panda hat

Detroit columnist somehow makes fun of AT&T Park without mentioning panda hats

Jeff Seidel, a Detroit Free Press columnist I had never heard of until Tuesday night, wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece titled “OK, I’ll say it, San Francisco is a strange baseball town.” The column is rubbish, and far more frivolous than the fans and atmosphere he attempts to mock. Here’s a sample:

But there is no way the Detroit Tigers can lose to these guys. They would never live it down.

First of all, the Giants have a Build-A-Bear Workshop in the stands behind leftfield at AT&T Park. Seriously. How the heck can you lose to a team where the fans can go to a game and stuff a teddy bear and then buy a cute little outfit?

Can you imagine that in Detroit?

Get real.

We’d run them out of town, just because it sounds so wimpy.

And then they have a giant slide, which looks like a McDonald’s play station on steroids.

Yeah, the Tigers have a carousel. But carousels are cool.

Slides? That’s for a playground.

Seidel defends carousels because they’re “cool.” But slides? That’s a playground apparatus, bro.

He also neglects to mention that Comerica Park also has a “Fly Ball Ferris Wheel.” Here’s a description of said ferris wheel from the Tigers’ website: “Located on the third base side of the Park in the Brushfire Grill, this 50-foot Ferris wheel features cars shaped like baseballs that can seat up to five passengers and is wheelchair accessible.” Sounds like the kind of ride that symbolizes true baseball grit better than anything in the world — other than David Eckstein’s throwing arm.

Seidel also takes umbrage with AT&T Park for having Christmas light-covered palm trees and for being what he calls “an exotic food court.”

He asks, “Can you imagine eating clam chowder and drinking wine in the bleachers at old Tiger Stadium?” Seidel must not realize that people in the Bay Area take the phrase “food snob” as a compliment, not an insult.

Then he wrote the following about AT&T Park’s outfield dimensions:

The foul pole down the rightfield line is 309 feet, which is going to look pretty tempting to Prince Fielder. Shoot, maybe even to Miguel Cabrera, with all of his opposite-field power.

But the outfield wall is strange and quirky.

It quickly juts out to 365 feet in right and goes to 421 in right-center, before coming back to 399 in center.

Basically, it looks like a little kid designed the outfield wall by scribbling in the sand. This will create lots of challenges for Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson, who will have to quickly learn how to field balls off the angles and brick wall.

Seidel should probably worry more about Andy Dirks and Avisail Garcia than Jackson, since right field is a much more difficult challenge at AT&T, but whatever.

Old Tiger Stadium’s outfield wall wasn’t as angular as the one at AT&T Park, but the wall in centerfield was 440 feet away from home plate. But that isn’t quirky, because the centerfield wall at Tiger Stadium resided in the same town where Dodge Spirits and Chevy Cavaliers were made! Back when people didn’t feel the need to apologize for America!

(Spits tobacco juice into an empty Mountain Dew can.)

The whole thing comes off as a “you’re ugly and your mama dresses you funny” rant written by someone with a 7th grade education. That’s why it seems incomplete. How can it be that in a column about how strange of a baseball town San Francisco is, Seidel neglected to mention what some Giants fans wear when watching games at AT&T Park?

The fake beards have gone away, but not one quip about panda hats? Freak wigs? Baby giraffe accessories? Melkmen costumes (RIP)? Seidel’s trying to ignite an instant rivalry where none exists, so it’s strange that he didn’t take a shot at the easiest targets one can find at McCovey Cove.

He probably owns a Build-A-Bear, too. One with a really cute outfit.

Published by

Bay Area Sports Guy

BASG (Steve Berman) and his wife started Bay Area Sports Guy in 2008, and now it's the No. 1 independent website covering Bay Area sports. You can follow him @BASportsGuy and on Facebook.

12 comments
Raiders Sports Guy
Raiders Sports Guy

This column reinforces every stereotype about newspaper columnists. I have so much to say about newspaper people, I think I'll save it for a post.

CA
CA

At least we don't live in Detroit... A city currently subject to Urban Decay.

Kimberly
Kimberly

Remember when your mom used to say that the kids who teased you at school were just jealous?

BA Stats Guy
BA Stats Guy

To me AT&T's dimensions are pretty far from gimmicky. I mean it really isn't feasible to extend right field much further because the bay is kind of in the way. All the other walls are pretty much straight forward. It's not like some of these other parks that add "character to their dimensions just because. Look at Detroit they have center field 420 feet away for no other reason than because they wanted to. That is a pretty stupid argument and pretty stupid column.

3rdNking
3rdNking

Detroit and cleveland Two worst cities in america Suck balls detroit At least if we lose well always have paradise U got the dump of america. Tijuana north

3rdNking
3rdNking

If i lived in detroit Id hate my life and everything else too What else to do in detroit but bitch What a hellhole. Lol, detroit clown

Greg Wurz
Greg Wurz

Do people even live in Detroit anymore? I thought it was just a bunch of run down old automobile factories and the dump of a Pawn shop from Hardcore Pawn.

SteezMartella
SteezMartella

Sounds like it's real easy to get a job in Detroit nowadays

Redwood Al
Redwood Al

Pretty horrible article. I could write one slamming SF baseball a lot better than that. And I would start with the stupid fans

cara
cara

You left out Oakland