Want Some Fries with that Big Mac?

Well, it started, the one series that any diehard baseball fan dreads. Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals have come to town for a four game series. It is not that I don’t want to see Big Mac and his offensive power at the ballpark, on the contrary, I enjoy watching him belt balls around the outfield. The problem comes from the fact that everybody and their dog has to come and watch. Most of these people will never set foot within Bank One Ballpark for the remainder of the season. But for the next four days, they will be hanging out with their Diamondbacks hats and McGwire jerseys. Many have brought their mitts and their cameras and will spend batting practice packed like sardines into the left field stands attempting to catch a batting practice or game home run from McGwire. I’m sure many of them have already begun calculating how much money they could make if the home run they catch is some sort of record breaker. Those who aren’t trying to catch the ball are trying to catch the Kodak moment of when McGwire hits a towering home run. In the midst of all of these fortune hunters are scattered a few diehard fans who are just trying to go about their business and watch a game without getting caught up in all of the craziness that surrounds Big Mac. I usually hang out at the bottom of section 135 near the bullpen and talk to the players during warm-ups. This also allows the kids an opportunity to collect a few autographs. But for the remainder of this week, I will go and hang out with Stan Oliver at his Stick by Stan booth in the upper deck. There, he and I can discuss the finer points of bat manufacturing and the amount of torque that the contemporary bat must handle given today’s bigger players. Sure, that isn’t as exciting as watching some body builder crush a baseball 500 feet, but it is a lot more relaxing and a whole lot quieter. I’ll go back to my routine after the Cardinals and the McGwire groupies have left town leaving the park to those of us who are interested in the game, not the sideshow.

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