2015-04-22 / Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: April 22, 2015

Fan food
The baseball season is now a couple of weeks old and that’s a very good thing. And not just for baseball fans. I think it’s true that non-fans can appreciate the fact that baseball signifies that spring has arrived — at least in theory.
Even for those folks who aren’t baseball fans (we know who you are and we feel sorry for you), going to the ballpark does have some appeal. Mostly, it’s the food.
Along with the trend in the past few decades of building really cool stadiums, the other major league upgrade at baseball parks is apparent at the refreshment stands. The choices are mind-boggling. I remember when I was a kid there was a joke that fans of Playboy magazine would (with a straight face), tell people, “I only buy it for the articles.” My guess is that some non-fans now explain, “I only go to baseball games for the food.” — and they’re telling the truth!

Step to the plate
I recently took note of several interesting dining trends while searching the box scores for actual baseball statistics. One headline boringly read: Rangers Offer Fried Food Stand. Who cares? The real meat of the story was this description of one offerings at this eatery: “The Fried S'mOreo — a fried marshmallow breaded with graham crackers plus fried Oreos — can be found at the Rangers' new fried food stand.” No word on the calorie total, but I’m guessing it’s a “full count.” That’s a baseball term.
A similar treat that should probably be avoided by those with even a modest interest in their health is being served up at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The entrée includes: “a stick of beef, loaded with refried beans, rolled in Doritos, and then deep fried and drizzled with sour cream and cheese.”
The article doesn’t mention this, but I’m sure emergency service personnel are stationed near this food stand. Just in case. I’m thinking it would also be a good idea for some enterprising person to offer toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash as a dessert choice to follow this meal.

On deck food choice
If Miller Park visitors are still hungry after eating the beef stick/Dorito concoction, they can also opt for “an 18-inch brat covered with gravy, French fries, cheese curds, cheese sauce, fried sauerkraut and jalapeños, then topped with sour cream and chives. The behemoth will cost $20.” What’s not to like? Well, except the obvious gastrointestinal discomfort that seems likely to follow this meal.
On the other hand, for fans at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, innovative cuisine apparently isn’t always the rule. It seems the team ran a promotion last week offering $1 hot dogs on Buck Night. After some unhappy diners posted photos and negative comments about these “value meals,” the food company responded to the outcry: “During Friday night's game, where we served 63,000 hot dogs, the Kansas City Health Department was onsite to inspect our buck night hot dog operations and found no violations.” That would make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy.
Still, the inexpensive (cheap) hot dogs apparently left a bad taste in the mouths of a number of fans. On the bright side, the dogs couldn’t have been nearly as hard to swallow as coming up one run short in Game 7 of last year’s World Series.
— Brian Sweeney

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