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Views From The Stands

Posted by Matt on May 23, 2007


The Cincinnati Reds lost to the Washington Nationals by a score of 8-4 last night in front of 16,400 fans at Great American Ball Park and they did so in typical Reds’ fashion:

  • Five runs in the 7th and 8th innings combined, typical late-inning breakdown

But nonetheless, it was a fun voyage and I am glad I went as I got to see my favorite player, Ken Griffey, Junior (above), make a classic K.G.J. diving catch out in right field, just to go on and plant one in the Right Field seats during his next at bat. Griffey is really playing quality ball in May, too bad its mostly all for not.

The Beginning

My girlfriend and I pulled off of the highway around 6:35PM from I-75 South. I immediately spotted a parking garage across from Paul Brown Stadium, “Reds Parking $5.” $5?! I must be living right.

Matt 1 – Cincinnati 0.

After finding the best parking spot I have ever had at any Cincinnati-area sporting event (I guess in trying to fight crowds its nice not having a team that is in demand whatsoever) we immediately started the ticket search. I assured my guests that scalping was the way to go and that all that you have to say is “tickets” and they come out of the woodwork.

Rewind to three summers ago:

“Charlie Hustle” and I went to a Reds game together three years ago, during the Summer of 2004, with the same thought in mind: scalping tickets. We were a pair of strapping young college lads with the world in our rear view. What transpired next was nothing short of a travesty.

Us (prepping ourselves for the big purchase): “Alright, we aren’t going to take the first price he gives us, we aren’t going to let him sweet talk us, we are college educated and we are going to negotiate a sweet deal.”

Scalper: “I have these two tickets, foul ball territory, twenty-five bucks a piece, can’t find a better deal anywhere else, catch ya’self a foul ball!”

Us: “It says fifteen dollars on the ticket?”

Scalper: “Yeah, I get ’em at the ticket office, they just have to print that on the ticket ’cause I buy ’em in bulk, I get a good deal. These are some great seats, I promise you, get ya’self a foul ball, I promise.”


After paying an arm and a leg, we made our way to our seats. Now when I say our seats were bad, they were BAD. Five rows from the top and out behind third-base. If we were catching anything it was a wayward bird but by no means a foul ball unless Albert Belle was up to bat every time. Apparently him selling the tickets above face value, and us taking notice, did not really register with the “college-educated.”

Us (digressing): “These seats are TERRIBLE! We just got sweet talked by a scalper, and we’re college boys! He smooth talked us, unbelievable! We’ve been swindled.”

Fast forward to last night:

In the exact same area as that faithful night in 2004, I again went looking for some tickets.

Scalper: “Whatcha’ need? I got these behind the Reds’ dugout fo’ thirty-five bucks.”

Me: “Just give me the cheapest you have.”

(I cut right to the chase, no fancy games this time.)

Scalper: “I can give you these two for fifteen bucks a piece, first base line, ’bout fifteen rows up.”

Me: “We’ll take them.”

Ten dollars below face value, and the scalper did not lie, we were about fifteen rows up in “foul-ball alley” and were able to move all the way down to row three by the Ball Boy.

Matt 2 – Cincinnati 0 — I am pitching a shutout here…

We take a seat and immediately speak to a Beer Man.

Me: “How much?”

Beer Man: “Six-Fifty.”

I actually don’t even respond to that statement.

Matt 2 – Cincinnati 1 — There goes the shutout…

Views From The Stands

• Washington Nationals First Baseman, and former Red, Dmitri Young throws infield fielding practice like a girl. Seriously.

• It is clear by his 30-foot “trot” to the First Base Coach’s Box that former Cincinnati Red, and current 46-year-old First Base Coach, Billy Hatcher has not lost a step since his playing days.

• Washington Nationals Relief Pitcher Ray King is every bit as fat as he appears to be in pictures:


• If you want to get drunk you’ll have to cough up your left kidney. Beers are $6.50. Please tell me WHY WE CAN’T AFFORD TALENT AGAIN?

• The Section 134 Beer Man had the best sales pitches, by far:

  • “ICE COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD beer.” (Think soccer–‘goooal’–with an anticlimactic “beer” at the end).
  • “Anybody else ready for a beer besides me?”

Beers still weren’t worth $6.50 a piece, but getting closer.

• Jokes about Cincinnati Reds’ Pitching Coach Dick Pole never get old and having a pitcher name Jon Coutlangus doesn’t help:

“Dick Pole makes the long jaunt to the mound to really give the pitcher a firm talkin’ to. He is really workin’ that ball as he chats up Coutlangus before finishing, giving the ball back and returning to the dugout.”

• The “WE – WANT – HOME – ER!” chants for Reds’ Triple-A stud pitcher Homer Bailey began just after Reds’ Reliever Jon Coutlangus gave up the Grand Slam to Nationals Second Baseman, Felipe Lopez. These chants continued until the game was over but were unable to drown out the drunk sitting directly behind me telling the Reds’ 16-year-old Ball Boy, who was well within earshot, that he “sucked.” I am not sure why.

The Outcome:

Unfortunately the Reds lost in brutal fashion (former Red Felipe Lopez had 6-RBIs).

Matt 2 – Cincinnati 2 — We’ll call it a tie and leave it at that…

I guess one can take solace in the fact that they lost on their terms (late-inning “heroics”). The game overall was very entertaining, there is something on the big screen between every inning and as long as you stay away from the concession stand, it is a relatively fun and inexpensive night out. GO REDS!


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