The last time we were in Osaka, I saw the Orix Buffalo play at their indoors stadium, and the scene around the entrances was very calm and reserved. This time, the outdoor stadium for the Tigers (the other team in Osaka) seemed very U.S.-baseball like with it's over-the-top crowds and pre-game drinking, smoking and eating outside the stadium (no tailgating, however, as everyone here takes the train).
Check out this video from Youtube - it's from an indoor game in Japan and what I experienced the last time, but I believe the rituals are all the same, indoor or open-air: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0N0MPjiYsw
So what did we do instead? Enjoyed the pre-game activities and then what everyone here does - go the nearest train station/mall combination, which, in a country dominated by rail travel, is about every 3-4 blocks.
I think Suzanne was the most disappointed actually as I can feel my baseball-fever cooling quite a bit. I think it is a combination of my up-coming throwing-shoulder surgery (which will probably end my 9-year run at adult baseball), Ben and Maddy being over Little League and Softball respectively, and being on the long-awaited cusp of hopefully breaking 100 regularly at golf. 'Mike from five years ago' would have been crushed at the sell-out turn-away, but 'Mike now' just wanted an Asahi Dry and to enjoy the atmosphere. And to have the kids see the 7th Inning Stretch here in Japan where they sing some wacky song and launch "whistle" balloons 50-ft, in the air at the end of the singing. If...the kids could have made it that long... :)
I think going forward, I may check-out a White Sox game or two, but mostly follow baseball through our friends in the Hinsdale Red Dog system and nephew B-Mo/Brando/Brandon in the Naperville program!
P.S. Before we went to bed, we joked that the day was an "Almost Day"; we almost saw a baseball game, almost found another hipster cafe neighborhood our friend recommended, and almost went out to dinner - but we waited until 8:00 PM and every restaurant within walking distance was packed. So we returned home, had Ramon noodles (Japanese style!) and read or watched video's. I'm reading Enola Gay as we are headed to Hiroshima tomorrow (via Bullet Train) to see the Peace Museum.