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Offday Diversionary Question . . .

if you haven't already answered the NL MVP poll.

Lost among the plethora of intriguing comments during last night's blowout-turned thriller was a question from jakechap20, who posted

Since the twinkies are coming to houston in interleague play I'm thinking about driving down for my first look at MMP. How is it?

and I thought, how is it indeed?  I've attended two games at what was then Enron Field--on July 14 and July 15 of 2002, and I thought the place was a fucking palace.  

Then again, the professional baseball games I attend where I live take place at Dolphin Stadium, a nice enough place except that it feels like a landing strip for a blimp, and oh yeah, it's totally unsuited for watching baseball.

My other major league spectator experiences have occurred at Shea Stadium (even Mets fans know it's a toilet), the now demolished Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (good riddance), and the Astrodome.

OK, I thought the Astrodome was badass.  But Enron-I mean-Minute Maid was even cooler than the 'Dome.

'Course it's been a few years since that July 14 game when Jared Fernandez pitched the game of his life and I last got to the Astrodome during Bagwell's MVP year, but if I remember correctly, the Astrodome's concourses were narrow, dark, shadowy places, even if the seating area was nice and bright. And in '91, when I got into Houston in September, the Astros had been long since eliminated and only 7,000 of the Astros' most faithful joined me for a Wednesday matinee, I remember how gloomy the place seemed when empty.

No such drawbacks with Minute Maid. The concourses are bright and wide and airish, and it is so well lit and so well-appointed that it couldn't seem gloomy during a thunderstorm on Halloween. I sat in the right field seats one game, and in the second level above first base the next night, and had good views from seats that were angled to face the action, even if they might have been a little narrow for the butts of both me and Melanie.

I know that the restaurant they had out in center--Ruggles I think it was called-- is now gone, replaced I think by something with Dierker's name on it. But Melanie and I had a very good sitdown meal there, and washed it down with some good alcohol. I'd never seen that at a ballpark, before or since.

There's more, jakechap, but maybe others hanging 'round want to give you a view from the eye of a Houston native?