Stadium Journey has been to every stadium in the country–every backwoods dirt field littered with cigarette butts, every sleek new digs housing a franchise that’s changed it’s nickname six times in the last four years. So they know when a minor league stadium is a keen spot to bring a family, or an extremely tolerant date–or when it’s less of a playing facility and more of an increasingly barren field of grass with a few strategically placed frisbees.
With this knowledge under their cap, the guys at SJ–that’s what we, their close friends, are permitted to call them, so don’t go tossing that nickname around like you’ve earned it–have ranked the top 30 minor league stadiums. Sitting at the peak is Lehigh Valley’s very own Coca-Cola Park, one of two locales on the list named after Coca-Cola, and the home of the sexiest ‘Pigs in baseball.
So before you start those needless yelps about the Phillies’ shallow farm system, remember this: We may not have the best prospects, but at least they’re playing on the best field. And that’s got to mean something. On the internet. Which it does. As I just proved.
Don’t believe me? Fine. Ryne Sandberg does. And that’s a fallback I have in no other arguments, ever.
You have to consider Sandberg’s position, though. He is a Cub lifer; his blue blood courses through veins of ivy. He is–and has no reason not to be–associated forever with only one team. And, after giving them his life and Hall of Fame career, he expected to be taken care of in a serious, high profile way.
Coaching the Iowa Cubs is not quite that way. Managing the Chicago Cubs probably is. However, the Cubs made it clear that they are not interested in Sandberg’s managerial skills on the Major League level, and passed on him. Twice. Two times, Sandberg’s narrative fate seemed like it was going to parallel his playing career and bring him close to the Phillies’ grasp, only to drag him off to Chicago.
Now, though, he’s sick of this farce, and has clearly decided to go all in with the Phillies. Who knows! Maybe one day, when Charlie Manuel’s time in Philly is done, the well-groomed Triple-A manager with a fit of vengeance festering in his guts takes the reins and pilots a lovable crew of ne’er-do-wells to the sixth World Series championship in franchise history. Yes, I expect Charlie’s career to be extremely productive in the next few years. How can you prove me wrong here in the present?
Anyways, Sandberg has clearly fallen in love with Coca-Cola Park, as well as the system that populates it, as he has sold his Chicago-area residence and, we can only assume, is perusing Philadelphia Craigslist for housing as we speak. I mean sure, he can crash at my place if he has to, but he’s got to be prepared for all the shrieking, stomping, and barbecue utensil-throwing that baseball season brings.
It’ll probably be fine. Right? I know it will. Look, I already made up the guest bed. By which I mean the computer chair that I lay down on the floor horizontally and sleep on.