Oh, the Places They Go
Milwaukee Brewers infielder Pat Listach likes "the atmosphere of the city and Harborplace." New York Yankees outfielder Gerald Williams enjoys "the way the field feels when you're running." Texas Rangers third baseman Dean Palmer says simply, "I love those crabs." They're talking about Baltimore and the Orioles' Camden Yards, which together form, if this week's poll is any indication, a baseball Eden.
Fifty players in each league were asked to name the road cities in which they most and least like to play. In the American League, Baltimore (14 votes) was the favorite stop, while Detroit (22) and Milwaukee (19) were the least favorite. Players complained about Tiger Stadium's tiny clubhouse and dangerous surroundings, though Detroit might not have earned the dubious distinction if all five Brewers polled hadn't picked it as the worst city. As for Milwaukee, Kansas City Royals designated hitter Bob Hamelin said, "The weather always seems bad, the stadium is run-down, and the downtown is dreary. All I can think of is Jeffrey Dahmer."
National League players chose Chicago (21 votes) as their overwhelming favorite for its good eating and shopping and, of course, the atmosphere at Wrigley Field. "Day games," said St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tom Pagnozzi. "And the crowd's right on top of you. You smell the beer and the hot dogs."
The scents out of Montreal and Pittsburgh apparently aren't as sweet. Those cities received 12 and 11 votes, respectively, as the league's least desirable place to play. "There's something about Pittsburgh that always makes it seem gloomy," said San Diego Padres pitcher Doug Bochtler. Players also described Montreal's enclosed Olympic Stadium as gloomy—"It's perpetual nighttime," said Cardinals pitcher Jeff Parrett, a former Expo—and did not seem taken with the city's French-Canadian culture. "I don't speak the language," said Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Al Martin, "and the food stinks."