Thursday, April 21, 2016
Staying the Course in Beloit
All photos of Snappers Home Opener 2016 available on Flickr.
The minor league season opened up shop for 2016 a couple of weeks ago, and as I normally do, I made it to one of the home openers. This year I decided on Beloit after a one year absence, mostly because I enjoy torturing myself, but also because they were playing the Timber Rattlers. As usual, it was another frigid home opener at Pohlman Field. The temperature was below 40° for most of the game and on top of that it was overcast and windy. I powered through about 7 innings, but by then I had lost all feeling in my toes, and the shrieking hum of the broken speakers was on the verge of driving me into hysteria, so I had to leave. The Snappers ended up winning 2-1 on a pretty typical April night in the Midwest League - lots of walks and strikeouts with a scattering of ground balls through the infield, and basically everybody trying to get back to the warmth of the dugout as quickly as possible.
I'm always optimistic going to my first game of the year at Pohlman that the ballpark has been improved in some way in the offseason. Outside of the new tally scoreboard a few years ago, it's pretty much the same place it has been the last 10+ years I've been going there, and probably the same as it's been since it opened in 1982. At this point I guess all I am looking for is for basic things to be repaired and upkept, and a real jumbotron would be nice given what my attention span has been reduced to these days. I'm not holding my breath on a new stadium or major renovation anymore at this point, but at the same time I know that Pohlman needs to be upgraded to a certain MiLB standard of operation if they expect to keep their team. There are many ballpark enthusiasts who would say that the park in Beloit is one of the last of its kind - a simple, quiet, no-frills stadium where the game is the focus. I do certainly take that for granted on nights when I can get a cheap walkup ticket and not have to deal with screaming children or stupid between-innings games or $8 beers. And speaking of $8 beers, one promotion the Snappers tried on Opening Night that has already failed are the giant beers in 35th Anniversary souvenir plastic cups that you can pay to have refilled. I am all for giant beers and souvenir cups, but you cannot properly pour beer into an opaque cup. I ordered one and didn't realize until I got back to my seat that it was nearly half foam. It's my love of the game and any little excuse to ridicule the Snappers on social media that keeps me coming back to Beloit almost every year.
STANDINGS AND UPCOMING SERIES AS OF 04.21:
Brewers 7-8, -4.0 (3 v. Phillies, 3 @ Cubs)
Reds 8-7, -3.0 (4 v. Cubs, 3 @ Mets)
Twins 4-11, -6.0 (3 @ Nationals, 3 v. Indians)
2016 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 5 (+0 worked)
Peter - 6