Baseball update

The trouble with rooting against a team — such as we did Sunday against the White Sox — is that fate may call in its markers. Tuesday we went to Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs . . . my team . . . my lovable band of Northside ne’er-do-wells. When I was in seventh grade, it was the first major league ballpark I visited; the Cubs lost to the Astros. The next year, my stepfather took the family to a game; I don’t remember the Cubs winning. In 2002, on our way to a wedding in Madison, Wisconsin, Lisa and I spent the afternoon watching the Cubbies lose to the Pirates. The Pirates! On Tuesday evening we had seats not far behind home plate to watch the Cubs play the Astros.

We have no love or antipathy for the Houston Astros, but we love the Cubs. But the Cubs are not easy to love. Emmylou Harris, who sings “beautiful, sad songs” once told the Times that she doesn’t have enough soul to be a Cubs fan. So it wasn’t surprising that Andy Pettitte, Lisa’s favorite pitcher, only allowed one run over seven innings in an eventual 9-2 win. But I definitely have to tip my hat to Chris Burke who had five runs on four hits in five plate appearances! C’est la vie.

Our bad luck for the home team unfortunately did not continue last night when the Red Sox lost the rubber game against the Minnesota Twins 5-3. Many times we had seen the Sox draw huge fans in their road games, and finally we got to be part of a loud chant of “Let’s go Red Sox” to the annoyance of the Twins fans around us. The game was quite well pitched by both sides, and we all held out hope until the final out.

The Twins play in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome — emphasis on “dome.” Domes usually aren’t good for baseball. They’re too big, with too many seats for a typical baseball draw. They have bad geometry, since they’re made for football. If the seats aren’t full of rowdy fans, they have a wicked echo. The worst baseball stadium (thankfully no longer in use) was Montréal’s Stade Olympique, which had all the charm of a Soviet-era apartment block. We watched a game there in 2002, four rows behind home plate. There were maybe 4,000 people there with 500 scouts filling in the upper deck. To our left were pro scouts with radar guns and stopwatches and World Series rings. But I digress . . . The Metrodome isn’t a great place for baseball, but it isn’t a bad place to watch a game either. The fans love their team, including Jason Mauer, a local kid batting over .370. Our friend Karmi (not a baseball fan) almost enjoyed herself. Funny things happen in a dome.

Tomorrow, another game. This time in Milwaukee.

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