park and managed to find a dry spot. (My son had paid pretty good money for seats that turned out to be sheltered.) No longer hungry, we just watched the great green field soak up more water under blazing light towers. Half an hour later, the game was officially postponed.
No one can convince me that the string-pullers of this operation ever had any serious intention of giving the green light. No–they saw a chance to draw thousands of people downtown to spend a pointless wait milling about beer, burger, and nacho concessions. I’m sure the local bars also loved the decision.
This is one thing I hate about Big Baseball. It’s big business, in the worst corporate sense. It taps into a clientele so vast that alienating a few hundreds or thousands here and there, now and then, poses no threat to the overall Product. We’re cattle, straining to get through the chutes and to the troughs wherein the Operators have poured an insipid swill for us to slop down. No consideration for the struggles of the little guy fighting weather and traffic, not a thought given to the several dozen fender-benders that likely occurred around game time, a big shrug to the hundreds of cases of sniffles that children and oltimers would suffer the next day… hell, it’s a business. If you don’t like the risks of patronizing it, go fishing.
Message to MLB: I’m not holding anything in my hand (or my wallet) that I’m willing to pass to your side of the table. Go fish.