Could not have turned out better that the Storm were playing in Pittsburgh, just at the time that the Pirates have turned into really THE big story of the moment in MLB, at least one of them.
And so Friday night I just had to go check 'em out. First, StubHub is great. Got for $25 tickets that usually go for $40, and they were last row of first section right in between third base and the left-field pole.
Had our view blocked of the jumbotron BUT there were TVs posted in that section specifically for that reason, pretty cool.
The whole time I couldn't help but make comparisons with how things COULD be for us in Tampa Bay. With the water walk-up view of the river, really cool. The view of downtown dominating the outfield, breathtaking.
Oh yes the bars that lined basically the outfield wall, leading to a must-do experience before the game. And me and my buddy Jim Robinson from the Storm did do that.
As Jim said: "This is what the Trop SHOULD be." OF course the Trop is not even close to PNC, it just isn't.
All in all it makes it a no-brainer that we need a downtown, outdoor stadium. I don't even care if it's downtown St. Pete by the way but if the Rays are getting a new park, it'll be in Tampa.
But wait. It was friggin' hot. Just as hot as back home. You can't wear jeans, or long sleeves. You can't wear clothes that you plan to go out in after, unless going out is a bar wear dri-fit shirts and shorts is OK.
Yeah, it went from "wow this is beautiful and awesome" for the first two innings to "it's really sticky" the rest of the game.
So let me amend that no-brainer comment: downtown, outdoor stadium with some sort of magical way to keep the outdoor look but also make it about 20 degrees cooler. Retractable roof if you have to, I guess.
As for the Pirates -- seriously, I have no idea how they're in first place. Andrew McCutcheon has to be the National League MVP because he's their only good offensive player and he is REALLY good. They had Drew Sutton hitting 2nd, they had a guy named Gorkys, their offense actually is terrible. And pitching, eh.
But by far that's the team I'll be pulling for in the NL.