I took in a little college baseball action last night at Busch, as Mizzou faced off in a heated battle with Illinois. The Tigers won 7-4
in a non-ping game (which makes college baseball seem pointless).
Actually at one point Mizzou was down 4-1, but my friends and I ended up missing an inning and a half while waiting in line at one of the concession stands, all while the Tigers took the lead 5-4 by scoring both times they came to the plate. Yes, 1.5 innings, and this was a full three-hour game so it's not like the teams were going 3 up/3 down in a Carpenter/Lincecum-esque duel.
Now you might ask why the hell we stood in line for so long. Sure, we could have moved on and tried to find supreme nachos somewhere else, but we were mostly BS'ing in line until about 10 minutes passed by and we finally realized the problem:
CARDS CASH (see the exciting video of Dan McBeeflin and Kip Dynamite for all the details).
Yeah, the new idea that the Cardinals will no doubt make a huge profit off of this season, slowed us down in line tremendously.
Back story: everyone buying a $15 ticket to the game last night received $5 in Cards Cash. It was a pretty obvious attempt to work out the kinks of this new system, which is fine. But assuming people are using this at all, they've got about four days to figure it out.
It mostly had to do with the slow, confused guy taking orders as he turned what should be a simple system of 1) telling me what the price is, 2) scanning ticket, 3) removing $5 from the price and 4) taking the rest of the money from my hand - into a mega clusterfuck. But it's not like the other lines were zipping through either, so my conclusion is to continue using my plastic money at ballgames.
This was probably the worst example ever, as everyone in line had $5 to burn, while only a small minority of 45,000 fans at a normal game will be using Cards Cash. But it could have run a lot smoother; maybe just 25 minutes instead of 30?
Other notes and maintenance crap to look forward to when the stadium opens for realz next week:
-The Arch is still cut into the outfield grass. I believe Danny Mac and Al mentioned this on the air already, but it's been confirmed.
-The All Star Game billboard in left-center is still there, kind of. It looks like they tried scraping it off or something, but about 75% of the ad is still there.
-The "G" in BIG MAC Land is out.
-There are a couple spots in the park missing advertisements, so if you've got maybe 20 bucks and want to make a last minute pitch to the Cardinals, give them a call.
-The spongetech.com advertising era is over.
-Having maybe 2000 people in the stands at Busch (while a game was going on) felt really weird. It had the feel of a mid-June Royals game, but with better players on the field.
-There was a new design to the radar gun readings in the LF and RF upper deck boards. They post the MPH in larger numbers (and certain colors indicate faster pitches! I know, that's so crazy!).
-We didn't see any new concession items, but not all stands were open. Plus there wasn't a huge crowd, so they just stuck to the basics.
-You guys and girls with a better memory than me can call me an idiot if I'm wrong, but I believe there is a new design for the out of town scoreboard, as seen in this twitpic. I want to say they were tinkering with a 1-9 inning scoreboard at the end of last year, but maybe I was having an awesome Busch Stadium scoreboard dream again. Either way, they now show four games at once, with hitter/batter match-up, if players are on base, and an inning-by-inning scoreboard. There were no Win/Loss/Save records at the end of any games though.
-Ballpark Village was completed Wednesday morning and everything is up and running, but I couldn't decide on going to Chili's or Applebee's. No wait, that was a softball field and parking lot I was looking at. My mistake.