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This week: The Retro Stadiums

Good: PacBell Park.

Loafing against the bay like a surfer waiting on the tide, PacBell Park has a lot going for it. One—it's quirky nature is due to the physical effects of the landscape, not just some architects reading of what's nostalgic. Two—this same quirkiness helps the teams' most incredible batter, Barry Bonds. Three—on the socio/political front, it didn't raise taxes and is accessible by more public transport than any other stadium. That its expensive and has a dumb name, and that ugly coke-bottle and baseball glove mess in left field doesn't take away from it's charm. Both can be removed—and we bet someday they will. For now, PacBell shows us the promise of the future. And when homers fly into the bay, well, that's too damn cool.

Bad: Miller Park

Screw the Milwaukee Brewers. For the Brewers have always been a dull team, and will always remain so. OK, so perhaps we hate Milwaukee, and perhaps we hate retractable roofs. But this place plain stinks. Thanks, Wisconsin lawmakers, for shoving this one down the throats of the people against their wishes. And thanks to Bud for not putting a team worth seeing on this great white whale of yours. You suck.

Ugly: Comerica Park.

It's not too bad—if you close your eyes until you get to your seat. Does all new architecture in Michigan have to be so gaudy? OK, one big concrete tiger is fine—do we need fifty? Do we need that idiotic, malfunctioning Ferris wheel? That crappy merry-go-round? And, on the diamond, the place has a weird look to it, as if a field was pulled on from every corner and stretched in every direction. We know it's big and wide and better for pitchers, but does it have to look so flat? And the view—well, it's the great section of abandoned skyscrapers surrounding Circus Park, the same ones whose balusters were falling to the sidewalks, the same ones that mean blight in Detroit. Personally, we believe that the old, run down buildings have a certain beauty to them, but that feeling's probably not so mutual. And here's a question for you: why is the place so lily-white? In the center of the urban center with the largest population of African-Americans, would it be so much to have a black announcer and a few less white ushers? Guess not.

Cobb: A Biography
By Al Stump

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