Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pohlman Field

All photos of Pohlman Field available on Flickr.

With the Brewers on the road (again), and becoming flabbergasted with ESPN for not having their usual Memorial Day MLB Tripleheader (or ANY ballgames on for that matter, not even softball), I had to find somewhere to watch ball on my day off yesterday. Luckily, the Beloit Snappers were home - the low-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins and a team I frequently visited when I lived in Madison two years ago. My parents and my friend Josh were all excited to take in some minor league matinee action.

Mondays at Pohlman Field are Dollar Beer Day and Must-Win Monday, so not only did I take down four Miller Lites for $4, but we all got a free seat to the next Wednesday home game since the Snappers lost in a barnburner, 12-8. Starter Brian Kirwan for the Snappers did not fair too well, giving up 7 runs over 4 innings while walking 3 and striking out none. Michael Moustakas and leadoff man Ortiz were the stars for the Burlington Bees, as Moustakas cranked a grand slam and Ortiz went 4-5 with a HR. The highlights for the Snappers unfortunately had nothing to do with their team - their third baseman Chris Cates is probably the shortest man I've ever seen on a field at 5'3", and one of their relievers Matt Williams is an Australian-born man with an awesome Super Mario moustache.

Pohlman Field is very simple - mostly bleachers, bulbed (broken) scoreboard, outfield wall laden with advertising - but it does have a lot of amenities and a great food selection. There are entertainment areas for the kids, two food & beer decks, an all-you-can-eat section, and at least a dozen kind of beers on tap, all reasonably priced. Dogs, sodas, and pizza went on a firesale at the end of the game to get rid of them and became even cheaper than they already were. The mascot (whom I always called "Snappy" and recently found out that was actually his name) was considerably less entertaining than I remembered, which was disappointing because of the "large" crowd he had to perform in front of - the average attendance of 200 was more than quadrupled due to the National holiday and the warm weather. He was only around for about two total innings and I did not once see the amazing "Snappy Shuffle" set to organ music. Overall though, it was a fun inexpensive day and I look forward to using my free tickets next week.

A few things to rant about at the Major League level this week. The Rays are still the best story in baseball, as they have the best record at 31-20. They have great young group of guys, a solid pitching staff, and outstanding coaching. The Brewers have been seemingly acquiring and/or calling up a player every other day, as Mark DiFelice, Zach Jackson, and Tim Dillard have all made their season debuts, Russell Branyan was called up in favor of Tony Gwynn Jr to platoon with Bill Hall at third base, and newly-acquired former Red Sox pitcher Julian Tavarez will be activated to the roster this afternoon, pending a physical. The offense has been starting to click since the last roadtrip began, and Yost is starting to make lineup moves and pitching moves regularly, in the hopes that we can remain around .500 before the trade deadline when Melvin will undoubtedly try to make a blockbuster deal for another staring pitcher to save our season and hopefully propel the Crew into the playoffs. June and July has a much more favorable home schedule for the Brewers, and David Riske and Eric Gagne return in the next week, so hopefully the team can continue to progress.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 2
views from park - 3 (nothing really to look at, it's Beloit)
view to field - 5 (close seats, but obstructed by nets)
surrounding area - 2 (residential)
food variety - 8
nachos - 5
beer - 10 (biggest minor league variety you'll find, and dirt cheap)
vendor price - 9
ticket price - 9 ($6 GA)
atmosphere - 4 (Snappers average attendance is in the low hundreds)
walk to park - 3
parking proximity - 10 (on adjacent street for free)
concourses - 4
team shop - 7 (large shirt & cap variety, but a small store)
best food - cheese curds
most unique stadium feature - two spacious Leinenkugel decks (one is actually a bar open year-round)
best jumbotron feature - scoreboard gone haywire due to lightning the night before (this was entertaining the entire game)
best between-inning feature - Hog Call competition, wiffle ball homerun derby with members of opposing team's dugout shagging fly balls
field dimensions - 325/380/325
starters - Matthew Mitchell (BUR) v. Brian Kirwan (BEL)
opponent - Burlington Bees
time of game - 2:51
attendance - 895
score - 12-8 L

Brewers 24-27, -6.0 (3 v. Braves, 3 v. Astros)
Reds 23-28, -7.0 (3 v. Pirates, 3 v. Braves)
Twins 25-25, -2.0 (3 @ Royals, 3 v. Yankees)

Erik - 7
Peter - 15

No comments: