My brother lined up company seats for Tuesday night's Twins/White Sox game at the big inflatable toilet. We had access to a pre-game spread, including beer, thanks to my brother being a mover and shaker with his company. His company seats are in row 24 behind home plate. Very nice.
So the White Sox, who are the worst hitting team in baseball, stake their bullpen to a 4-1 lead after 7-1/2 innings, only to give it up in the bottom of the eighth and lose it in the 10th. Strategically Manager Ozzie Guillen made the right call pitching to the reigning American League M.V.P., but I still didn't like it, and sure enough it cost the Sox the game.
I was not happy, but I'm not the same rube I was in 1993. Living in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin that season I attended six White Sox games in Chicago during four separate road trips, including a playoff game. I followed baseball religiously. Then came 1994. I made a June trip to Chicago, knowing perhaps there wouldn't be another road trip that season. I was right. The 1994 strike canceled the remainder of the season and the World Series. While many fans turned their back on baseball in 1995, many of them forgave and forgot over time.
Yes, I have gone to games, mostly at the big inflatable toilet here in Minneapolis. I have been to Stinktown many times over the years since the strike and have caught a few Brewers games, mostly because my buddy still lives and breathes baseball, and I have even managed a few trips to Chicago since 1994 for games (usually via Stinktown.)
But jerk my buddy over again with another strike and see what he does. This is a guy who has been to about 35 different major league venues in his lifetime, including both Comiskeys, both San Diego facilities and as of this summer, both Busch stadiums. He won't hesitate to turn his back on baseball, at least when it comes to buying tickets, if baseball jerks him around again.
So why is baseball down to its last strike with him? Why am I apathetic about going to the ballpark? It's simple. My buddy and I work for a living, and it ain't easy being single guys trying to make ends meet. When you have a lucrative business generating countless millions of dollars, if you can't find a way to divide that big pot of gold amongst the principals and make everybody happy, I'm not going to give you much of mine to fight over. I will buy an occasional ticket when I'm in Stinktown and perhaps buy a ticket for the inflatable toilet when the White Sox roll in, but most of the games I've been to in recent years have been gratis.
Some people consider 1994 water under the bridge. Not the Fonz. He is still waiting to find out if the White Sox can improve upon 1993 and win their first World Series title in 77 years.