Rounding Third And Heading For Home

I had the chance to go to the Reds game last night. Sunday night baseball on ESPN and the Reds . . . once again, failed to show up and embarrass themselves. Let me drop some random thoughts and observations from my experience last night.

1) I still hate the Dodgers. Growing up a Reds fan, it was natural. The Dodgers were in the same division as the Reds, so they were rivals. Any good Cincinnati fan is supposed to hate the Dodgers. So usually, this weekend series would've packed 'em out attendance-wise. Unfortunately, there were less than 20,000 people there last night and only about 70,000 for the three game series. Maybe it's because the Reds seem to be out of the pennant race by May, or maybe it's because we've forgotten our heritage. Yeah, pretty pathetic.

2) Great American Ballpark is a beautiful place to watch a game. I guess all the tax dollars used to build a new stadium for the Reds was worth it [although I still get mad at Paul Brown Stadium]. We were sitting in the middle deck area. The concessions area on that level is like a sports bar. It was an enclosed area with tons of tv's and gorgeous furniture. Not quite like the concession stands in old Riverfront Stadium. I must say that it just doesn't feel like baseball without the smell of cigarette smoke. That may sound demented, but that's how I remember it. It almost made me want to light up a Marlboro on the way home.

3) I'm afraid baseball is a dying sport. I hope I'm not right about this one, but let's face it: it's an incredibly boring sport. The next generation of kids can't even pay attention. They were so many things for kids to do down there that it reminds me of Kings Island. When I was a kid we used to go to the ball game to actually watch the game. Novel idea. But I guess as long as they sell beer at the games, it has a chance.

4) THEY NEED TO BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL MR. RED RACE. I cannot stress this enough. For those unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, back at the old stadium, they used to have three baseballs with hats [marked Mr Red numbers 1, 2, and 3] tediously race across the scoreboard. It was awesome to here people shout out the numbers as they went along. They replaced it with this dumb computer animation of Mr Redlegs, Rosie Red and Mr Red freakishly running around the ballpark. Why, of all things, couldn't they bring this piece of nostalgia to the new digs? I don't want all that technology crap. Kelly and I were able to attend the last game at Riverfront and I have pictures of the last true Mr Red race. I thought by now they'd bring it back, but I guess it's gone for good. Sad, truly sad.

Anyway it goes, the Reds are still my team and I had a great time last night. Thanks to Tim Tucker and his parents for hooking me up with a seat.