Monday, July 30, 2007

Major Fun From Minor Leagues

Thanks to Nannette, a bunch of us headed to Brooklyn to see the Coney Island Cyclones. If you haven't been, it's really a jewel of a ballpark. The lights have a large neon colored circle surrounding them that's somehow fun and elegant, the stadium holds about 9000 but seems intimate and most of the seats have a view of the ocean past the outfield and the boardwalk. The Cyclones -- a farm team for the Mets -- were playing the Vermont Monsters but of course the game didn't really matter. You just soaked up the night, got a close look at the young arms hanging out in the bullpen, wondered why a national league team would be using the DH (don't they want their pitchers to get some batting in?) and of course drinking beer -- a luxury Yankee fans don't get in the bleachers.

It was, of all things, a pitching duel and went into extra innnings before a truly bizarre finale. A player on the opposing team got hit in the head and fell face down on the ground, writhing in pain and kicking his legs in the air every once in a while. Everything came to a halt and then the fireworks began while the poor kid was still on the field. (Every game ends with fireworks.) They were pretty elaborate cause Brooklyn doesn't need to wait till the Fourth of July to have a little fun. But the wind was blowing in and soon the entire ballpark was wreathed in fog. It looked like a battlefield and the only way we know the ballplayer was carried off by paramedics was the applause that drifted over to us. Finally, the game began again and the Cyclones lost 1-0 in the 10th.

But all was not lost. We ended with a dog at Nathan's Famous, which made it just about perfect. But someone should explain to Nathan's about the innovations in fast food since 1920 or whenever they opened. Each person taking an order went and got each and every item themselves, adding ages and ages to the time it takes to fill each order. (For God's sake, have one person taking orders, another getting the food and another getting drinks.) Still, it was a good dog and the only way to end the day at Coney Island. It may be traitorous to say so, but I find minor league ball is always more fun and more in the spirit of baseball the way I want it to be than the majors or even the Yankees. Remind me to head to the Staten Island Yankees before their season is over.


Jewcie G. said...

lucky me, I'm from Staten Island (I like to call it "The smelly, disgusting craphole") and I've been to a SI Yankee game and it's actually quite nice. It's right on the water and, of course, has all the niceties of a minor league game.

priv8pete said...

How can you make it to Coney Island and not ride the Cyclone?!? You're a disgrace of a New Yorker, American and human being!

Michael in New York said...

I've ridden the Cyclone before, Upstate Boy. Frankly, it hurts. I like rides that threaten pain and death but don't actually deliver. The Cyclone does in fact cause tremendous pain -- no more wooden roller coasters for me. Jewcie G, I like the SI ballpark too. Don't forget to send me your info to fill in on your profile. Or just post it here.