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Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

Jun 20, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

Boston Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez watches his triple against the Milwaukee Brewers during the fourth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

I sort of don’t feel like doing little state-of-the-team factoids this week. They are who we thought they were for the most part. There’s an argument for making the Marlins last, but I almost feel sorry for them. There’s an argument to make the Twins even higher, but I’m not sure who to drop below them. There was a lot more bunching up of teams this week than there had been, so it wasn’t the easiest week to rank guys.

Anyway, my little weekend getaway stirred my wanderlust a bit and had me in mind of various other trips I’ve taken and stuff I’ve done, so I’m just gonna blurb little bits about experiences — good, bad, random — I’ve had in the various major league cities. Which may be problematic for Seattle since I’ve never been there, but I’ll worry about it when I get to it.

1. Red Sox (1): Did the Bunker Hill tour when I was a kid. There was a park ranger there — I guess he was a ranger — who tried to impress people by telling them that he could direct you from there all the way to your home without you hitting a red light. Doesn’t matter if you lived in Rhode Island or California. My dad listened to him do this schtick for a few minutes and then said “so, really, all you’re doing is telling people how to get to the interstate near here without hitting a light. Because once you’re in the interstate, you can get anywhere without hitting one.”  The guy was a bit deflated. I felt kind of bad.

2. Phillies (2): I’ve only been to Philly once. Around the fourth of July in 1989. Watched a Phillies-Braves game at the Vet on a Sunday afternoon. John Smoltz pitched a complete game. I cheered loudly for him and not a single person in the Vet said a word to me or took any kind of exception to my open Braves rooting. So I suppose that crazy hardcore Philly fan thing didn’t start until later.

3. Yankees (4): First trip there was as a tourist with my brother and my dad in 1988. My dad carried a map and a camera. My brother wore spandex bike shorts and carried a camera. I wore ugly Jams shorts, a Braves shirt and carried a camera. I’m surprised we all weren’t murdered, mugged and/or raped.

4. Indians (12): I’ve been to Cleveland too many times to count. Mostly on law firm business, as the firms I worked for were based there. I’m mostly over it now, but for a good long while I couldn’t drive into the city without getting a bit antsy from residual stress.

5. Brewers (3): I went to a big Irish festival there in — I think — 1986, at that big downtown fairgrounds place they have. Did you know that in 1986, the Milwaukee fairgrounds was extremely lax in carding people at the beer stands? Even if you were only 13-years-old? It’s true! Of course, back then I wouldn’t know what to do with a beer if you gave me detailed instructions. I think I held it for a while, acted like a big man with my brother and his friend who was with us, took one sip, hated it, and then tossed it someplace. Really, when you get down to a low enough age, youth drinking is a self-policing problem.

6. Cardinals (4): I was a big fan of the combined St. Louis Cardinals-Bowling Hall of Fame museum they had there when I visited in 2003.  Is it still there even though Old Busch Stadium is gone?  If not, what did they do with the big mannequins of Elizabethan English people lawn bowling?  Because if they’re not using them, I’m sure someone else could.

7. Braves (6): I have only been in Atlanta (a) at the airport on layovers; or (b) driving through on the way to Florida on I-75, the last time being 1984 or so.  It’s crazy that I’m such a big Braves fan and have never really stepped foot in that town.

8. Tigers-Rays (8), (11): My parents were both born and raised in Detroit so I spent a boatload of time there as a kid. They tell me about — and I see pictures of — what the city looked like when they grew up in the postwar years though the early 60s. There’s a lot of romanticism at play — my dad lived in Dearborn, which was then a highly-segregated suburb so he was shielded from real urban problems —  but it sounded like it was once a great city.  I hadn’t really been to Tampa until spring training last year. Meh. As I’ve written in the past, Florida doesn’t do much for me.

10. Giants (7): San Francisco is my favorite city in the country. I’ve never not loved life when I was there. I’ve never not wondered why I didn’t live there while I was there. I’m thinking that it’s about 80% weather — I hate the heat — but picking a place to live based on weather is a better reason than a lot of people choose to live places.

11. Reds (13): See the Cleveland recap. I went on a stretch of about seven years where every single time I drove to Cincy it was to deal with a hearing or a trial or a status conference for a case that was simply awful or sideways or eight shades of nasty. I’ve gotten over the Cleveland thing for the most part, but even yesterday, driving back through Cincinnati on the way home from Kentucky, the place just made me itch and shake. Forget it Jake, it’s my Chinatown.

12. Diamondbacks (9): The alpha and omega of my Phoenix experience was this past spring training, about which most of you read at the time. I could see liking the area for a few weeks in the winter, but it mostly seemed like a wasteland of freeways, strip malls and vast distances from point A to point B to me. And given that I live in Ohio, which has its own problems with that kind of sprawly stuff, it’s saying something that this bugged me so. Also, I couldn’t stop thinking that the water was about to run out.

13. Rangers (10): Like Atlanta, I’ve only driven through and flown through Dallas. The Winter Meetings will be there this December, so I’ll give it a better look. I was a big fan of Austin, though, and I’m guessing that no matter how much fun I have this December, that Big D won’t be passing up Austin as the coolest Texas town.

14. Mariners (14): I would very much like to go to Seattle some day, but it just hasn’t come up.

15. Rockies (19): I didn’t spend much time in Denver when I drove through Colorado on my big winding road trip back in 2003, but I did decide that if I ever wanted to escape from my world that I would change my name and rent a room above a bar in Salida, Colorado. I felt some serious inner peace in that town. And I hear that the ski place just up U.S. 50 at Monarch Pass isn’t very crowded, so that would be good. I mean, hey, even if you escape from the world, you gotta pass the time, right?

16. Nationals (24): I lived in D.C. for three years when I was in law school. I liked it very much. My love of San Francisco notwithstanding, however, I never really want to live in a city any bigger than Washington. And anymore when I visit Washington I feel like it’s too big for me, at least in terms of traffic and hassle. I’m more likely to move into a fortified compound out in the country than to a big city, I presume.

17. Blue Jays (17): I’ve only been through Toronto on the freeway. We took a family vacation to Nova Scotia when I was a kid though, and I liked that. And yes, I realize that those two things have nothing to do with one another. It’s like when you meet someone from Canada and say “you’re from Canada? Do you know John from Thunder Bay?”  Sorry Canada.

18. Mets (15): I actually got closer to Citi Field while landing at LaGuardia than I ever got to Yankee Stadium. I probably need to apply myself to baseball in New York a bit better.

19. White Sox (16): If you go to college anywhere in the Midwest, you know at least five people who live in Chicago. And you likely spent your early-to-mid 20s (post-college) visiting them from time to time and wondering why they still get to live like they’re in college while you have some adult existence back in whatever city you live in.  The city is like a decompression chamber for people making the transition from college to adulthood. Keeps ‘em from getting the bends.

20. Pirates (20): I like driving in to Pittsburgh because one minute you’re basically going through a big forest, and then you hit a tunnel and — bammo! — you’re downtown. You feel like you’re getting away with something.  Also, french fries on a sandwich is so full of win.

21. Twins (27): I have never been to Minneapolis. At least outside of the airport. I suppose Gleeman would show me around if I went.

22. Athletics (28): Obviously a totally different place than San Francisco, but my forays to the East Bay always come on those trips I take to S.F., so all of that deluded magic from which I suffer rubs off on Oakland too. I suppose that the best way for me to become realistic about the Bay Area would be to just go to Oakland for a week and pretend that I, you know, lived in Oakland.

23. Angels (23): My entire impression of Orange County comes from the one Angels game I took in eight years ago, from driving between L.A. and San Diego and from watching “Arrested Development” reruns.  So I’m on a 2-to-1 good impression ratio.

24. Orioles (22): While walking around the Inner Harbor in 1996, I passed Richard Belzer. He was wearing a black suit, a black shirt and shades. It has occurred to me that the change in Detective Munch’s wardrobe from the early seasons of “Homicide” on though his time on “Law and Order” were inspired by Belzer’s own tastes.  Which is kind of sad, because the Munch character was an interesting one early on — kind of an angry, disheveled sad sack — and became far less interesting as Belzer and his shows’ writers turned him into a cartoon character/self-parody. Oh well.

25. Dodgers (21): I have a friend from college who lives in L.A. who I visit every couple of years. He lives a decidedly non-9-to-5 existence, so he doesn’t fight traffic that much, doesn’t go out shopping into the retail hellscapes or any of that. When I hang out with him, I am lulled into a false sense of “I could live in L.A.-itis.”  I realize, however, that I would probably take hostages if I had to be in that dystopia for more than a few days at a time. And yes, that’s the case even if it is a somewhat pleasant dystopia due to the weather and stuff.

26. Royals (26): I am not a man of faith, but I had a near-religious experience at Arthur Bryant’s once, so that has to count for something.

27. Marlins (18): I had a bad impression of Miami based on childhood vacations (see link above in the Rays entry), but Old Gator took me to a great Cuban restaurant when I was down there last year, and that helped a lot. I have this feeling that I’d have a much better appreciation of Macondo if I bunked at Gator’s place for a week or so.

28. Padres (25): My brother lives in San Diego. It’s positively lovely there. The only thing keeping me from putting it up with San Francisco on my “I’d live there in a hearbeat” list is that, well, my brother lives in San Diego.

29. Cubs (29): Yes, I drank Old Style at 10AM before a noonish start at Wrigley once. See that stuff above about Chicago being a way station for post-college life.

30. Astros (30): Never been to Houston. And not even the best Hayes Carll songs make me really want to change that.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Craig, I’m surprised you weren’t murdered, mugged and or raped either. With Koch being the Mayor of NY City at the time. But so much for nostalgia.
    Getting back to the power rankings. Being a Yankees fan I think you have them right were they belong.

  2. wurst2first - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    The Brewers entry reminds me of the Wild West stories my old man tells of late-70s Dime Beer nights at Milwaukee County Stadium. How everyone leaving that place after those games didn’t die in a fiery wreck, I’ll never understand.

  3. senatorsguy - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Twins: higher.

    • kopy - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      I don’t mind the Twins where they are, but it does grind my gears to see the White Sox above them because I hate them, and they are 0-4 against the Twins this year.

    • Justin - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      Just thinking that. But that brings up the debate of are these weekly power rankings or not. Twins are one of the hottest teams in baseball but their record is still bad because of the bad start. But last week they won every game. How are they in the bottom third?

  4. halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    “…and not a single person in the Vet said a word to me or took any kind of exception to my open Braves rooting.”

    Obviously, Craig, they were afraid to mess with you and your imposing physical presence. I know I would be afraid if I saw you at a game in Philly.

    Or, it being 1989, you were a young kid and fans in Philly don’t give little kids a hard time. Even we have our standards.

    • TomTom - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Nah, hardcore Philly fans don’t give kids a hard time, they just vomit on them ;)

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        Pukemon was not a hardcore Philly’s fan. He was a fatso, drunk, 21 year old disgrace who was pummeled by real Phillies fans after what he did to that poor family.

      • xmatt0926x - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Pukemon was also not from Philly, but somewhere in New Jersey. Those pesky little facts always get in the way, don’t they? Ohh, and the ever-famous taser kid in that photo that is now famous throughout the land? also not from Philly but yet another suburban snot nosed kid who wants to live up to the reputation and ends up putting everyone else in a bad light.

      • TomTom - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        So wait, hardcore Philly fans are only allowed to be from Philly? Does that work for every fan base or just Philly?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:10 AM

      I was 16, and with the exception of the hair, looked basically like I do now. My brother was 18, and he was rooting for the Braves too. I bet these days each of us would get more crap than we did then.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        Back in 89, both the Phightins and the Bravos were mired in the depths of suckitude prior to the early 90s resurgence—only one of which found a way to sustain it. Early July was also only about a month removed from Schmitter’s announcement that he was hangin’ ‘em up, so there was that depression on top of it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        I doubt it. Different type of crowd at the ballpark these days. In the early 2000’s you would have gotten crap, though.

      • schmedley69 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM

        I go to about 6 games a year at CBP and have seen opposing fans cheer for their teams without incident. I’ve seen a few incidents involving Mets fans, but the Mets fans were the instigators. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be. Eagles games are a different story, but opposing fans are pretty safe at Phillies games.

  5. umrguy42 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Alas, Craig, the Bowling museum got moved to somewhere in Texas several years ago, IIRC.

  6. cur68 - Jun 20, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    17th, eh? That’s about where I expect the Jays to be, alas. Depending on what the Fearsome Braves do to them, they will likely go down even further.

    Toronto on the freeway to NS, hmm? You didn’t miss much, IMO. What you really want to do is drive the breadth of the country. Stop and see The Big Stuff (as in giant Easter Eggs, boots, bears, flowers, etc that people erect to draw a tourist or 2) I’ve done that. Takes about 2 weeks to do it right. When you get to British Columbia you’ll never want to leave.

    If you get a chance and its the right time of the year, mention that you write a baseball blog to a maritime or prairie local. He, she or they will drag you to a local hockey game and you can witness the mayhem first hand as they try to convert you to the national sport. They’ll pour endless beer and homemade hooch into you if you can handle yourself in the fight, too.

    Since you like the sippin’ alkeehool, try some Moose Juice or Screech. It’ll make you sick but you’ll be happy for a while.

  7. capeporpoise - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Just as well you’ve never really spent time in Atlanta – half an hour downtown, and you’d be looking for a new team to support.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Somehow, even the places you’ve just “passed through” you seem to describe very accurately. I can see you as the William Hurt character in the remake of “The Accidental Tourist”.

  9. jwbiii - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Speaking of Cincinnati and bourbon:

    Woodstone Creek
    Products: Ohio’s only licensed pot still. A 238 gallon direct-fired gas still produces: single barrel single malt, Brandy, Kosher Honey Brandy, Bourbon, Corn Whiskey, Distilled spirit specialties.

    I expect a full report at some point.

  10. kopy - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Where you with your family in Milwaukee? In Wisconsin, you can drink at a bar at any age if you’re with your parents. My family is from Wisconsin, so I did this often. The last wedding I attended there had a loosely enforced 6 drink maximum to those under 18.

  11. Paul White - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM

    If you consider Arthur Bryant’s a near-religious experience, then you’d have thought Oklahoma Joe’s was the rapture.

  12. sdelmonte - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I think you owe it to yourself to experience the NYC baseball scene, for good and for ill. Good seats are available at both parks (because no one can afford the good seats at Yankee and no one wants the good seats at Citi).

  13. mmason0071 - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Craig, you seem to have lost interest in baseball. Why don’t you start writing for the celebrity gossip section of MSN or something and let someone who cares write for Hardball Talk.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      So you’re saying that the 15-20 other articles I write a day about baseball don’t cut it for you? Man, tough crowd.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      I gotta defend Craig here. You see, mmason0071, it is good to intertwine good humor, gossip and life situations into the great game of baseball.

      Baseball covers all of these aspects. That’s what makes it so great. Throughout the course of a 162 game schedule, there is only so much good or bad that you can talk about your favorite team. After awhile, even the craziest, diehard fans can get burned out.

    • dfensfelix - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Isn’t it adorable when mentally challenged folks like mmason0071 step out into the world and express their opinions? So brave…

      • spindervish - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        Sure, anyone can get burnt out, but I mean…it’s a job. And a really, really sweet one at that. There are plenty of people who come here for baseball and baseball-related matters only and couldn’t care less about bourbon tours or wanderlust. Perhaps they could be more tactful in voicing their displeasure, but there’s no need to dismiss their opinion entirely.

        Ah whatever…I suppose the kind of looseness that allows one to begin a blog post on a mainstream baseball blog with essentially, “I don’t really feel like writing about baseball today…” is a major contributor to it being such a sweet gig to begin with. We should all be so lucky.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        As has been mentioned ad nauseum, this is not just a baseball blog. It is a blog about baseball and other stuff, generally related—though sometimes rather loosely—to all levels of the game. Also, as happens to quite a few people after a week/weekend/whatever away (oh, the HORROR!!!!!) from work and the game, work takes a bit to get back to normal.

        Also as has been reiterated ad nauseum, if you don’t like what the blog has/provides, why do you come here?

  14. tomemos - Jun 20, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Oakland gets a bad rap. Yes, parts of it are dangerous or run down, but it also has neighborhoods with a cool community vibe, including San Francisco-like BoBo neighborhoods and young artists’ colonies. Oakland is like Long Beach, CA: a good blend of working-class and middle-class that creates some genuine diversity and civic pride.

    • handsfour - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      Yup! Plus the weather is better than San Francisco’s. Over here in Oakland we only sometimes have to wear jackets in the summer.

      • handsfour - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Admittedly, it’s 76 degrees before noon as I write this, but that’s rare.

  15. missthemexpos - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Next time you are in Canada, if you are in the Montreal area, check out the Olympic Stadium (if it has not collapsed) and you can appreciate one small part of the reason the Expo’s are no more. And if you don’t know John from Thunder Bay, you must know Bob from Moose Jaw.

    • cur68 - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:54 PM

      Hey! I forgot to mention Bob. Say ‘hi’ to Bob for me when you see him. And Dave, too.

  16. ciscosrams - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    The Bay area only has warm weather for like two months Sept-Oct. Remember Tony Benett said “the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco.” Move to the bay.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      Actually it was Mark Twain, but a valiant effort on your part.

  17. hbdbrowns33 - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    How does your experience working for a law firm in cleveland tell anyone how they’ve been playing lately or justify their position in the rankings? If you want to blog about your life start one up I would like to read about baseball.

    • indyralph - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Yeah, Craig. You should start your own blog. Then you could mix your lawyer talk and baseball all you want – call it Shysterball. Maybe if you’re good, you’ll even turn it into a career with a major network. (Eye roll).

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      Maybe you should start your own blog, Craig. Maybe even a few folks will come to the blog, like what they see/read and comment once or twice, or even daily or more frequently. Dare I say there could even be totally-unrelated-to-baseball food fights like CAKE vs. pie, or how to keep ketchup in the house (in the fridge). That would be so cool!!!!!

      But there will probably be some people that don’t like the blog, though continue to read it time after time after time, and then b!tch about it to get it changed.

      On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t do it, Craig, because those people won’t stop hounding you until you change it to what they want, and not what you or the majority of other posters want. :(

  18. drunkenhooliganism - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    “My brother wore spandex bike shorts and carried a camera. I wore ugly Jams shorts, a Braves shirt and carried a camera. I’m surprised we all weren’t murdered, mugged and/or raped.”

    They didn’t murder, mug or rape you because they clearly worship you, you inspired Yankee fan fashion for the next 20+ years.

  19. IdahoMariner - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    two suggestions, Craig:

    You really have to check out Seattle, the ballpark rocks and there is water everywhere you look. But go in late July/early August, to get the best weather. I personally believe it is worth all the rainy months to experience summer in Seattle, but I can’t imagine what people think who come to Seattle for the first time in the middle of winter or spring.

    Also, if you are a California-maybe-transplant, check out the Central Coast. Less people, great weather, half a day’s drive to baseball. San Luis Obispo/Morro Bay/Los Osos/Avila Beach are some of the most beautiful places in the country to just hang out and enjoy the day.

  20. feartherallythong - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    “the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco.” I believe that’s dangerously close to a Mark Twain quote, actually. Tony Bennett merely left his heart there – which must really complicate traveling outside the Bay Area…

  21. sjhaack - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I had really good conversations with red sox fans when I ended up in the section they took over at cbp, and that was a dismal game for the phils. It’s all who you sit next to and how you cheer.

    And Craig – I implore you never to write, speak, or think the phrase “full of win” ever again. Please and thank you.

  22. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Great article to read , you seem to have lived quite an exciting life , I wish i have traveled to all of these cities , but i however , have been confined to Florida and Massachusetts for my whole life , I am only 23 though so i have time to travel , to be honest i envy the fact that you get to sit around all day and write about baseball , sounds like the life to me .

  23. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 20, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Arthur Bryant was a BBQ God! Also good is Gates BBQ!

  24. indaburg - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Dear Craig,

    Why are you a Braves fan? I’m sure you’ve told the story before (and if you have, just direct me to the link rather than repeat the story) but I must have missed it. It just seems like such a random team to pick if you’re not actually from Atlanta. And even they don’t root for their own team.

    Re: Florida. I read the link to your other blog and it sounds like you had some unfortunate childhood vacations that happened to be in Florida. The term “family vacation” is an oxymoron. As a rule, they universally suck regardless of the intended location. Your visits as a lawyer don’t count either (Whatever did happen to that criminal defendant? The link leads to nothing pertaining to that case). That was business. Spring Training was business as well. As much as I love baseball, Spring Training games themselves are actually pretty boring.

    You mentioned Tampa when referring to the Rays (“I hadn’t really been to Tampa until spring training last year. Meh.”) The Rays do not play in Tampa. It’s like bringing up Long Island while talking about the Yankees. They’re both the same metro area, but they really are not the same thing. If all you visited was Tampa while visiting the Tampa Bay area, I could see why you would be disappointed since the general set up for the town is: strip mall, fast food joint, strip club, church, gas station, repeat.

    Have you visited downtown St. Pete where the Rays actually play? Contrary to the stereotype epitomized and perpetuated by the media, it is not God’s waiting room. Go have some fish & chips, and a nice pint outside at Moon Under Water (www.themoonunderwater.com) while looking out at the gorgeous bay. Then head over to the new Dali Museum (http://thedali.org/). Even if you’re not interested in his style of art, the building itself is a sight to behold. Since you’re already checking out art, you might as well visit the Chilhuly (http://www.chihulycollectionstpete.com/). Again, even if you’re not into art, it’s a cool collection. Then go visit Al Lang Stadium which has been around since 1914 and has been the spring training home of the Phillies, Boston Braves, Yankees, Mets… among other teams . If only those walls could speak. Head over to Fort De Soto Beach at dusk with your wife, sneak in some wine, and watch the most breathtakingly beautiful sunset you’ll ever witness (http://coppermine-gallery.net/demo/cpg14x/displayimage.php?album=29&pos=40). And yes, I know the Trop itself is an eyesore (as Old Gator is fond of reminding us every chance he gets), but since you’re already here, you may as well go see some of the best, young grossly underpaid baseball talent this side of the Gulf of Mexico. They also have a cool little Ted Williams Museum: (www.tedwilliamsmuseum.com). Stay at the Don Cesar (www.loewshotels.com/en/Don-CeSar-Beach-Resort), a historic beach resort. If you still don’t like it here, fair enough. Sunshine, warmth, and the beach isn’t for everyone.

    Florida caveats: Our governor is an a-hole. Stay away from Orlando, especially in the middle of summer. It is one of Dante’s circles of hell. I-4 is the road to hell. Epcot is ok. What makes it bearable is the large amount of alcohol you can drink. The Keys are overrated unless you really love Jimmy Buffett. And stay away from the natives. They’re very weird.

    With regards,

    Florida

    P.S. You really do need to apply yourself to baseball in NY a little better. Great baseball town.
    P.P.S. I hope Janie’s ok too.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Thanks for the info, Indaburg. I’ll admit, my feeling toward Florida are highly subjective and colored with emotion. Be it family vacation, business or pleasure, however, Florida is Florida to me when it comes to how I feel when I’m boarding a plane to go there.

      As for the Braves: Moved to West Virginia when I was 11. Only games I could get on TV between 1985 and when ESPN started broadcasting a lot of games in 1989-90 were the Braves on TBS, and they just grew on me. I was fully invested by 1987 and have been ever since.

      • indaburg - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        Oh, well. I tried. The psychology major in me thinks if you have enough positive experiences (e.g. your Miami visit with Old G) to supplant those awful visits, you’ll replace that feeling of dread when you think of the Second Chance State. St. Pete is a cool little city, and if you’re ever in town, I’d be happy to show you around. On the other hand, it may not really be worth the effort.

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