John Jimison - Angels Stadium

Date:  06/23/2005
If not for a brushfire on the side of the road, we might 
have arrived more than five minutes before the game.  
There was plenty of parking, and you just canít miss the 
gigantic A in the parking lot with a halo around it.  Our 
seats werenít as good as Mike Parkerís over the weekend, 
as we were in the last row of the lower boxes in right 
field, facing the center field fence.  There were two 
diamondvisions, and I could see both well, although it was 
a stretch to look left and see home plate in the distance.

They have the rocks and fountain in dead center field, and 
during the national anthem when the ďrockets red glareĒ it 
shot red fireworks.  Then some booms for the bombs 
bursting in air Ė it was the first time I had seen 
fireworks used during the anthem like that, and then no 
one cheered and clapped until after the entire song was 
over.  I liked that, although I noticed at least five men 
in my section that didnít take off their hats.  I had 
never seen that, either.  Right after the anthem they 
started playing ďCalling All Angels,Ē and they flashed 
some names I hadnít thought of in years, like Frank 
Tanana, and played videos of the teamís history.  After 
all that, the players took the field.

Architecturally this park isnít exceptional Ė itís clean, 
and sort of reminded me of the new Comiskey Park in 
Chicago.  But, like Comerica, it has the Angels history 
built into it.  I liked the concrete posts in the walkways 
that were painted very colorfully with pictures of the 
players.

In the first inning, things didnít exactly go to this 
Ranger fanís liking.  The Angels knocked around Chan Ho 
Park for five runs in the first, but it could have been 
much worse.  A perfectly good double play ball went to 
Soriano, who threw it in the dirt to second.  Derosa 
scooped it up, and would have had no chance at all for the 
DPÖexcept that Garret Anderson didnít run the play out to 
first.  At the end of the inning, the mortgage company had 
this big bell that tolled out five rings.  Then three 
after the second, one for each Angel run during that 
inning.

One really unique thing about this park is that itís a 
stat nuts dream.  The right field screen includes the 
batting average of the entire batting teamís lineup.  And 
no sooner does the play take place, when the average is 
updated.  Macier Izturis started the night at .190, and 
for a while it looked like he was going to be leading the 
league by the time the game was over.  Also, if you ever 
see a pitcher or player lose track of balls, strikes or 
outs in this park, you can be sure the guy is a complete 
idiot.  They are posted everywhere, in remarkably big and 
bright numbers that are REALLY easy to read.  

I was really surprised at just how many walking vendors 
were constantly hanging around and blocking the view.  It 
was to the point that it was really distracting.  I guess 
all the employees were doing that, because nobody cared 
that at least five beachballs were being knocked around 
from time to time, and one even got on the field and 
stopped play.  There were even thirty or so paper 
airplanes that were thrown from the upper deck down below Ė
 if there were any ushers up there, they sure werenít 
paying attention.

Finally, in the seventh inning, the ultimate humiliation 
took place.  At the start of the inning as the Rangers 
were batting, some jerks in right field started the wave.  
Before long, Mench doubled to center and nobody noticed 
because the wave was going oretty good by then.  So 
Teixeira laces a hot fly ball to right field, and I stand 
up to see if the ball will drop, as a bunch of people 
around me are also standing.  Silly me, I thought they 
were watching the play.  Thatís right, for the first time 
in my life I did the wave during the game (I have no 
objections to between innings, but draw the line there).

So I see a great game in a fantastic stadium (the Rangers 
came back, but not quite far enough). But I actually did 
the wave.  It might take me a while to get over that one.