Introduction to this year’s arc
And all will meet together under the two flags all sound and well they’ll be talking and laughter and cheers. And all will say “did it not seem real; was it not as in the old days?”
Nope, that’s Ken Burns. It’s time to finally discuss Junior Circuit ‘22!
Wait, Michael wasn’t just hired to rant about the Major League Owners?
At the risk of showing my youth, I didn’t know who that player was either. Eric immediately knew and said, “George Brett’s little brother.” To which, I replied, “Wait, George Brett had a brother? Which is a sentiment that I’m sure goes over extremely well at the Brett homestead.” And someone where my younger brother is scowling...
Ken Brett serves as an appropriate avatar/secondary mascot for this season as per Baseball-Reference, he’s the ONLY player who played for the Twins, the White Sox, the Royals, and the Phillies, which should be a big hint as to where I’m going as for these new adventures.
Originally, I was going to go just to Minnesota, Philadelphia, Chicago (AL), and Kansas City, but then life happened. But first, let us indulge in a little traveling music. After the last couple of months, I think I have earned it.
My plans for travel in 2022 finally became fairly straightforward, thanks to the shenanigans that the owners caused. The map and table shall define the scope of the “field research.”
This essay was the first essay I prepared as a paid writer for TrueBlueLA but I knew we were in a lockout, so I figured it would be best to wait to publish. And then I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then, the first week of the season was “canceled.” So I got annoyed and wrote about 24,000 words so far in the “It’s Not My Money(ball) series. I figured the trip to Target Field would be shelved. And then the second week of the season was “canceled.” So I undid all my travel preparations. Then the lockout ended, and there was much rejoicing. However, I had a more muted reaction, because then the first planned dates for the Ken Brent arc had gone from canceled to uncancelled in the span of fewer than 24 hours. I reacted appropriately.
Okay, I’ll stop lying. But once, the (figurative) whiplash had worn off, I collected myself and reset myself. Then I figured I might as well give the schedule a second look. Last year, I realized that trips from San Francisco as far east as Colorado I could do with a single-night turnaround, otherwise, I would need an additional day to acclimate and, ideally, a day to recover.
As I’m trying to save my time off, this restriction mostly limits my trips to weekends with three notable exceptions. The end result of this planning is shown below.
The 2022 Itinerary Field Research for the Guide
|Stop Number||Dates in 2022||Ballpark and City||Comments, If Any|
|Stop Number||Dates in 2022||Ballpark and City||Comments, If Any|
|1||April 12 and 13||Target Field, Minneapolis, MN||Dates that were most in peril from the owners' labor stoppage. Now it's just the weather|
|2||May 21 and 22||Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA|
|2a||May 23||Nationals Park, Washington, DC||First visit since 2015|
|3||May 28 and 29||Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ|
|4||June 7-9||Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL||Will also return to Wrigley Field for a tour while in town|
|5||July 15 and July 16||Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA|
|6||July 30||Coors Field, Denver, CO||Might go to the game on the 31st - that's a maybe|
|7||August 13 and 14||Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO|
|7a||August 15 and 16||American Life Field, Milwaukee, WI||The Bill Hurley Memorial Stop|
|8||September 10||Petco Park, San Diego, CA||With this game, I'll have visited the National League|
As you can see, by the time this update finally, mercifully posts, I’ll be landing in Minneapolis. If everything goes to plan, I’ll have toured Target Field by lunchtime California time. And if things go really well, I won’t be cold and/or wet.
As of right now, the first five games of the year are confirmed and those logistics as to them are finally locked in. Everything after the first five games of this list is still technically tentative because I have not secured airfare, hotels, or baseball tickets...yet.
As much as it pains me, it seems fairly probable that I’ll miss the Jon Weisman / TBLA Staff Meeting at Dodger Stadium on July 23. Regardless, that outing at Dodger Stadium gets left off the chart, because it’s not for the Guide - that’s just a meet-up/staff meeting.
The only repeats from last year, apart from any games I may do in San Francisco (please see below), are Phoenix, Anaheim, and Denver. In my mind, it’s not fair to judge a place after a single game. Plus, I have friends in Denver who I can stay with, so that cuts down on the expenses considerably.
I currently have no other plans to visit Dodger Stadium in 2022 in the regular season, but depending on family/friends, you never know. Those bobbleheads are awfully tempting.
(The Post-Season on the other hand...well, let’s not count chickens prematurely.)
You may notice that there are currently no dates in San Francisco. Well, technically I consider those “home” games because I don’t have to do anything apart from driving my car up the street to park at the light rail station, and then travel on the light rail train to mosey a couple of blocks to Oracle Park.
My general rule going forward is: I don’t go to games in San Francisco unless I’m with friends and family because I’ve been to Oracle Park far too many times for there to be any novelty whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice ballpark. But it’s expensive - not Dodger Stadium expensive and I’d rather spend those funds going to strange, new places. With the shift to a balanced schedule in 2023 (gross), I likely focus on regions rather than divisions going forward, but that’s a future-me, next-year problem. However, as I have given friends and family the dates of the three Dodgers-Giants series in San Francisco, I now share the list with you as well:
- June 10-12 (weekend series)
- August 1-4
- September 16-18 (weekend series)
So if games get tacked on locally, it’ll likely be those and I’ll look forward to spending time with friends and family at the ballpark. Please holler if you wish me to tag along on any adventure to Oracle Park.
All told that’s about 10-20 games in six to ten cities in 2022. As such, it’s about half the “workload” as in 2021. Baring something unexpected of my main job going away, this pace of travel should hopefully be quite sustainable going forward.
And the original plan was to have the first entry of the Guide be San Francisco. However, circumstances have arisen on my end to the point where I’m changing things up. Then I realized if I am recommending that folks should go to Chicago and Pittsburgh, I should get those Guide entries out ASAP. The first three entries of the Guide will be as follows:
- San Francisco
Please look forward to it!