CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Mailbag: Hard ... (06/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article In A Pickle: The Bunts... (05/31)
Next Column >>
In A Pickle: What the ... (06/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/07)

June 7, 2013

In A Pickle

The Best Way to Watch the Cal League

by Jason Wojciechowski


I don't usually go in for a shocking lede to grab your attention, but: I left the house three times recently. (Where "recently" means "in the last month.") Here are the things I like to do when I leave the house: watch baseball; drink beer; ... yeah.

Lancaster,1 California is in Los Angeles County, which is also the county in which I reside, but it takes something like 75 minutes to get to Lancaster from my house. There's only one highway, unless you count the Angeles Forest Highway, which runs smack through (ready?) the Angeles National Forest, so I don't. Count it, I mean. In an entire country full of boring drives, the cruise up state highway 14 past Palmdale and into Lancaster is a standout of nothingness. There's this church on the west side of the road not long before you hit Palmdale that I really like. There's also a point where you lose the L.A. radio stations and start picking up a whole lot more music extolling the virtuous life and its heavenly rewards.

What does stand out is that the parts of Lancaster that I have experienced aren't the hellholes frequently associated with California League towns. I don't mean to insult your city if you live in one of these towns, but my wife is fond of noting that a violent death might well be a side effect of our lifetime goal to see a game in the stadium of every affiliated minor-league team in the country.2 What little I've seen of Lancaster makes it one of the exceptions: it has a nice cultural downtown-type area with shops and restaurants of the independent variety and a performing arts center and ample parking without the hell of garages or vast lots and I haven't yet seen anyone selling or making drugs openly. Wikipedia claims, "Lancaster is listed by CNNMoney as one of the best places to live in 2012," but the citation is a broken link and I found nothing independently, though my research skills and CNNMoney's opinion on what city is objectively better to live in than what other city are suspect to the same degree.

(By contrast, Urban Dictionary has an entry for Lake Elsinore that even the most hardcore linguistic libertarian could not call "flattering." Then again, I've seen the term "Methcaster." Honestly, though, if you're from Lancaster, you should be more concerned by the lack of creativity in the insulting nicknames than by the insult itself. It's not immediately obvious that a "Methcaster" isn't a guitar.)

The reason I know about Lancaster's revived strip is because it is home to Kinetic Brewing Company. If you have heard about the amazing San Diego brewery scene, then you might have an impression that the entire SoCal region is awash in craft beer. Metro Los Angeles, though, doesn't reach San Diego's heights. It is growing, and it's far from shabby, and I can find and drink all sorts of cool stuff, but it's not routine the way it is in our neighbor to the south. Good beer is not as well integrated into the culture and ethos and palate of the city. The difference comes down to having to seek it out vs. being able to stumble into it.

Having done my seeking, it was exciting to learn about a brewpub in a town to which I'd trek for minor-league baseball anyway. Kinetic has a very nice beer list, both in bottles and on tap, and the menus rotate. Given that it's not my local joint, I feel obligated to order Kinetic's own brews, but that still leaves some breadth. The Propulsion IPA that I had less than a month ago, for instance, is not as of this writing on the tap menu. The Ignition pale ale, which I had on my first trip, in 2012, is. Both are beers to which, if I rated beers, which I don't, I'd give four stars out of five. I don't know how to taste things and tend to make a lot of subliterate noises when I eat and drink, but I'd sum both up this way: not life-changing, but something I'd gladly imbibe repeatedly.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Related Content:  Minor Leagues

7 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Mailbag: Hard ... (06/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article In A Pickle: The Bunts... (05/31)
Next Column >>
In A Pickle: What the ... (06/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit Lis... (06/07)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
The Lineup Card: Eight Notable Early-Season ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Moran and a Wolf Wal...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Wednesday, April 16
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Please Send Starters
Premium Article Overthinking It: Does Baseball Have a Pace P...
Premium Article Notes from the Field: Notes from Five League...
The Call-Up: George Springer

MORE FROM JUNE 7, 2013
Pebble Hunting: Baseball's Best Comp
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, June 7
Fantasy Mailbag: Hard Knocks
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitcher Planner: Week 11
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 7, 20...
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Checking in on the Holy Trini...
The BP Wayback Machine: The Source of the AL...

MORE BY JASON WOJCIECHOWSKI
2013-06-20 - In A Pickle: The Sexy, Sultry San Jose vs. M...
2013-06-13 - In A Pickle: What the Arbitrators Will Hear
2013-06-10 - BP Unfiltered: Stuart Banner's "The Baseball...
2013-06-07 - Premium Article In A Pickle: The Best Way to Watch the Cal L...
2013-05-31 - Premium Article In A Pickle: The Bunts That Lead to Big Thin...
2013-05-23 - Premium Article In A Pickle: Walk Don't Walk
2013-05-17 - In A Pickle: How Great Thou Bart
More...

MORE IN A PICKLE
2013-06-27 - Premium Article In A Pickle: The Unlikeliest MVP candidates
2013-06-20 - In A Pickle: The Sexy, Sultry San Jose vs. M...
2013-06-13 - In A Pickle: What the Arbitrators Will Hear
2013-06-07 - Premium Article In A Pickle: The Best Way to Watch the Cal L...
2013-05-31 - Premium Article In A Pickle: The Bunts That Lead to Big Thin...
2013-05-23 - Premium Article In A Pickle: Walk Don't Walk
2013-05-17 - In A Pickle: How Great Thou Bart
More...