A windy but pleasant 80-degree night with the Royals in town to face Liberty’s Scott Carroll and his Chicago White Sox added up to more than enough reasons to head to Kauffman Stadium Monday evening. Here are some thoughts from my night at The K.
- The Royals have done an excellent job of training their stadium staff on friendliness. I can remember many visits to Royals Stadium in the ‘80s and ‘90s where the parking lot attendants treated you like the enemy. I had my fender banged on a handful of times by overzealous hand waivers by then who did not appreciate my attempts at freelance parking. Every person who we came in contact with Monday evening from the lady at the parking entrance, to the security checker, to the ticket scanner to the hosts inside the Diamond Club wore a smile and greeted us with a sincere, “Welcome to The K.”
- The security line to just get into the stadium was a joke. I understand that we now live in a terrorist-driven mentality when it comes to large gatherings of people. But open more gates and have more personnel available to check the fans who just want to get inside and find their seat. There were TWO men checking fans at the main gate Monday. Two.
- My security line was held up when a black male in his late 20s was asked to empty his pockets od all items and electronics and then received a thorough search of his person. The guy behind me muttered, “Is this really necessary?” to no one in particular. The next five fans to enter (all of us middle-age white guys) where simply asked to remove our baseball cap (if we wore one) and then greeted with, “Welcome to The K.” This was a very small sample size but the message was obvious. The P&L might not have anything on The K when it comes to racial profiling.
- The wind out of the south Monday night was Oz like. The flags up above the right-field stands were starched and rippling from the first pitch. The White Sox took advantage of the wind with two homers to left and one dong to straight-away center. The Royals Billy Butler doubled deep to center but no other Royals’ player came close to doing what three Sox players did with ease.
- I would think the patrons who have purchased seats in the Diamond Club should be treated to a better cheese burger than the one I was served for $13. It tasted like typical stadium burgers – cheap and chewy. What is The K’s signature food item? Boulevard Beer?
- Outdoor baseball at The K in May is one of Kansas City’s more pleasant ways to spend an evening. Over 16K folks showed up on a Monday to enjoy the weather and a ball game. None of them seemed too upset with how frustrating this one turned out. Royals fans and Chiefs fans differ greatly in this sense.
- A guy from Detroit let everyone know in the men’s room he was rooting for the Royals. “The White Sox suck!” he slurred.
- The audio from the PA system is almost indistinguishable in the Diamond Club. So we get to pay more and hear less? Get that fixed, Royals.
- MLB’s relaxed ruling on showing replays is not being taken full advantage of at The K. I don’t know if this is how all stadiums conduct their replays on the video board but the Royals still don’t understand how to use this tool. I do not want to see close-ups of Escobar as he legs out a booted grounder. I want to see the boot.
- While the stadium cameras were panning the crowd to identify “The Fan of the Game,” one guy mistook his time on the big screen as the Kiss Cam. He leaned over and sloppily licked the side of his date’s face. She was not pleased.
- The kid shagging foul balls down the left-field line has some game. He moves well on and off his stool. The Royals need to keep an eye on his progress. He might be a better prospect than Bubba right now.
- This is old news but even with lousy audio the chick they are using as a stadium MC is a mess. She is almost as annoying as that red-head spokesperson Wendy’s hired to make everyone hate their restaurants.
- If you’re going to go live to the Little K to show us a kid playing home-run derby, make sure the kid has some pop in his/her plastic thumper bat. The young girl who was selected Monday night was so bad she was almost in tears when she finished. Who thinks that is fun?
- The shuttle driver who drove us to our parked car said she had been trying to get this gig for three seasons. She said last week was a bitch with all the cold weather and rain. When I asked her how many drunks she has to escort she said it’s not bad early in the week but it gets much worse as the weekend approaches. “Sorority parties are some of the worst,” she added.
- Get out to The K this month and enjoy the weather, the scenery and the simpleness of baseball. Despite this franchise’s many faults, not even they can screw up the serenity of an outdoor ball game.
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