I definitely risk bodily harm by making the following statement: Last baseball season, one set of fans showed just as much heart as those in my adopted hometown of Chicago: The Tampa Bay Rays’. But I’ll have to give it to ’em, the Rays made a go in 2008, and it was refreshing to see the youngins reach the playoffs–despite the fact that some of the food at Tropicana Field leaves much to be desired. (Bloomin’ Onions, really?)
Because baseball is so personal and to reduce my exposure to any more fallout, I limited these picks to three. That, and because I’m not all that into sports. Now the people watching and hot dogs and beer I love.
Here are my pitches in no particular order.
1. Tampa Bay
It is spring in Florida, which means some of the best weather in Tampa Bay. 80s during the day, 60s at night. Who could argue with that? Plus, from a St. Petersburg vacation home, you can watch the sun set into the purply pink horizon. Baseball in true warm weather is great, but being able to dip your toes into the pool afterward is heaven.
2. San Francisco
Boston may have its Green Monster, but AT&T Park won the 2008 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily. Makes sense. The home of the Giants spoils fans with views of the Bay Bridge. Just lovely.
3. New York
It’s easy and cliche to hate on the Yankees, but this year marks the momentous opening of a new stadium on April 16. (Not to leave you Mets’ fans out either. I know you’re also getting a fantastic park on April 17.) Either way, a trip to New York is not time wasted, especially if you have spring wardrobe shopping to do. Park yourself in a Manhattan vacation rental, then drop dad off at the game so you can focus on your favorite pasttime: scooping up new labels. Think of it as your own fantasy league, trading old labels for newer, more expensive ones for a look that wins.
Let’s play ball!