Thursday, April 01, 2010
No Insights To 2010, But Lots Of Stadium Changes: Padres 5, Angels 3
- Joe Saunders was workmanlike but not especially accomplished against a Padres lineup that looked very much like a regular-season roster. Giving up two runs over five innings, he's probably on track for his first start in the regular season. He doesn't especially worry me, considering he got a bunch of groundball outs, which is what you expect when he's going well.
- Padres left fielder Kyle Blanks was the offensive star of the game, going 2-for-2 with a three-run homer, this latter off Michael Kohn, who isn't on the 40-man roster.
- The Angels offense wasn't terrible, but certainly seemed out-of-sorts against Chris Young, ex-Dirtbagger Cesar Ramos, and a host of other mostly high-numbered Padres hurlers. Indicator of the day: the Halos stranded a frustrating 12 men on the night.
- To the link above, we discover that Jeff Mathis was scratched with a hand injury sustained by a hit-by-pitch on Tuesday's game against the Brewers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't mean we'll have an opening day 25-man roster including Bobby Wilson.
- The announced attendance of 24,875 felt like at least half that number never showed up. By the end of the game, two-thirds of those who did arrive were long gone, though there were so few people it was hardly worthwhile bothering to leave early. As it was, we may as well have been exiting a minor league preseason game against a college squad for the number of people who came.
- Various notes about the park: All the structural pillars on the field level, last year plastered with larger-than-life photo murals of John Lackey, Mike Napoli, etc. were replaced with Angels greats from years past, and not the recent past, either: Bobby Grich, Nolan Ryan, and Rod Carew were but three we saw and noticed. There's a sense of a transitional year, or possibly series of years, in the offing.
- The food choices, as always, continue to evolve, and I'm still trying to decide if they're for the better. The Home Plate Club on the Club level appears to be a victim of the current purge; it's now used for private parties only. That's too bad, because it was a nice alternative for a sit-down meal prior to the game if you didn't have pricey tickets to the Diamond Club.
The old Beach Pit Barbecue stand on the third base side (can't speak to the first base side, as I didn't make it over there) is now Clyde Wright's Barbecue. Holy smokes, the man was there in the flesh signing autographs, and good for him. My favorite thing on the menu when it was Beach Pit (and before that, the Home Run Grill) was the half chicken, which appears gone; the closest thing to it is the turkey drumstick. That's a disappointment.
The upper deck has had a real revamp, with virtually everything getting new signage. One of the old Grandstand (I think) locations has been turned into a Diablo Barbecue, something dreadfully lacking earlier. (My estimation was always that the best food was to be had at the field level, no surprise.) Unfortunately, the choices appear to be all sandwiches, something I basically have to eat around.
Helen informs me the Katella Grill is back from last year, with a slightly changed menu. There's a new sushi place, Toro Sushi, on the field level first base side near Guest Relations. Helen ordered from it and enjoyed what she got, especially the edamame.
Wine prices have gone up, and not by a little; a single glass is now $9.50 for the cheap stuff (Fetzer, or whatever they happen to have today) and $10.50 if you call it, about $2 more than last year. Similarly, the adjacent Italian sausage grill seems to have raised prices by about the same amount. I got my footlong pepper jack sausage (nummy if incredibly sloppy) as a nod to the season, and intend to stay away from ballpark food for the balance of the year, especially given the attenuation of the menu.
Helen, who spent much more time reconnoitering food than I did, also reports that there are nacho bars held over from last year, and some of the kiosks sell alcohol, with a much more limited menu.
Addendum: I should also mention that the just-offsite eatery The Catch, closed for a couple years in its old location just down the road on Katella Ave., appears to be finally open. So there's that for post-game imbibing.
Update 4/2: More about this here.
I think Mathis and Wilson are virtually interchangeable, except that Wilson also has played a fair amount of first base, so could spell Morales for five or ten games a season.