I had hoped my business trips would give me one or two more opportunities to see games in other places this season. Sure enough, this week afforded me the chance to stay over in Cincinnati on Monday night.
An evening function threatened the ballgame window. I discretely emailed one of the VIP hosts late last week to ask whether he was a baseball fan. Yes indeed, he answered, and he loved the idea of getting to Great American Ballpark, even if we would be late.
So, sure enough, the business event carried on until just after 7:30pm, leaving us most of the night and only a few blocks' walk away from Reds v. D'Backs. As we prepared to sneak away, another colleague jumped on the bandwagon and we bolted together.
Arrived in time to find two things: (1) premium seats behind home plate were readily available, and (2) Joey Votto has opposite field pop.
Yes, we sat just in time to see Votto blast one. By that time in the game, we'd already missed back-to-back jacks in the first inning (Bruce and Stubbs, I think). We hoped to get a Chapman appearance, but it was not to be. We had to settle for a heavy dose of Bronson Arroyo.
The game turned into a slugfest in favor of the homees. Should have been good news for a team running away with the NL Central, but an unexpected fact confronted and confounded us: there was nobody apparently AT this game. Official attendance was a sliver over 12,000, and I'd still guess they weren't all there.
I just don't get it. You have a first place team, surprising pitching, an MVP candidate, and Cincinnati has relatively affordable seats. The face value of the seats we picked up behind home plate was only a few dollars more than similar seats over the catcher's shoulder in Oaktown.
Granted, it was only a Monday and, probably even worse, it was only the Diamondbacks. Still, wouldn't it be normal to expect a little better turnout for the stretch run as the Reds approach the clinching games?
Get out there, Cincinnati!