Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Super Dogs

As you know I attempted to predict who would win the world series by correlating which team had the best hot dog at their home ballpark. My belief was that the team with the best dog would win against their opponent. Despite some early success the system failed in the end as a world series soothsayer. There were some mitigating factors: problems in the Middle East and the untimely death of Joan Rivers to name a few.

I decided to give the hot dog-predicto-machine another whirl and see if it could predict the Super Bowl winner. The hot dog vendors are usually the same for MLB and NFL teams in the same city (but not always) so I assume that the players on both teams have the meaty goodness of hot dogs coursing through their veins. Could it be the deciding factor in this years NFL finale?

When I was in Boston testing out the Red Sox hot dog (nestled in that funky New England bun) I was in awe of Fenway Park. It is one of my favorites and the oldest in baseball. I counted the “obstructed view” as part of the old time baseball experience, but the $30 GA ticket was the ballpark’s undoing. Thirty smackers for an obstructed view seat is not old timey. Besides that damn bun, the toppings on the dog were far too scant.

While Boston has an old venue Seattle has a slick new park with a retractable roof. Talk about eras apart. With that, both ballparks scored 26 but for different reasons. Seattle ended up being bit by their dog. While I dislike the New England style bun, at least it was fresh. The bun for the Mariner Dog was stale and didn’t taste all that great. How does that translate for overall scores?

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price2
It Factor3.5Fans5

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability3GA Ticket Price3
It Factor3Fans4

There you have it. The Red Sox hot dog trounces the Mariners hot dog by 5.5 points. That translate to a huge Patriots win over the Seahawks. Trust me, I have worked out the kinks of the system. And this year's Super Bowl party? Skip ordering the pizza and cook up some hot dogs. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Regional Dog Fight: Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia

This hot dog face off pits the two key teams in the Keystone State against each other. The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s a close contest and I do my best to keep any influence from my childhood from skewing the results (I grew up a few hours south of Pittsburgh).

Both teams have a relatively new ballpark, and both are nicely done. Citizen’s Bank Park (CBP) sits just south of downtown Philly in a sportsplex area that hosts the NFL football stadium and an arena for one of those other sports I don’t like. PNC Park is just a short jaunt across the Roberto Clemente Bridge from the kernel of downtown Pittsburgh and sits on the banks of the Allegheny River. If you know my scoring system, the Pirate’s digs already smacks down the Phillies home park on location alone. While CBP is a very nice venue that I recommend, it simply cannot match the vibe at PNC Park.

The dogs were a much closer call. Keep in mind that Philly had an edge; I was getting lots of hot dog love from the City of Brotherly Love since it was dollar dog night. Hard to compete with that. Pittsburgh on the other hand had a very good price for the regular dog (best in the MLB) and the softest and tastiest bun of the entire adventure. In the end, Pittsburgh edged out Philadelphia in both dog and ballpark. Plus, I really like saying the word “Allegheny.”

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability4GA Ticket Price4
It Factor4Fans5

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price4
It Factor4.5Fans5

You cannot go wrong with a dog at either ballpark. There is enough geography between the two as not to interfere with each others fan base, but Philadelphia has some major competitors if you are in the area and can only catch one game; Baltimore, Washington and the NY teams are stiff competition.

The mighty buccos may not be so mighty since the late 70s, but they still swing a mean hot dog

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's a Whole New Year

Happy New Year fans! Last year was a blast and I hope your 2015 was as good as my 2014, and that mine is even better. Now that it is a new year check out the blog’s new look and send me some feedback, AND it is time to start the countdown to the most important date of 2015: pitchers and catchers report in 51 days.

I suppose it is also time we talk about plans for the new year and those damn resolutions. I really don’t make resolutions, I would vow to get a TV with better resolution as my resolution, but I don’t own a TV (really). I would say I would eat better, but that only means making all of my hot dogs with Hebrew National franks….I am a Hot Dog Explorer; eating healthy is not in my plans.

Oh, the plans. Yes. Well. I thought of going back to work (briefly). The off season has left me a little bored. Now that the winter meetings are over all I have to look forward to is Spring Training. Did I mention that pitchers and catchers report in 51 days?

And I will be right behind them. That’s right, your intrepid hot dog explorer is headed to Arizona to find out who in the Cactus League has the best hot dog. It has to be done and what better time to do it than to escape to the fabulous February Phoenix weather when it is cold as a well digger’s butt in Tulsa. I will hit all Spring Training facilities and catch a game and report back to you which ballpark had the tastiest dog using my previous scoring system.

Then, in April, the regular MLB season begins. That’s where I need your help.

Last year I discovered which MLB ballpark had the best overall baseball/hot dog experience. I used the combination of ballpark and hot dog scores to determine the winner. This year, I intend to repeat my journey but judge the SPECIALTY hot dogs offered by each stadium. I need you to help me figure out a grading system for the specialty dog. What factors should it be graded on? Also, do you want to know just straight up who has the best specialty dog or the overall baseball/specialty dog experience? Your input is valued.

Lastly, need a break from the winter weather? Come to Arizona and catch a game with me. I will shower beforehand, I promise.