The Right Field Pavilion at Angel Stadium is a strange place. And by "strange" I mean "horrifying", and by "place" I mean "messy microcosm of the some of the most mind-boggling human beings Orange County has to offer." I've seen fights, and vomit, and stumbling drunks; idiots and assholes, adventures in ridiculous clothing, irresponsible parenting, and people who seem so dumb, drunk or high that it's pretty baffling that they've actually managed to survive as long as they have without ending up a part of the Darwin Awards. It's a shocking and overwhelming experience to say the least.
The last time I sat out there, a gaggle of drunk slobs (AKA female Yankees fans) called me a "faggot" for ignoring their clumsy and obnoxious advances for five or six innings.
And we go to the bottom of the sixth...
"Heeeeeyou," her friend said, smacking me in the back of the head.
"Whadderyouafaggot? You donwannagirltassssuckyerdick?"
I'd had more than enough at that point, so I calmly turned around and explained to her very politely that even if someone were to pay me an ungodly sum of money, I wouldn't be interested in her final sales pitch.
And that was the end of that.
So when my lady and I got free tickets to sit in the Right Field Pavilion for a night game against the Rangers last week, I was pretty wary of heading back out there, but free is free, and I love the Angels, so we decided to brave the hoards of morons and take in a game.
Somehow it's even worse than I'd remembered it.
1) You Know There's A Game Going On Here, Right?
If you were to ask 90 percent of the mouth-breathing, slobbering, piss-drunk goons hanging out at The Budweiser Patio and the walkway across the top of the Pavilion what the score was, how many outs there were, or who's pitching, they'd have absolutely no clue.
The baseball game itself is just some well-lit "thing" that's going on "over there" while they chase tail and drink $12 beers. In my experience, that whole area feels much less like you're at a baseball game and more like you're stuck in the worst possible combination of a sports bar, nightclub, and nu-metal/motocross festival.
It's a bizarre melting pot of people focused on: a) getting hammered, b) talking trash, c) getting laid, and d) all of the above (as well as other things that have nothing to do with baseball/and or being at a baseball game.)
Unfortunately, those focuses (and I use the word "focus" very lightly, because most of these folks are seeing double before they leave their pregame tailgate) often lead to fights, obnoxious ogling of the opposite sex, PDA (Public Displays of Affection), PDI (Public Displays of Idiocy), spilled drinks and stomach contents, painfully long and awkward Facebook photo shoots, and general debauchery.
It makes it awfully tough for those of us who are actually at a baseball game to watch a baseball game to get concessions, make a peaceful trip to the bathroom, and damn near impossible to enjoy said baseball game.
2) You Need Leashes For Your Kids
I'm all for exposing kids to baseball in a live setting. Some of my fondest memories are of going to games with my dad when I was a little kid. Those experiences built the foundation for my lifelong love affair with the sport. So, kids, parents, baseball games, I get it.
But there's difference between taking your kids to a game to teach them to appreciate the sport and actually watch the game, and carelessly allowing your brood of screaming, sugar-drunk apes climb all over section 244 for nine innings. There was a particular family of six or seven seated just behind us that let their kids run buck wild; hurling food, climbing seat backs, kicking the people in front of them in the back of the head and neck, and belting out screams loud and high-pitched enough to make your teeth ache. This behavior went on, unchecked, for three hours. No time-outs, no scolding, no apologies to the people getting mauled by their kids, and not a single word of discipline out of the mouths of the parents.
"Crystal...let's take Bo, Chipper, Chastity, Morgan, Jackson, and Lynette down to the Big A. We'll fill 'em fulla cotton candy and Mountain Dew let 'em go apeshit while you and I crush a seven or eight Bud Heavies and take turns bumpin' rails in the terlet!"
It's a shame that the vendors don't lace the kids hot dogs, cotton candy, and ice cream with some sort of sedative. It'd be a wise move for everyone, parents included.
3) You Need A Fact-Checker, A Muzzle, And Less Meth
I'll admit that this type of fan isn't exclusive to the Right Field Pavilion, but we had a prime example seated right behind us. This is a guy that thinks that he needs to comment on every player, every play, and every nuance of the stadium at a volume loud enough so that everyone in a 20-foot radius can hear him. It's kind of like listening to a radio broadcast of the game, except the information this guy is spouting is anywhere from 80 to 100 percent incorrect, and you can't turn him off. He just goes on and on and on. Sometimes he'll even say the same thing three or four times to make sure it gets heard. It's a full-blown verbal assault of the misinformation varitey. So, like FOX News, but at a baseball game.
"Yeah, that's Peter Bourjos out there in center. He's a rookie of the year candidate and he's really fast and he's leading the team in stolen bases."
(Bourjos is a centerfielder, and is indeed fast, but he's no longer rookie-eligible, and he doesn't lead the team in stolen bases. Oh, and the player he was pointing to was Mike Trout.)
"In a situation like this they should really sacrifice bunt the guy over to get him into scoring position."
(There were two outs. If you sacrifice bunt with two outs, you give up an out. Then, via the magic of simple mathematics, there are three outs. And teams have only gotten three outs an inning since baseball was invented, so no...no they shouldn't sac bunt here, but thanks for bellowing it with such confidence.)
"LET'S. GO. AY-BAR!!!" (clap-clap-clapclapclap)
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(That's Alberto Callaspo.)
"Yeah and that's the thing ya know it's like ya know it's just like Scioscia to do that right there and it's like oh hey did you know that they started sellin' those on the view level now and anyways yeah well Scioscia he's just kinda oh hey didja see that? Didja see that? No, no, no...THAT? Yeah. Yeah. The sun it's comin' thru yeah it's so bright ya know and there's a crack right there and just wait...see, see, see, that's what I'm talkin' about. Know whadda mean?"
(No. No, sir I do not. Please. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.)
Needless to say, I'll probably skip the next offer I have for tickets in the Right Field Pavilion, and opt to watch the game in HD from the comfort of my couch. I'll have cheaper beer, a mute button, and most importantly, my sanity.