May 22, 2007

Coors Field Report

Saw the Royals cream the Rockies in extra innings in Denver on Sunday. What did I learn, seeing the Royals in person for the first time this year?

Basically, that this is the same Royals we've always had. They blew multiple saves in the game, wasted a decent start, and Emil Brown kicked a ball in the outfield. But something was different. They didn't give up. They didn't have a meltdown. No, that honor went to Colorado. I don't know that KC's comeback (you know, the third one they had to make, where they broke open the game off a guy with a 6-something ERA and even pitcher Joel Peralta smashed a double) says all that much about the Royals. I think it says a lot more about the Rockies. And probably something about the NL. 
A team like the Royals could compete for division titles over in the senior circuit. But as much bad baseball as KC fans are forced to watch already, I'd hate to have to watch them play the Nationals or the Cardinals on a regular basis. Seriously, six games with St. Louis might be a chore this year considering Tony LaRussa is currently drunk-dialing Alan and Andy Benes, begging them to come out of retirement to fill the holes in his pitching staff. Hell, the Cards could use Elaine Benes at this point.

But back to the Rockies game. I loved the park. Sure, they ripped off our fountains, but the rocks and evergreens and waterfalls are pretty cool. Very nice downtown location. Easy to get in and out (I'll explain why in a little bit). Overall, a great place to watch baseball.

But the fans. Wow.

Most apathetic group of people I've ever seen in my life.

I'll admit, the weather conditions weren't the most ideal, but when it started to sprinkle, fans immediately headed for the exits. And even though it never got worse than a drizzle, I'd say by the seventh or eighth inning, less than 10% of the crowd remained. We're talking over 30,000 fans leaving in a span of an hour or so. I've never seen the term "fair weather fans" applied more correctly than on Sunday. 
And something even stranger happened. Throngs of people got up and left right after the Rockies tied it in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Just everyone getting up and leaving, like they thought the game had ended in a tie. Really, really bizarre to see the few fans who stayed to the ninth just get up and leave before free baseball. I guess they had to get home to... uh... what the hell else is there to do at 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon? Watch Ebert and Roeper? 
Of the 3,000 or so left for the remainder of the game, over half were Royals fans. During the Royals five-run barrage in the 12th, "Let's Go Royals!" chants filled the empty stadium. The only sounds Rockies fans made were boos, usually at their own pitcher for throwing to first. They also spent more time staring at the JumboTron than the field, though I don't think one replay was ever shown. It was mostly still photos of Paul Phillips looking fat and Alex Gordon looking stoned.

You know how some blogs have a Boyfriend of the Day? We don't need one at Royales with Cheese because that post about Daniel Cortes gets linked to on every gay message board on the net. Sorry Daniel, you're somebody's Boyfriend of the Day everyday. But I think we need to do a regular Pothead of the Day feature. Mostly because it's already done with the above photo. So today's PotD.... Alex Gordon.

But back to the point of the post, you can see why it was so easy to get out of the game. After the final out, we went to the parking lot that had been full an hour before the game started to find we were one of about five cars left. High school debate tournaments are harder to get out of than a Rockies game.

Of the fans left, as I said, most were Royals fans or confused Rockies fans. But there was one guy. This old bastard sitting in the next section over, listening to a walkman, rocking back and forth, bebopping along to his music, and keeping score. He muttered curses under his mustache continuously and yelled at the home plate ump (a mere 420 feet away from him) that balls thrown in the dirt were strikes. This man was hardcore. This man was full of rage. He seemed to be the mascot for the drunk kids around him, who laughed uproariously at everything he said.

So it shouldn't surprise you that when I got up to cheer for a Mark Teahen triple, the old bastard groused, "Eh, go back to Kansas City!"

I was confused.

"What?" I yelled back at him.

"Go back to Kansas City."

Choosing to be diplomatic, I shouted back, "Uh, both our teams suck, dude. Calm down."

"Go back to Kansas City," he grumbled again.

I thought he was adorable.

The people I was with thought he was scary.

Hence, no photographs of this crazy man.

However, through the magic of MS Paint, I have managed to cobble together a reasonable facsimile of him:

So, if you ever see this man, well, anywhere, feel free to punch him in the face for me and for all of Kansas City.

Go Royals! You're the Best!

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