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?
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.