Friday, May 3, 2013

A lawyer goes to a ballgame...

Okay, I'm up in Arlington for a seminar. I spent the evening at the Ballpark (more or less) watching the Rangers lose to the White Sox. More on that later.

First, I want to make a shout out to Marilous Auer for pointing out a huge error I made in post reviewing the book Color Blind. I meant to say that my oldest daughter thought it was stupid that blacks weren't allowed to play in the majors before 1947 - but that's not what I typed. Marilou pointed out the fact I had left out the word "not" in my post.

Without that word the post totally missed the point I was trying to make. Kids don't make the distinction of races that adults do. They just want to play and they don't care about what color someone's skin is. We could learn so much by watching our kids play and interact with one another.

And that brings me to this morning's topic. Last night I went to the Ballpark in Arlington to watch the Texas Rangers play - not because I care one whit about the Rangers but because I thought it would be fun to watch a game as a neutral observer in a strange ballpark.

Before I get into the circumstances surrounding last night's game I do want to say that the Ballpark is a beautiful place to watch a ballgame. The Rangers got it right when they designed their digs. It has an old-timey feel from both the outside and the inside. Of course, since it was all of 43 degrees when the game started, I realized how much I missed Minute Maid Park (for all its faults) because it is enclosed.

I had tickets in the club section but, unlike in Houston, the club section is not enclosed in Arlington. There are a couple of bars that are enclosed (and warm) but the club level is open (and cold). I remember the first time I took my youngest daughter to a ballgame (it was my wife's parent's 65th wedding anniversary). She wasn't quite a year old and cranky as hell. I spent a good deal of time sitting in the back of a bar with her on my chest watching the game and drinking like a fish.

Before I left Houston I went online via MLB's At Bat app to get a ticket but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it to work right. I ended up having to buy my ticket on my computer instead (my phone seemed to think I wanted to purchase four tickets in the bleachers instead of one in the club section). I was given the option of having my ticket information sent via text message which I thought would be quite convenient. Unfortunately my cell carrier blocked my receiving or sending text messages to the short numbers.

I called my carrier and had the block lifted and then sent a text to the ticket seller to resend the ticket information. Nothing. Then I sent another request. Again I received nothing.

I called the number on the e-mail and was told there was not a damn thing that could be done about it. So I printed out my ticket before I left the office. But I had paid another $2.50 for the privilege of having a text message sent to my phone with all the necessary information. I asked the customer service rep if I could get my $2.50 back since the company's FAQ pages regarding cell phone tickets were nowhere to be found.

Believe it or not, I was told there was nothing the ticketing agent could do and that I would have to deal with the Rangers' ticket people to get my money back. I wish I could say I was surprised. Maybe that's the price that I pay for using a two-and-a-half year old android phone (no sense in buying a new one if the old one is working).

So there we are. I had a good time in a different ballpark  - thank goodness I finally got into the bar because it was awfully damn cold tonight - but I do have a gripe about the entire ticketing process. I also have a greater appreciation for Minute Maid Park (although it still feels fake).

I'm going to go now so I can listen to the rest of the Astros' game tonight (they're in the 12th inning as I write). Have a great day.

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