Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Relaxing Day at the Ballpark

Diana and I went to the A's doubleheader a couple weeks ago. Diana's commented afterwards "it was so relaxing". It's true. When you arrive at a doubleheader, you know you're going to be there a while. When you arrive at a regular game, you have no idea what's in store for you. A quick pitcher's duel could be over in 2 hours. It's rare, but it happens. I've been there. You barely feel like you've sat down and the game is over. (Of course, the shortest nine-inning games in history clock-in at under an hour, but the world hasn't seen one of those in almost a century. Game Length Records)

Whereas a high-scoring affair could last over 4 hours. The longest nine-inning game was (surprise, surprise) a Yankees/Red Sox game in 2006 at 4 hours and 45 minutes.

This uncertainty of game-length creates a surprising amount of stress. If it's a night game, you wonder if you'll be stuck riding the train home with all the late-night freaks. If it's a day game, you wonder if you'll make your dinner reservation or get home in time to let the dog out before she consumes your couch. At most stadiums, beer sales cut-off after a certain inning, but who knows when that will be? You have to hurry and get all your drinking in early. What if they run-out of garlic fries? Better get in all your ballpark eating as soon as you get there, and your souvenir shopping, and there's a game to watch.

But at a doubleheader, that's all gone. You know you're going to be there all day, so you can relax and stroll around the stadium. They're not going to cut-off beer sales until sometime in the 2nd game. Take your time and enjoy your drink. One game ends in a loss, and twenty minutes later a new one starts that you might win. You didn't get to see your favorite player hit a home run in the first game? You don't have to wait until your next trip to the ballpark to see him try again. And who can beat two games for the price of one?

If we went back to the old days, where weekend doubleheaders were common, I'd go to a lot more baseball games.

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