I went to see the Cubs in Baltimore last weekend, and there I noticed one very significant difference between Major League and minor league games. Granted, one stadium isn’t much of a sample size, so it is possible that Baltimore just happens to stand out in this area.
Major League ballpark food is pretty lame.
There are hot dog places set up around Camden Yards, and I was actually looking forward to seeing what options Major League teams make available for hot dogs. In the minors, lobster mac and cheese, pulled pork, bacon, fried onions, and poutine would all be par for the course. If you walked into a minor league stadium and did not find at least one hot dog with something creative on it (maybe even cotton candy), I would be surprised.
For the Orioles, my options were ketchup, mustard, and relish. That’s it. No complex orchestra of flavors transforming the baseball stadium into a culinary destination. No expression of creative cookery, as has become the norm in the minors. Not even anything deep fried. Just ketchup, mustard, and relish.
So I took a look at the nachos. By now, barbeque nachos don’t even count as creative minor league food. If there is a decent barbeque place in the area, you can pretty much bet on nachos piled high with pulled pork and cheese sauce. The City of Baltimore has plenty of good barbeque available. The Orioles flatly refuse to put it on nachos. In fact, like their hot dogs, their nachos are about as basic and safe as nachos can get. They did have a stand where they would put barbeque on kettle chips. It had the longest line of any food station. Even their own market data should have told the Orioles they were missing out.
I’ve got to say, I was seriously disappointed. Minor league stadium food is a big part of the minor league experience. You can get foods in a minor league stadium you just can’t get anywhere else, and it is a part of what makes going to a minor league game so much fun (along with the great seats, low prices, easy parking, etc.). Major League stadiums, on the other hand, at least if Baltimore is any indication, just aren’t into that. (Wrigley Field continues to improve, at least.)
And that’s unfortunate. That means millions of fans every year are missing out on the magic that can only happen when deep fryers and cheeses and meats are all compressed into a small space.
- Eddie Butler: 5.1 IP, 4 R, 10 H, 2 BB, 1 K
- Dillon Maples: 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Chris Dominguez: 2 for 3, BB, SB
- Taylor Davis: 2 for 4, 2B
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 4, HR
- Brett Anderson: 6 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K
- Steve Perakslis: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Trey Martin: 2 for 5, 2B
- Daniel Spingola: 2 for 5, HR
- Ryan Kellogg: 0.2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 1 BB
- Tommy Thorpe: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Trent Giambrone: 2 for 3, BB
- Adonis Paula: 2 for 3
- Tyler Pearson: 3 for 3, 2B
- Connor Myers: 1 for 3, 2B
Myrtle Beach 5, Down East 0
Effross stepped into the rotation, and looked very good in the process.
- Scott Effross: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- Eddy Martinez: 2 for 3, HR
- Jesse Hodges: 2 for 3, SB
- P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B
- Bryan Hudson: 7 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Pedro Silverio: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 5, 2 2B
- Andruw Monasterio: 0 for 1, 3 BB, SB
- Kevonte Mitchell: 2 for 5, SB
- Darryl Wilson: 1 for 3, HR
- Luis Ayala: 1 for 4, HR
Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Tri-City 2, Eugene 1 in ten innings
Both teams benefitted from some good pitching on a day when the wind was blowing out.
- Matt Swarmer: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K
- Ben Hecht: 1.2 IP, 1 BB, 5 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 1 for 5
- Brandon Hughes: 1 for 4
- Rob Zastryzny: 4 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 1 K
- Faustino Carrera: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Jonathan Sierra: 2 for 4, BB
- Maples has now given up multiple runs exactly once at each stop this year: May 19 for the Pelicans, June 2 for Tennesee, and now July 20 for Iowa. The last time it happened, be began his remarkable run of 14 straight outs via the strikeout in his next outing. Good luck, Pacific Coast League.
- Brett Anderson has now made five rehab starts in his nearly a month with Tennessee, and the story remains the same. He isn’t striking out very many, he’s giving up a few walks and a few hard hit balls, and he is piling up a whole lot of strikeouts. What will that look like in Chicago with a world class infield defense behind him (even if they aren’t always playing like it this season)? Great question. I think we’re about to find out, though, because I believe yesterday was his final rehab start.
- Bryan Hudson needed just 88 pitches to toss his seven good innings, and along the way he piled up thirteen ground ball outs. He started the day with a fantastic GO/AO of 2.86. It just went up.
- Scott Effross has been primarily a reliever since turning pro, and this season with Myrtle Beach has been no exception. Last night, though, he stepped into the starting rotation for the second game of the doubleheader and pitched a season high five innings. Even better, he only allowed only two hits and a walk in those five innings.
- The Dakota Mekkes Scoreless Appearances In High A streak is up to 12.
- Thanks to yesterday’s loss, Eugene is now one game behind Hillsboro with three games to play.
- Speaking of Eugene, they picked up a new pitcher – the Cubs’ top draft pick, lefty Brendon Little: