So I decided to make the 200 or so mile round-trip from Long Beach down to San Diego tonight really just to catch Pedro. I planned my trip to Shea in June around his schedule and he was scratched for his hip injury or whatever it was, and I got to see Kris Benson get shelled instead. I could've stayed home and watched this shit on tv tonight, but he's electric and a character and I wanted to experience it live so I got a ticket, filled up the Jetta with some $2.69 87- octane, and went.
It's my own fault really. The team was playing pretty well and had won 3 in a row. Pedro was on against Chan Ho Park. What the hell could go wrong?
Once you pop on the 5, the ride's pretty nice down to San Diego, as the freeway hugs the Pacific coast for a good while. Here's what it looks like at 80 MPH from a 2.0MP piece of garbage Fuji FinePix.
Here's me not paying enough attention to the road.
I got to the park around 6:00PM I guess, and dropped a ridiculous $20 to park in regular public stadium parking.
I'm in now. Here's the first shot I got as I moved toward the field from the
I had good seats, first base side, 12 rows up. Set me back about $47. The Mets were hitting BP, so I made my way that direction for a closer look. I saw Glavine throwing from the bullpen and thought I screwed up and bought tickets for the wrong night, but he was just getting his work in, I guess. Couldn't have been worse if he would've started tonight...
The Petco DJ played some good tunes while the Mets were hitting. I had to keep myself from singing out loud when "Veronica" by Elvis Costello blared. Same for "Pictures of You" by the Cure.
The ballpark is really beautiful. Aside from the quirky dimensions and the
Western Metal Supply Co. Warehouse in leftfield, the park feels clean and modern and doesn't seem to try for that throwback, kitschy retro ballpark feel, which was a plus.
There were a few towers that appeared between large sections of the stands. I don't know what those are, but peeps were lined up at various levels of the towers watching.
The top of the warehouse had Waveland Avenue type seats installed on the roof. The Omni hotel towered over the park on the third base side and folks who booked a high-floor room could watch the game from their window, I imagine. Jose Reyes popped one onto the second level of the warehouse batting right-handed during BP. Was a frickin' laser.
Here's a pic of a young David Wright fan with great seats and a really kick ass view of the third base area. Hope he wasn't peeing or getting cotton candy with say, one out in the bottom of the 7th.
I wanted to get a beer at this point, and spent my last $8 on a $7.75 12-ounce Michelob Freaking Ultra. Still trying to determine if that was more demeaning than the $20 parking thing.
I took my $8 beer and starting walking a lap around the concourse, from the first base side, behind home plate and towards the warehouse in left. The Padres bullpen is behind the left-center field wall, but the Mets is in foul territory along the right field line. Wonder why they did that...
During the game, a Met had to "stand guard" for foul balls any time someone warmed up. Danny Graves looked like he was kicking the fun vibe to one of the Padres PadSquad ballgirls. She looked like she was receptive of the fun vibe and may have been reciprocating.
Back to the tour...
Behind the centerfield batters' eye was a whiffle ball park. It was pretty cool. There was a slew of kids who played and the game was run by Padres staffers. Kinda neat.
On each side of the batters' eye was the general admission picnic areas. They looked like a great view and probably a pretty cheap seat.
Just cool. Or lame. I forget which.
It was getting closer to first pitch so I headed back to my seat. There's Pedro.
"Hey, Pedro, please don't suck ass tonight. Please?"
Thought it was a good sign that Pedro wiggled his way out of trouble in the first. I couldn't believe when Chan Ho finally checked out and my score card said he had 8 K's.
By the way, the scoreboards at Petco were really enormous and good. There's a scoreboard on the wall in left-center that keeps track of pitch counts and pitch speed. The gigantoid main scoreboard in left shows the lineup, linescore, count, current batter season stats, and even an "interesting fact" about the current hitter like:
Joe Randa: The 1st player to hit an opening day walk-off homer with his new team since Gary Carter, 85 Mets. Bah.
David Wright: Has not hit lower than .284 in any month his year.
What else... They do fireworks after a homerun (thanks, Khalil Greene, you cocksucker, for helping me discover that one). They have clowns. Lots of clowns at the park. I don't like clowns at all. They were doing regular clown stuff before the game, in the stands and on the field, and then during the game, they were the ones who sling-shot t-shirts into the upper deck. I hate that, too, but hate the clowns worse. When Mark Loretta hits, they play "Lowrider" because I guess it sounds like "Loretta". Yeah. And that's about it for Petco.
Shot from the concourse facing the water:
There really isn't much to talk about in the game itself except for the fucking catch David Wright made in the 7th. That was so stupidly ridiculous, it was just wrong. Thanks for that, David. It was worth the $47 for the ticket, the $30 bucks for gas, the $20 for parking, the $5 for the program, the $8 for the beer, and the 9 hours of my life I would have felt like were wasted had you dropped that ball when you hit the ground and nothing at all remarkable otherwise had happened. I sound bitter, but I mean it. Cool shit.
Good night from Petco Park. I have to pick up cat food before I get home...