I want you to come to my party. I really do. We have a great menu, there is going to be beer and there are going to be lots of fun and interesting people for you to talk to. One of these people is my good friend Lar from the incomparable wezen-ball. He is going to the party and he wants you to too. He was even nice enough to write this post for us, convincing you to go. He's really smart. You should listen to him.
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those baseball fans who just has to be in my seat at first pitch. Even when I’m tailgating, if I have any control of when the group gets into the ballpark, I do everything I can to get everyone moving towards the stadium well before first pitch. If that means cooling the charcoal down at 12:30 and throwing the folding chairs in the trunk at 12:45, it’s what I’m going to do. There’s just a simple joy in being comfortably in your seat by the time the Brewers run onto the field. It beats racing up the ramp or impatiently riding the escalator to your seat any day of the week. I’m sure the fact that I like to keep score for all nine innings - and that I never leave a game early, for fear of missing out on the greatest comeback of all time - plays an important part in all that.
But the Pants Party is coming up in two weeks, and with all the excellent food that is being offered and the promise of fascinating, intelligent company - or, at the least, a group of people who like to drink, eat brats, watch Brewers baseball, and complain about Anthony Witrado - that first inning fetish is going to be tested. What happens if I’m on my third chorizo quesadilla with a side of drunken Polish mac’n’cheese and a cup of Riverwest Stein in my hand while chatting and I realize that the game is about to start? Or, even worse, I hear the fireworks going off signalling the start of the bottom of the first? Do I freak out, throw my brat and beer down on the ground and hightail it across the bridge over to Miller Park? Or do I instead try to practice the Midwestern version of zen baseball and just let it slide?
In order to help me ignore choice 1 and instead focus on choice B, I offer this list of why the first inning sucks and why we should all be okay with missing it. After all, if I’m missing that first inning, there’s no way you’re going to be able to tear yourself away from my fascinating conversation and hightail it over there yourself:
- The sun.
Sure, Miller Park has an awesome retractable roof that some have called a “space vagina”, and it’s the greatest thing in the world to be able to watch baseball under a blue sky, but do you really want to sit in your sun-drenched seats at 1pm, when the sun is highest in the sky?! Stay back at the Pants Party in the shade of the tent (I assume there’s a tent) and chill out for a half-hour or so. By the time you get to your seats, there’s a good chance they’re in the shade now. Nice work!
- The national anthem.
The Pants Party is on a Sunday, which means that we’ll have to sit through “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. Isn’t one display of overt patriotism enough? Come in late and you never have to worry about the “Star-Spangled Banner” ever again!
- Little kids.
If you’re a black-hearted soul who would rather steal Christmas than sing along with the Whos, then there’s no doubt that you hate little kids. And since the Brewers always let the little kids run out onto the field before a Sunday game to stand next to the players as they’re presented, then staying back at the Pants Party for a half-inning or so is just for you. You heartless SOB.
- The Pirates are good.
...in the first inning. So far this year, the Pirates are killing in the first inning (relatively speaking). With first-inning stats of .283/.355/.422, the Pirates have team highs by inning in each of those slash stats. Wouldn’t you rather eat another Italian sausage meatball than watch the Pirates actually string together a good inning? The longer you hang out at the Pants Party, the less likely you are to see that.
- The Brewers pitching sucks.
...in the first inning. With a 5.92 team ERA in the first inning, the only inning where the Brewers’ pitchers are worse is the sixth, where they sport a cool 6.00 ERA in the inning in which most starters are replaced. This may be the most compelling reason to stay at the Pants Party for a few extra minutes.
- Dave Bush is (most likely) pitching.
I don’t mean to scare you away from the game entirely, but the way the schedule lines up right now, the pitching matchup for the Pants Party is Dave Bush vs. Ross Ohlendorf. Dave Bush is not having his best year, and he’s basically at his worst in the first inning (in 22 starts, he’s pitched 21.1 first-innings innings with an ERA of 8.02). The more you drink, the less you’ll ever have to worry about Bush again.
- Bernie’s slide.
As we all know, when the Brewers half of the first inning is finally starting, the stadium launches a set of fireworks (usually reserved for home runs) while Bernie Brewer does a quick slide down to his perch below. I guess it’s meant as both a way to get the crowd excited and as a way to guarantee that everyone in attendance sees Bernie slide at least once. But we all know better: Bernie’s slide should be saved for home runs only, and this silly middle-of-the-first ritual just distracts from it’s purity. And, oh yeah, Bernie should be sliding into a f$^%&*# beer mug! The Pants Party is the perfect antidote to this silliness.
There you have it: a handful of reasons why you shouldn’t ever feel bad for missing the first inning of the game and hanging out at the Pants Party instead (and we all know there are many more). I’m not sure I’m convinced about the merit of every point, but it is a compelling argument in any case. Ideally, of course, I’ll be able to find a few other baseball geeks like me who will want to head over a few minutes early.
But if you’re not part of that ideal - and, in fact, if you find that ideal a little much - then you now have a great list of reasons why you shouldn’t care about missing the first. So we all come out winners (though buying a ticket to the Pants Party would make some of us more winners than other. What are you waiting for?!). See you there, pre-game and beyond.
Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party is Sunday August 29th. For $25 you get a ticket, a CC Sabathia bobblehead, pre-game tailgate (food and beer included) and some great company. It's going to be awesome. Seriously. The deadline is Friday to reserve your ticket to this monumental event.