Smell that? If you're a Yankee, Philly or Twins fan, it's the playoffs and it stinks so good. However, if you're a Mets, Blue Jays or Dodgers fan, that stench wafting through your nose holes comes across more like a NYC subway trash can in August. The last week of regular baseball can be painful for those whose teams have fallen out of the running, but that doesn't mean that they still can't enjoy a night at the ballpark.
Here are some tips that should allow you to have fun with your favorite clubs for the next week and a half (Note: My apologies to the fans of the Kansas City Royals -- I should have prepared this list for you back in May.):
- Murder Mystery Night -- Think about a typical September evening at CitiField. It makes you think about killing yourself, right? Well, instead of imagining suicide, image homicide and there you have MLB Murder Mystery Night. Play it like a game of Clue and you've got entertainment for hours! Who killed Ollie Perez? Was it Mr. Met in the bullpen with the Dippin' Dots or was it K-Rod's baby mama's daddy at the Shake Shack with the 1986 World Series trophy? The tension could be titillating! And if you really want to challenge you and your friends, try to figure out who killed Bud Selig -- it could be anybody!
- Invent Snacks -- At this point in the season, you've probably eaten just about everything the ballpark has to offer. However, that shouldn't stop you from coming up with brand new kinds of dishes. Pretend you're a cheftestant on Top Chef and see what you can do with a Dodger Dog, some garlic fries and a microwavable cheese pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. I'd make a wiener hot pocket with a garlicky potato crust. Mmmm-mmmm good.
- Hide & No Seek -- So you've paid twenty bucks to watch the Marlins or the A's play somebody who will most likely beat them. Don't feel like a useless idiot; rather, use this opportunity to stake your claim for some seats for weeks three and four of the football season. Since the Marlins and the A's share stadiums with the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders, respectively, go find somewhere in the arena to lay low for a few days until kickoff arrives. Try the handicapped bathroom stall in the upper decks. Or, if you're especially adept at disguise, paint yourself up as the Don Shula statue at Sun Life Stadium or dress up as Al Davis at the Oakland Coliseum. Either way, nobody will bother you for days.
- Become a Rabble-Rouser -- This late in the season, it can appear as if the majority of baseball players have checked out. They show no heart. No grit. No determination. They play like they don't care about anything in the entire world. However, there are thousands of people who do give a damn about a multitude of issues and the ballpark can be a great place to bring them together. All you have to do is pony up some money to buy space in local newspapers and place a few different ads publicizing free tickets for games. But these tickets aren't just for anybody -- they're for conflicting ideology promotional nights! Why can't it be Israeli Appreciation Day and Palestinian Liberation Day on the same date? Or how about Tea Party Fridays with Obama Impersonation Fridays? Let the fireworks fly (especially if it's Fireworks Fridays too).
And if all else fails, you can always jump on a bandwagon -- it's not ideal, but it's worked for all those Tampa Bay Rays "fans."