Take me out to the ball game, but skip the peanuts and Cracker Jack. I need ear plugs.
I’ve made it to four major league ball parks this year, and my ears haven’t stopped ringing. The worst offender was Kauffman Field in Kansas City, where we were seated down range from what I presume was a stack of Marshall amps on loan from Spinal Tap, England’s loudest band. The aural assault was so loud, I could barely think.
I had pretty much the same experience yesterday at the coliseum in Oakland, where the pre-game announcements were loud enough to scare the pigeons out of the rafters — across San Francisco Bay at AT& Park.
Call me crazy, but I believe the emphasis in baseball should be on the green field at the center of the view, not on ear-splitting announcements bouncing off the walls of the Friendly Confines.
The problem seems to be at its worst before the games start, and I’m grateful that the stadiums tone it down a notch after that — usually. I still have nightmares involving the cheesy glass-breaking sounds that would echo through the Kingdome in Seattle every time a foul ball found its way into the stands.