Today was my first and probably last game ever at U.S. Cellular field. Wrigley will hopefully be more fun than the shit-hole that was U.S. Cellular. If you think Safeco worships children and doesn't care what happens on the field, holy crap this puts it to shame.
We all hate the Hydro races. Well, they had two big screen races--Pizza (Cheese vs. Pepperoni vs. Supreme) and McDonalds (Big Mac vs. Fries vs. McGriddle). The crowd went wild for both.
They had a contest for a kid 10 or under to hit a home run, where they're in a small area of the park hitting a ball off a tee over a fence almost 30 feet away with a bunch of random people cheering, then they run the bases that are like 20 feet away from them, and the crowd goes wild.
They had T-Shirt throwing and cars driving on the warning track between innings. They were winning a close game at the time and everyone got up and yelled for shirts.
They had "Wave cam" between innings. Which isn't what you think, they just panned through the crowd and had people wave and smile so they could say they were on the big screen.
They had a video ring around the upper deck, with the player's name and their eyes on it when they came up to bat, and a bunch of huge ads when the M's were batting.
The most advanced stat they put anywhere was total walks, tucked away in a corner, no OBP or SLG anywhere. Not even the first time a player came up. It was AVG/HR/RBI all the way there.
They played literally 4 different intro songs before and during the White Sox taking the field. The whole crowd cheered about as loud when they announced the starting lineup for the White Sox as I did when they announced the Mariners lineup. They also had a bunch of "Get loud" signs during the big innings--no one cheered otherwise. On Cabrera's HR, no one cheered till it was literally over the fence.
They did the wave, a lot. It went around the stadium 10-15 times as the Mariners actually managed to get 3 quick outs, and no one seemed to notice.
They had contests to win hats and baseballs and food and gift cards and shit by answering easy questions such as "Who threw the last no hitter for the White Sox?" after showing clips of Buehrle's no hitter for.
They also advertised US Cellular products and had some girl say their slogan while standing in the crowd between innings. Also they put trivia and stuff on the video board DURING innings. I mean seriously. They displayed the guess the attendance thing during the 6th inning. While the players were playing. And the crowd erupted when the final number of the multiple choices went up on the board. There's proof that they weren't watching the game.
All the while I was talking to a Cubs fan who got free tickets from a White Sox fan buddy. It was his first time in U.S. Cellular and he just sounded disgusted talking about how horrible the atmosphere was all game. Hopefully he's right and Wrigley is better tomorrow. Because U.S. Cellular just accomplished what I thought was impossible before. The White Sox have created an atmosphere at their stadium that encourages fans to care less about the on-field product than even Safeco does. I expected to lose when we showed up at the park but I still ended up being angry because I learned the White Sox organization and fans are worse at being baseball fans than even Safeco fans are. They should be embarrassed.