A review of my favorite (and least favorite) ballparks Ive visited.

The best and worst of America’s pastime: My top 5 favorite and 3 least favorite stadiums I’ve attended.

 WORST

2. (TIE) Citizen’s Bank and Nationals Park – I’m not entirely sure these soulless cutouts aren’t the same stadium. Atmospheres vastly different, but the view is the same, the color themes are the same. I left feeling underwhelmed with both.

1. SkyDome – As a rule, Domes suck. Now imagine an old, outdated dome. An old dome with bad memories like a lost world series. Ugh. Fun area around the stadium though.

BEST

Honorable Mention:

Busch Stadium / US Cellular Field – I really wanted to sneak you in here, Cards fans. I did. Your park is wonderful (if a little corporate) and your fans are pleasant. The view is awesome. It’s just a hair behind the parks that did make my list. Sox fans, your park takes a ton of crap for not being Wrigley, but it’s a damn fine place to watch a game.

 5. The New Yankee Stadium – Sure, aura and mystique might still be at the old yard, but the new one has a nice feel. The facility has better food, concourses are better, there is no stench of urine, and the crowd is way more civilized. One of the great features is the improved Monument Alley. Every baseball fan should check in there. It’s history unlike any other, even if its been sterilized and modernized.

4. The Ted – Ah, the Chopshop. You will listen to CowGod, you will chop. You will get tanned by our scoreboard. You will be beaten over the head with our history and reminders that you are in Braves Country.  And you will love it. The longest running continuously operated franchise in baseball history is steeped in tradition and this ballpark, despite and embarrassing number of corporate plugs, pays homage to that at all times. Even during the Home Depot tool race.

3. PNC Ballpark – Pittsburgh. Steel City. Clemente. Willie Stargell. Pre-Roid Barry Bonds. Primanti Bros! This is a intimate but modern, affordable ballpark. Great food. Insane views. The area around the park is great too. Walk up always possible.  

2. Camden Yards – The Warehouse! The brickwork. The bleachers here are fun. The food is aces, the atmosphere is family friendly and the yard has so much charm it’s a wonderfully honest throwback. Adjacent to the Inner Harbor, there is plenty to do before the game.

1. Wrigley Field – For me, this is heaven. I was waiting on Kevin Costner to walk out of the ivy and play soft toss with me. Pee in a troth! Explore Wrigleyville. Watch the Cubs lose in Wrigleys majesty. It’s the most American I’ve ever felt at any point in my life. I wish every baseball fan could take in a game there.

Please read.

PuckBuddys

Hey guys, your humble Isles scribe checking in again.

Today, I sit down with everyone’s favorite THN writer, Adam Proteau. Adam has been with The Hockey News since 1999, and serves as the radio host for their show on XM.  This interview is a follow-up on Adam’s book that came out this year, Fighting the Good Fight, which is available for purchase here. This interview also serves as a counterpoint to my trilogy on fighting, the first part of which is available here. Without any further adieu, here we go!

VP: Your most recent book, Fighting the Good Fight, is it fair to view this as a symbolic response to Ross Bernstein’s The Code?

AP: You can interpret it any way you like, but I didn’t intend it as a rebuttal of The Code, which I haven’t read. I wrote it as a…

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Breaking: Trade Winds sweep across Isles

Toss out your mock draft.

The New York  Islanders will not be selecting 4th later this month. Three conversations with sources close to the team (two officially on the NYI payroll, high up the food chain) and one who isnt officially with the team but interacts with them on the highest levels on a weekly if not daily basis have all pointed in the same direction. The initial conversation 3 weeks ago told me “a flashy move will be made to sell tickets. It has to be done.”

Vague as all hell, but it got the ball rolling.

Late late week a second source went on record as having a direct contact with a member of hockey ops saying the first round selection would be traded for a potential prominent player.

Still vague, but a third source confirmed to me today the vibe in the building is “they dont want another kid to help in 2 or 3 years, the pick will be dealt for a player to help win NOW.” Emphasis his.

Taking the sum of these sources at face value, Im going on the record:

 

The New York Islanders will deal the 4th Overall pick.