America: A Dream Deferred

Posted July 4, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress. In this document, Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”.

In essence, life, liberty, and the pursuit happiness are god-given rights. Now let’s focus on liberty. Liberty is freedom. To honor our freedom, the French gifted us the Statue of Liberty. Over time, she became a symbol of liberty through immigration as she was our nation’s welcome to people coming from abroad to NY harbor. At the base of the Statue of Liberty is poem from Emma Lazarus titled “The New Colossus”. In her poem, she writes, “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. America is the home of the free, the land of liberty. We will take your weak, poor, and hungry coming from a place of war, tyranny, or worse and give you life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- all god-given rights.

Unfortunately, some people who not only extol our virtues of liberty, but proclaim faith in a higher-power, want to deny this land of hope and opportunity to Syrian refugees. Now, I don’t want to get into a big debate about the refugee crisis- I understand it’s a complex issue (and the scary terrorism word is thrown around)- but a closed border policy is a slap in the face to our Founder’s, to the Statue of Liberty, to liberty, and to us, WE THE PEOPLE. If you’re okay with that, fine, that’s the beautiful part of America. But as someone raised on the American values of freedom, liberty, opportunity- I can’t accept that as the morally right thing to do.

Sorry to get all political today, I love my country, despite all its past and present faults. It’s just funny we talk about the American Dream and yet I don’t think it’s something that American herself has even achieved yet. I hope to live long enough to see it happen though.

Happy 4th of July! Go Yankees!

Ballpark Review: Citi Field

Posted June 6, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Franchise: New York Mets

Year Opened: 2009

Capacity: 45,000

Game Attended: September 18 v New York Yankees

Section 407, Row 1

My impression of Citi Field going into the game is that it is a giant park trying to do too much at once. While both those assumptions are relatively true, it did exceed my overall expectations.

1) Aesthetics- 13.5/25

Exterior- 4.5/5

Citi Field is up there with Yankee Stadium as having one of the better exteriors in baseball. Like several other parks, there is the Ebbets Field rotunda for the home plate entrance. But Citi, unlike those other parks, uses this brick rotunda as the start point for a brick exterior that runs the entire stadium (similar to Globe Life, but different design). The old HR Apple is outside the main gate as well, which adds a little something to the exterior design.

Interior- 7/10

The design is clean, but nothing special. I think they built one too many levels, which makes the place feel massive. The 500 level is so far away and the stadium would look way better without the extra deck in left field. A couple cool features are the orange foul poles and Yankee Stadium-esque facade.

Backdrop- 2/10

Due to the unnecessary extra deck in left, gigantic video board in center, and monster-sized ads in right, there is no back drop. Even if the aforementioned objects weren’t there, the stadium is in a not-so-nice part of Queens.


2) Seats & View- 14/20

Sight Lines- 8/10

Citi Field does a good job preventing overhang, especially in the first level. The one problem with this park is it’s one of those stadium where the railings, of all things, can impede your view.

Proximity- 2/5

Citi Field is a big park so you can feel far away from several locations. The field level extends far back from the action, while 500 level seats are UP THERE. Even sitting in the first row of the 400 level, you are not on top of the action like a lot of other 400 levels are. This is because the upper decks start towards the back of the field level so there is minimal overhang.

Comfort- 4/5

3) Atmosphere-12.5/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

New York is a baseball town and while it’s tough for me to hide my dislike for the Mets, all NY baseball fans are good fans that bring energy to the game, make noise, cheer for good plays and boo for the poor ones.

Attendance- 4.5/5

It was a packed out, but it was a September Subway Series, with both teams on track for the playoffs. Either way, the Mets are one of the higher drawing teams so Citi will usually have a decent crowd.

Fan Knowledge- 3/5

Like most teams with a big fan base, you have the smart fans and the dumb fans.

4) Attractions- 15/20

Team Museum & History- 8/10

The Mets do have a decent sized museum with artifacts and information on the team history, from players to big moments. I enjoyed their Keith Hernandez showcase with his NL Gold Glove.

Things to See & Do- 7/10

Obviously, there is the team museum. You can also take in the beauty of the Jackie Robinson rotunda just inside the main entrance. Inside the park, you can check out the HR Apple, as well as the Shea Bridge. Outside of that though, there isn’t anything else too special to check out.


5) Food and Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 3/5

Best of the Rest- 5/5

There are a lot of different food options here. There is a Shake Shack, a BBQ place, a place for pizza, a place for deli cuts, a World Fair-esque spot, and so much more. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Citi Field will probably have it.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 3/5

Run of the mill presentation. All the usual stuff. Nothing that stands out to me.

7) Cleanliness- 5/5

It’s a new park and they do a good job keeping it that way.

8) Local Scene & Location- 1/5

There is no local scene. Just a bunch of auto garages near the airport.

9) Access & Cost- 2/5

You can only really access the park via Subway, unless you want to pay an arm and a leg in parking. And taking the Subway to Queens is annoying.

As for cost- yeah, it’s expensive. Tickets, food, drinks, apparel, etc.

10) Misc +1

The HR Apple! One of the most distinct features of any all park. So cool that the Marlins copied it.

11) Personal Opinion- 3.5/5

Going into it, I was too excited for Citi Field. But my opinion of the place improved after actually going to a game. I’m looking forward to another experience here to solidify my feelings, but it’s a good park. There are some flaws to it (That 500 level) but it’s a unique park for sure.


Overall Score- 78.5/115

Ballpark Review: Chase Field

Posted June 5, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Franchise: Arizona Diamondbacks

Year Opened: 1998

Capacity: 48,519

Games Attended: April 7 and April 10, 2016 v Chicago Cubs

Section 318 and Section 119

Along with Safeco Field, Chase Field ushered in the era of modern parks with a modern look. It also was one of the first modern parks with a retractable roof. It was also built during a time when fan’s were coming back out to ballparks in record numbers after the 1994 strike, which led to stadiums with far too many seats built in. The effect it had on Chase Field is its “airplane hangar” look. Overall, Chase Field was a good place to watch a gameĀ  but nothing special.

1) Aesthetics- 13/25


Chase Field is a ginormous structure, which is actually quite impressive. But from the outside it truly does look like an airplane hangar and you can’t completely walk around the building which I don’t like.

Interior- 7/10

When the roof is closed, it does feel like a domed stadium, especially because the lighting is so dark compared to Minute Maid or Safeco. Cool features of the park do include the dirt strip from the mound to the plate- a nice old school touch- the tall fence in center, and the pool out in right field. The most distinguishable feature of the park has to be the giant video boards and ads in the outfield. While the interior isn’t ugly by any means, there isn’t anything remarkable about it either.

Backdrop- 3/10

This poor rating will, somewhat unfairly, hurt Chase Field’s overall ranking. But there is no backdrop. The video board and ads eat up the entire backdrop whether the roof is open or not. While the video board and ads can be somewhat aesthetic, it’s not the same as having a nice cityscape in the background. The reason I’m not giving this a 1 is because 1) it’s unique 2) If you trace a line from home plate to each foul pole and up around the top of the video board, you can trace a home plate shape which kinda cool. But it’s a wasted opportunity here to showcase the downtown buildings or local desert environment.

chase field

Seats & View- 14.5/20

Sight Lines- 9/10

The sight lines are good. There is very little overhang on the first and second levels. Moreover, the fence does not rise up down the lines which can cut of angles down the corners from certain seats in the park. So no matter where you sit, you should be able to follow all the action.

Proximity- 2.5/5

Chase Field is a big park and you can tell from the proximity of most seats. On the field level behind the plate, there is quite a gap from the first row to the batter’s box. Down the lines you are close to the action, but the field level goes back some 40 or so rows, at which point you are pretty far from the field for a field level seat. Meanwhile, the upper deck goes on FOREVER. Up at the top, you feel a mile away from the action.

Comfort- 3/5

I remember the upper deck being kind of tight, but the field level seats were typical in terms of leg room and being squeezed with the seats on other side of you.

3) Atmosphere- 7.5/15

Fan Participation- 2/5

Yikes- it’s all I can say. Granted I went to a game v the Cubs, whose fans travel well and some live in Arizona. But this was Wrigley South, both games. Someone who doesn’t follow baseball would have thought this was a Cubs home game. I gave a 2 rating for the benefit of the doubt.

Attendance- 2.5/5

The lower level was packed both games, but the upper level was pretty parse. And this was for Opening Weekend! With the Cubs in town!

Fan Knowledge- 3/5

It was tough to pick up on because there were so many Cubs fans. But those D-Backs fans that were there were hardcore fans.

4) Attractions- 4/20

Team Museum & History- 1/10

I hate to give this ranking because it will kill the overall score and Chase Field is not the worst park I have been to…but the Diamondbacks are an 18 year old franchise with little history outside their amazing 2001 season. And the stadium does little to honor the little history they have.

Things to See & Do- 3/10

Again, there’s not much to do here. Normally before a game, when visiting a park for the first time, I will do an extensive tour of the park that can take up to an hour if not more. Here, I think I was done in under 30 minutes. Check out the pool, team store, and food- that’s about it.

5) Food & Drink- 8/10

Hot Dog- 3/5

A good, but very basic hot dog. Nothing to write home about.

Best of the Rest- 5/5

One thing Chase Field is known for is its food- or heart attack food. There is the D-Bat Dog, Churro Dog, and all other kinds of 2000+ calorie meals. There is good beer and prices aren’t bad at all. You can eat tacos, burgers, and a whole bunch of different food that all look amazing.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 4/5

Considering their on-field product, they need to have a good game presentation to entertain fans. And the D-Backs come through with all the classics- video board cams, mascot races, and fan contests.

7) Cleanliness- 4/5

chase field13

8) Local Scene & Location- 5/5

I love downtown Phoenix and with the park being in downtown Phoenix, this gets a perfect score for me. There are lots of bars and restaurants just minutes from the stadium that make for great places to eat and drink before or after the game.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

This is an easy park to access. You can walk here from downtown or take the metro to land right outside the park from any other part of Phoenix. And if you’re driving, it’s right off the highway with lots of parking by the stadium.

As for cost, food and drink prices are among the best in baseball while tickets are not expensive compared to their peers. In fact, I believe Chase Field has the best consumer fan index in MLB.

10) Misc+ 0

11) Personal Opinion- 3/5

For someone looking to hang out with friends and enjoy a game, this is a great spot. For the baseball junkie, it leaves you wanting more. Aesthetically, it’s a good but not great stadium. The redeeming qualities are the location, price, and food/drink. There are better parks out there, but some that are worse.

chase field4

Overall Score- 66.5/115

Ballpark Review: Safeco Field

Posted June 4, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Franchise: Seattle Mariners

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 54,097

Games Attended: May 14 and May 15, 2016 v Los Angels Angels

Section 321, Row 1, Seat 7; Section 129, Row 14, Seat 21

Opening up in 1999, Safeco Field is one of the first modern parks to have a modern look, opposed to the vintage look a place like Camden Yards went for. Almost twenty years later, Safeco still looks in good condition. In fact, I keep surprising myself every time I remember Safeco opened in the 90s and not the 2000s. When a park can do that, you know it’s a nice place to watch a game.

1) Aesthetics- 19.5/25

Exterior- 3.5/5

Like a lot of modern parks, Safeco goes for the classic Ebbets Field rotunda at the home plate entrance- and fortunately they pull it off. Outside of that though, there isn’t anything special about the stadium exterior. It’s solid, but nothing stands out and it’s not a park you can completely circle by walking, based on it’s location.

Interior- 8/10

For a stadium with a retractable roof, Safeco Field does a great job hiding that fact. In Arizona and Houston, it’s tough to ignore the roof. In Safeco, the only hint there is one is the lighting. Even then, it’s not so bad as the roof doesn’t entirely enclose the stadium so you still get some natural lighting and natural feel to the place. I love the big video board in right field and I think the overall look of the park does a good job capturing the vibe of Seattle.

Backdrop- 8/10

There is no backdrop in center field and right field because of the retractable roof. However, one of the better skyline views in baseball can be seen in left field. Over those seats you have a full view of the city, from Century Link Stadium right next door all the way to the Space Needle. It’s pretty neat, especially on a clear day.


2) Seats & View- 16.5/20

Sight Lines-9/10

The views at Safeco are overall pretty good. The upper level keeps you close to the action without sacrificing too much overhang with the first section. As for the first level, you get a good vantage point. Down the lines, the seats angle in which help to see the action without hurting your neck.

Proximity- 3.5/5

As mentioned, you are close to the field sitting in the upper levels. The park was built so the upper levels angle up but keep you closer and on top of the field. However, the lower level is farther away than most of its peers. It’s the field level so you still have a great seat but other modern parks have a lot less foul room and allows fans to be closer to the game.

Comfort- 4/5

It was a pretty full venue both games I went to and I had no problem either time being squeezed in too tight or not having enough leg room. Comfort gets a thumbs up from me.

3) Atmosphere- 10.5/15

Fan Participation- 4.5/5

The games I went to, it was a pretty loud place. Fans were into the game, yelling and hollering. This shouldn’t be a surprise as Seattle is a strong sports town that supports the Seahawks and Sounders with a passion. In the first game Seattle staged a comeback late in the game and that was among the loudest crowds I’ve heard at a game.

Attendance- 3/5

Both games I went to had a nearly full house. However, I docked points because the M’s do have a history in recent years of poor attendance. I understand it is due to poor team performance, but that’s going to hurt this rating. One thing I will say, is Safeco is a sleeping giant. I could see this place becoming ATT-Lite once the Mariners can put a consistently quality product on the field.

Fan Knowledge- 3/5

The fans here are very passionate, but not the brightest. I noticed there were a lot of “complain about every call” fans, which are the WORST fans. Every ball should be a strike apparently.

4) Attractions- 17/20

Museum & Team History- 9/10

For a team without much success or history at all, they do a great job with the museum. It’s a dual Pacific Northwest/Mariners Hall of Fame which is really cool. They have plaques, videos, and information on players inducted into the Mariners HOF, as well as cool info on different games and moments in Mariners history. At the same time, they detail the history of the sport in the region, from the Tacoma Rainers to teams in British Columbia and Oregon.

Things to See & Do- 8/10

There’s either a lot or a little to see and do depending on your interests. For me, I enjoyed walking around the park.There is the home plate rotunda. There is the museum and HOF. There is the skyline view from the upper level. You can stand right next to the bullpens in the outfield and be five feet from the pitcher warming up. You can warm up to the fire pit beyond the center field seats. So to me, it was cool. The team store was also quite large for those that like to buy team gear.


5) Food & Drink- 7/10

Hot Dog- 2/5

The Mariner dog was not that good. It reminder me of the Astro dog, just slightly better.

Best of the Rest- 5/5

Outside the hot dogs, there is a lot to love about the park’s food and drink choices. I had a grilled Italian Sausage which was real good. I also had a waffle dipped in chocolate. It was cold which threw me off, but because of the chocolate I wolfed it down. Other choices include Japanese and sushi, as well as soups to get through the cold days early in the season. As for drinks, Safeco is the place for those that love craft brews as they offer a lot of local choices.

6) Game Entertainment & Presentation- 5/5

I thought the Mariners did a very nice job with their entertainment. It kept you amused between innings without overdoing it. They had the kids steal a base promotion which is always a good one because you’re making a kid’s day. Their find the ball in the hat contest was the hardest version I’ve seen- the first time I could not get it right- twice! And playing Louie! Louie! after the 7th inning stretch was great and the crowd all sang in unison.

7) Cleanliness- 4/5

It wasn’t out of the box clean, but it’s a modern park so it wasn’t dirty at all.

8) Local Scene & Location- 4/5

As for the local scene, it is close to the waterfront and downtown so you’re just several minutes from bars and restaurants. Right outside the stadium is a long street with some food vendors who had some fantastic smells arising from the grill.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

From the stadium to the north end of the city, where Key Arena is, is about a 30-40 minute walk which is not bad at all. So if you’re coming from the city, it’s very accessible between foot, bus, and train. Safeco is also right off the highway in case you’re driving from out of town.

Cost of the tickets is overall pretty good. They’re not Yankee Stadium prices, but not the cheapest tickets either. I bought from the team for my behind the plate, row 14 seats for about $70 which I’ll take for that location. As for food and drink prices, Safeco is among the best value for what you’re getting.

10) Misc.+ 2

Statistics- On the video boards there was a strong reliance on stats and some advanced numbers which I love. I also liked how they update a pitcher’s in game totals and season totals throughout the game.

Bullpen- These are the coolest bullpens in the game because of how close access fans have. The bullpens are within shouting distance in most parks, like Progressive or Yankee Stadium. But here you are literally RIGHT THERE.

11) Personal Opinion- 4/5

I very much enjoyed my time in Safeco. Crowds were good, food and drink was overall good, it was an accessible park, and it was a beautiful stadium. It is not in the top tier 5/5 PNC and Wrigley tier of ballparks, but it’s just one step down the ladder which is still pretty darn good.


Overall Score- 94/115

Ballpark Review: Wrigley Field

Posted June 2, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Franchise: Chicago Cubs

Year Opened: 1914

Capacity: 42,495

Games Attended: May 27 and May 29, 2016 v Philadelphia Phillies

Bleachers and Aisle 403, Row 1, Seat 110

Since my latest ballpark review, I’ve checked out four different parks. Wrigley is the most recent and I will work my way backwards to the park I saw right after PNC Park last September.

Wrigley Field is one of the two remaining Mecca’s on my journey, along with Fenway Park, so as you can imagine, this was a much anticipated trip. Despite the hype, Wrigley Field met expectations and then some.

1) Aesthetics- 21/25

Exterior- 4/5

The exterior was relatively nondescript, but at different points you could see into the field or the concourse, which is cool and builds excitement as you enter the gates. What gives the high rating though is the famous Wrigley sign outside the main gate at the home plate entrance. For my money, it’s the most iconic entrance in sports and it is so cool to see in person- especially at night when it’s lit up.

wrigley field entrance3

Interior- 9/10

As much as I wish Cubs management didn’t add the new video board in 2015, there is no denying Wrigley Field is a spectacular sight, despite its age. The gorgeous green ivy is a twist unique only to Wrigley. The bullpens being in play is super cool. Flags fly on the foul pole with the names of retired Cubbies. Wrigley is home to the most iconic scoreboard in sports, located in dead center- and you can see flags flying to show the NL standings for each division. And despite my dislike of them, the new video boards are rather astounding. If the Cubs ever leave Wrigley, it needs to be preserved as an art piece because it’s so beautiful.

Backdrop- 8/10

Some people might not think the Wrigley backdrop is anything special, but I think it is. I love that it’s in the middle of a neighborhood, so there’s a bunch of apartment buildings with the occasional corporate office high rise in the background. Even better are the rooftop apartments right across the street. However, the video boards do block this great backdrop a little bit now, so I dropped the score from a 9 to an 8.

2) Seats & View-13/20

Sight Lines- 6/10

My seats were good. In the bleachers, you have a generally good view of the game that lets you see all the angles, especially if you are sitting higher up. In Aisle 403, it was near the left field foul pole and I again had a great angle where I could pick up all vantage points. HOWEVER, Wrigley is famous for the obstructed seats and half the seats in the 200 level are affected by the overhang from the 400 level. So I canĀ  only give a mediocre rating here.

wrigley field7

Proximity- 4/5

Because the park is so old, it was built in a time when seats were close to the field. The bleachers let you feel close to the outfielders. Meanwhile the 400 level upper deck is one of the closest in baseball. However, the 200 level does extend well underneath the 400 level, so those seats aren’t that close at all. But if you can get seats in the bleachers, 100 level, or 400 level on up, you’ll feel close to the action.

Comfort- 3/5

Despite the bleachers having no back and being sold out, I was comfortable. As for my seats in Aisle 403, I felt I had good leg room and not squeezed in too tight with my neighbors. HOWEVER, I know some seats, because it is an old park, are not angled towards the plate so you could go home with a sore neck. It didn’t affect me, but it might affect others so I lowered the score to accommodate.

3) Atmosphere- 14/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

I referred to Wrigley Field as a Mecca earlier in the post, and the fan participation definitely helps that claim. Without a doubt, Wrigley Field had the best fan participation of any stadium I have been too. We got rained on the first game and fans stayed. Not only that, they started cheering! The famous 7th inning stretch was sung in unison by all 38,000 fans. And everyone was focusing on the game- it was great.

Attendance- 5/5

Even in losing years the Cubs are typically a top 5 drawing team, so when they have the best record in MLB, of course attendance is going to be high.

Fan Knowledge- 4/5

Cubs fans are the real deal. While some are there just because it’s Wrigley, most live for the game of baseball and you can tell. It’s fun talking with them about the sport.

4) Attractions- 14/20

Museum & Team History- 7/10

There is no team museum. It’s an old, tiny park so it’s tough to knock them on it. However, there is plenty of history at the park. They honor players with their flags on the foul poles. There are four statures in total on the corners of the park outside the gates. On a brick wall as you access the bleachers, they have every logo in Cubs history painted on the wall which was really cool. Outside the park they have bricks paid for by fans, but on each portion of bricks are names of famous Cubs players. They also have plaques on the same brick wall of the logos, honoring former Cubs greats. So the team does all it can do to honor its past without a museum.

Things to See & Do- 7/10

Because Wrigley is so historic, there are things to see and do which are really cool, but it’s not a long list. There are the statues of Ernie Banks, Harry Caray, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams. You can check out the Bartman seat (Aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113) which actually has a fantastic view. You can get down close to the bullpens. You can check out obstructed views just to see what it’s like. Other than that though, just take in the park as a whole from the ivory to rooftop seats.

5) Food & Drink- 6.5/10

Hot Dog- 4.5/5

Ah, the Chicago dog. A bunch of toppings I don’t put on a dog and it’s mustard only when I’m a ketchup guy. But these were great. Maybe it was the soft poppy seed bun, but man, these tasted good. And I loved having a tomato on the dog. Just make sure you bring cash- it’s cash only at the carts!

Best of the Rest- 2/5

The limited food carts looked good, but everything else, not so much. There are limited options- pretty much dogs, brats, hamburgers, and nachos. The generic hot dogs were cold and pre-made so I imagine the rest isn’t much better.

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 4.5/5

For Wrigley Field, I thought they nailed the game entertainment. It’s a classic park and that’s why you’re there. So it’s a good thing they didn’t do the Kiss Cam or have a mascot race. But they did use the video board for some stuff, such as player fun facts and trivia questions. I think that type of game presentation is perfect for the iconic venue.

7) Cleanliness- 3.5/5

For a park that is 102 years old, it’s in real good condition. It wasn’t sparkling clean, but I didn’t notice anything dirty or smelly. The bathrooms use a trough which most people probably don’t like, but I think it’s cool they keep that throwback touch and the bathroom was clean, all things considered.

8) Local Scene & Location- 5/5

This gets a 5/5, without a doubt. Wrigleyville is the best game day spot for any of the 30 parks. I have only been to 15, but I can’t imagine the other 15 being better. There are bars up and down the surrounding streets to target before and after games. There are plenty of vendors to get your Cubs gear. People treat Cubs games like a party so the crowds will be there early and stay late, which is a good thing in this case. The local scene is an experience in itself and quintessential to your overall Wrigley experience. It’s also located in one of the nicer Chicago neighborhoods.

9) Access & Cost- 4/5

Accessing the stadium is super easy. The Red Line CTA drops off right outside the gates and there is a CTA bus that drops off as well. Driving to the stadium might be tough, so take the train. Or because it is in a neighborhood, ubering is an easy, cost-efficient choice.

As for pricing, Wrigley isn’t friendly on the wallet. I thought pricing could be worse because it’s Wrigley Field and the team is good so in context, you get okay value with their ticket pricing. Bleachers are $60-$70 which is too high in my estimation, but that’s the best way to watch a game there and families aren’t out there, so it’s not like a family of four will be spending $200+ on tickets alone. So in that sense, that price might be worth it. Elsewhere, you can get a good 400 level seat for around $50 which isn’t too bad.

10) Misc. +2

Scoreboard- As I said, it’s the best scoreboard in sports.

Day Games- The Cubs are the only team to still play Friday matinees, which I LOVE. Day baseball is better baseball.

wrigley field scoreboard3

11) Personal Option-5/5

As I mentioned earlier, Wrigley Field met expectations and then some. I knew the park is 102 years old, so I wasn’t expecting too much other than nostalgia. But it was clean, my seat views were good, and the crowd was electric. I kept looking around the park during the games and thinking “this place is so cool”. PNC was an amazing place, but Wrigley seriously gives it a run for its money- and not only because of its history. If Wrigley was, lets say, 50 years old it would still be near the top of my list. It is just a beautiful park and watching baseball there is a joy.

wrigley field3

Overall Score- 96.5/115




Shortening MLB Games

Posted May 21, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

After minor rule changes led to MLB games lasting, on average, 2 hours and 56 minutes in 2015, an average MLB game is back up over 3 hours in 2016. This bump has caught the eye of Commissioner Rob Manfred as MLB tries to find ways to shorten the average length of games to keep fans and viewers more interested in the sport. Below are easy, no-brainer changes that should be made to shorten the length of games.

Limit mound visits

Nothing eats up more time and nothing is more frustrating as a fan than mound visits. Baseball has no rule on mound visits other than that the pitcher needs to be subbed if the coach is visiting for the second time that inning. But a catcher can go check on his battery mate 100 times an inning if he wants. While the situation has never gotten that bad, it certainly feels like it. The other night in Safeco, the Angels catcher visited the mound at least four times one inning and it probably came at the cost of 4-5 minutes of playing time.

A team should only have a certain amount of mound visits a game, regardless of whether it’s a player or coach. I’d say three times is a good number. This wouldn’t include pitching changes, but any type of visit without removing the pitcher.

-Pitching Changes

A real time killer is pitching changes, especially later in the game when managers play the percentages. There have been innings with two or three pitching changes alone. To fix this, I recommend a couple things. 1) Only 1 pitching change an inning. This will keep managers from eating up clock by bringing in relievers for just a batter or two. The reason I say 1 change per inning instead of 0 is for the case a pitcher is terrible and gives up a ton of runs and should be replaced. 2) Minimum batters faced. By creating a rule that a pitcher must face at least 3 batters before being subbed, this will prevent adding time to the game with multiple changes in one inning.

– Pitch Clock

There is a 20 second pitch clock in MiLB and it works. MLB needs to implement it- and not just in name. If a pitcher takes too long to deliver a pitch, it becomes a ball. This one is on the umps to enforce and they should be fined, along with the pitchers and batters, for not complying.

– Game Clock

The game clock is already in place, but again, it needs to be enforced. If the pitcher and batter aren’t ready between innings the 2 minute clock expires, they are fined.


A Decision for the People

Posted February 14, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

The big news shaking up the political world this weekend is the death of US Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. In the wake of his death, conservatives have sounded the alarm on how this is terrible for America. To them, King Obama has another chance to ruin our freedom, ruin our Constitution, and appoint another “commie” to our highest court. As a result, Republicans have called for a new justice to not be appointed until we have a new president. If only they could see the irony in that.

One of the leaders over this conservative outcry is Senator Ted Cruz. This morning on ABC Cruz stated, “This should be a decision for the people. Let the election decide”. Fortunately for all involved, the election already did decide this issue- in 2012.

According to Article II, Section II of the Constitution- the very Constitution conservatives claim to defend while liberals destroy it- it is the duty of the president to nominate justices. As far as I know, Obama won the 2012 which was decided by we the people. So why would Obama not nominate someone and leave the seat open for over a year? If Cruz and other Republicans want to defend and follow the Constitution then they should be encouraging Obama to fulfill his presidential obligations. Moreover, Obama still has OVER A YEAR left in his presidency. As far as I know, president’s don’t suddenly lose power during an election season. He can still veto, sign bills, and run our country. So again, why can’t he do the simple task of nominating a justice? Because it makes YOU (conservatives) upset? Tough luck! That’s the way the cookie crumbles!

Now of course conservatives are upset that a conservative spot on the bench will most likely be lost to a liberal spot. But if the Constitution is the holy document they deem it to be, then this should be accepted as tough shit. You can’t pick and choose when to follow the Constitution and when to ignore it based on whether it helps you or hurts you. In fact, if Scalia were alive to weigh in on this situation, he would be shaking his head at Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, and anybody else hoping to delay this appointment. Especially when Republicans would be crying foul if one of their own were in power and Democrats tried to block their nomination.

Ted Cruz is right when he says this should be a decision for the people. Well the people spoke in 2012. And they choose President Obama to run our country and make these decisions until March 2017.

Cam Newton-Winner

Posted February 11, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized


Cam Newton NOT walking off the field before handshakes like Peyton did when he lost in 2010.


In the aftermath of Super Bowl 50 the biggest news story was not Peyton Manning possibly retiring on top or the Broncos ferocious defense. Instead, the media and fans alike turned their attention towards Carolina Panthers QB, Cam Newton. Why? Because of a sour demeanor in his post-game press conference that ended abruptly with a walk-out.

Going into the Super Bowl, Cam Newton was already a controversial figure because he has the gall to have fun playing a game- a game which is designed for our entertainment, mind you. Whether it’s dabbing or revealing his Superman logo or smiling, Cam attracted plenty of haters (and lots of fans) for his high-energy persona. So naturally after a poor performance in football’s biggest stage, his haters came out of the woods in full force and did not hold anything back. But was it deserved? Simply put, no.

Before delving into why it’s not deserved, I do want to point out that he should have handled the situation better. His reasoning for not diving on the ball wasn’t great and he should have at least explained why he left the press conference suddenly (or at least say something when leaving). While he IS a good leader, his actions didn’t reflect it. He failed in that moment, but to be human is to err. Cam is a young guy and hopefully he will look back at this and learn how to better handle failure in the future.

With all that said, the hate he has received has been terrible. It’s one thing to not be a Cam fan, but the hate he is generating is vicious. Digging deeper, without being racial, you see it doesn’t make too much sense. Going through social media he has been called a coward, un-American, loser, bum, and much worse. All that, for walking out on a presser? Well, I guess it’s deserved since the media did the same to Tom Brady. Oh wait, they didn’t. In fact, looking at the story, people are complimentary of Brady (passion, desire to win, raw emotion, sore loser) for the same things Cam is being trashed for. Why the double standard? Now, the Super Bowl IS a much bigger platform. But the same principles should apply regardless. At the end of the day, Brady is a loved, “terrible loser” while Cam is a ridiculed “sore loser”. That doesn’t make much sense to me. Going even further, Cam even plagiarized his “show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser” quote. The man who said it? The man who the Super Bowl trophy is named after.

As for the press conference, I wish he didn’t walk off. But, but, but, but- he lost the biggest game of his life and didn’t play well. He has to answer questions just minutes after the game and has to do so with the CORNERBACK of the WINNING team talking about him literally just a few feet BEHIND HIS BACK. Put yourself in his shoes and see how you would handle it. I consider myself a good guy and I very well could have done the same.

But here’s the real reason Cam shouldn’t be belittled. He is one of the NFL’s “good guys”. Many All-Stars with fame and money don’t give back to the community or they only do so in name. Cam actively involves himself to help others. He hosts and attends camps for kids where he actually engages with them opposed to being there for ten minutes and leaving. He fed over 800 kids this past Thanksgiving. Does that sound like a loser? A coward? A scumbag? Not to me, especially when you have players like Greg Hardy and Vontize Burfict in the league. If you’re using scumbag on Cam, what are you calling those players?

While I hope Cam learns from this experience, I also hope he continues being the Cam Newton that got him to where he is today. At the end of the day, if you can impact the lives of others in a positive way while bringing joy to your fans, then you’re a winner in my book. Keep dabbin’ Cam, keep dabbin’.






Posted January 22, 2016 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Hello World,

Not that anyone reads this blog, but I intend to starting writing again. Not always about baseball though. It might be personal diaries, political opinions, or even motivational thoughts. Either way, it will probably still be a replacement level blog.


Ballpark Review: PNC Park

Posted September 29, 2015 by @mikecordisco
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Franchise: Pittsburgh Pirates

Year Opened: 2001

Capacity: 38,362

Games Attended: September 16 & 17 2015 v Chicago Cubs

Sec 119, Row B and Sec 317, Row J

Anyone who loves ballparks will tell you PNC Park is considered the holy grail of baseball stadiums. It routinely ranks at the top of ballpark rankings. A quick google image search will reveal hundreds of breathtaking photos with the skyline in the backdrop. So PNC Park certainly was the most hyped up and anticipated park I have made it to- and it certainly lived up to the hype.

1) Aesthetics- 23/25

Exterior- 4/5

Unlike most other modern parks, PNC did not go with the red brick exterior. However, the exterior still has a smooth, clean design. And to me, it conjures up images of a castle which I like.

Interior- 9/10

My words can do no justice for how amazing PNC Park is so I will just rattle off some of the great features of this park. The video board in left, the batters eye in center with “Pirates” sculpted in the shrubbery, the 21 foot out-of-town scoreboard in right that honors Roberto Clemente, the drinking patio in left, the green fence with blue seats that honor Forbes Field, and the mini facade in the upper deck.

Backdrop- 10/10

The bridge. The river. The skyline. Wow.

2) Seats & View- 17/20

Sight lines- 9/10

Not only does PNC provide amazing views, but the seats are built so you can actually get the most out of these views! Even when sitting up close there is no lack of angle that hurts perception on reading fly balls to the outfield. Seats are also angled down the line to face back in towards the infield which is always a good thing. You won’t have to worry about weird seat angles, overhangs, support beams, or anything else in that nature.

Proximity- 5/5

PNC Park is built so they have the closest seats in baseball. Home plate seemingly runs right up to the fence. Moreover, there are essentially just two levels, so the “upper deck” really isn’t an upper deck at all. And the rows in the second level do not climb up forever as they do at other parks.

Comfort- 3/5

I felt fine, but the comfort of the seats was simply average. There wasn’t a ton of leg room or side-to-side room. It was what you would expect.

3) Atmosphere- 11/15

Fan Participation- 5/5

MLB needs Pittsburgh to be good because this city is a legit baseball town. 90 loss seasons will hurt anyone’s attendance, but now that the team is a contender again, PNC is a boisterous place. Both games were loud, with fans involved on every pitch and waving their pirate flags all over the stadium. It was a ton of fun to experience the PNC crowds.

Attendance- 4/5

Not a perfect score because their attendance still sits at 75-80%, but both games I attended were pretty packed.

Fan Knowledge- 2/5

I only did not give a 1 as a benefit of the doubt to all other Pirates fans. For both games I was stuck behind the dumbest fans of all-time. One guy thought Jake Arrieta, with his 96mph fastball moving 5-10 inches, was throwing a straight fastball any A ball player can hit- and he would not shut up about it. The next day one guy wanted to know why Jordy Mercer was batting fourth and was going in on Clint Hurdle. He must have forgot Kang was hurt and replaced by Mercer not 10 minutes before. Both fans claimed to be ticket holders who have been coming out to games for years.

4) Attractions- 12/20

Museum & Team History- 6/10

The only thing that would have made this park perfect was more attention to their storied history. The Pirates have been around since the 19th century, played in the first World Series, have won several championships, and has been the home of several Hall of Fame players. Yet there is no team museum and the retired numbers are tough to locate in the stadium. The one redeeming quality are the four statues on the outside corners of the park- Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Honus Wagner, and Willie Stargell. And there are banners in left field honoring Negro League players who played in Pittsburgh.

The one explanation for not having a team museum of their own is that the Heinz Museum across the river has an entire room dedicated to baseball history Pittsburgh. Still, it would have been better if PNC had their own.

Things to See & Do- 6/10

The Pirates had one of the larger team stores I’ve seen with a good selection of products. The center and right field concourse is also cool because it’s open and has a great view of downtown Pittsburgh, as well as a picnic area. The Pirates have a couple bars/restaurants on multiple levels of the stadium. Overall though, there isn’t much to do other than take in the beauty of the park and take a ton of photos. If you have time- visit Heinz Field which is next door.

5) Food & Drink- 10/10

Hot Dog- 4/5

I got a special dog with BBQ sauce, mustard, ketchup, and onions. Damn it was good. Only downer was that the dog was so big so the bun fell apart.

Best of the Rest- 5/5

I got the special Pirates craft beer and it was really good. If you don’t want the Pirates special brew, there are more than enough craft brews to choose from. They also had wings, Primanti Bros, gyros, burgers, and more. Everything smelled and looked amazing- for an affordable price!

Bonus- Pirogis!

6) Game Entertainment/Presentation- 4/5

PNC Park has one of only three mascot races worthy of excitement- the Pirogi race. As for the rest of their entertainment, it’s nothing special but they do get bonus points for trying to do different “games” and cams than other parks. For example, one game was designed for a person to do a physical activity to win a prize.

7) Cleanliness- 4/5

It was a clean park. It’s 14 years old now so it’s not in mint condition, but clean is clean.

8) Local Scene & Location- 5/5

It’s tough to beat the scene in the Pittsburgh. One- it’s right across the river from downtown. Even if you cross the bridge back over, there will be food shops open and it’s only a short walk to the Strip District where there are bars galore. If you stay on the stadium side, you will also find eateries and bars nearby. Other attractions include Heinz Field, Mount Washington, Heinz Museum, Art Museum, and more.

9) Access & Cost- 4.5/5

PNC, for how amazing it is, has to be the most valuable stadium in baseball. Tickets, even my first level row B tickets, were cheap. The food and drinks are cheap (for stadiums). With a winning team and fantastic park they can easily charge more which made it so surprising that I could get amazing seats for under $50.

As for access, if you plan on walking from nearby then you get the honor of walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The bridge is closed off on game days, allowing fans to walk to and from the stadium for games. However, full points are not given due to traffic. I didn’t drive to the games, but traffic in Pittsburgh is terrible so I’d imagine this stadium isn’t as accessible by way of car. However, it seemed like most people walked and I would recommend it just to walk across the bridge and get that view.

10) Misc- 3

Out-of-Town Scoreboard- 1

PNC has my favorite out-of-town board in baseball- and the fact it’s 21 feet high in honor of Roberto Clemente is just icing on the cake.

Stats & Info- 1

The scoreboard did a tremendous job providing useful stats. What separates PNC from all other parks I have been to is the pitch f/x data. Yes, you heard that right. Along with velocity and pitch count, PNC shows you the horizontal and vertical break of a pitch.

Concourse- 1

11) Personal Opinion- 5/5

Public Enemy once said “don’t believe the hype”. When it comes to PNC Park, that is most definitely false. PNC Park is worth the hype and then some. It has the best backdrop, views, food, and stats/info of any park I have been to. It is without a doubt the #1 park in baseball.

Overall Score- 98.5/115