If they build it, you don’t have to go … No, seriously, you really don’t have to

A good woman is better than baseball.

I haven’t lured my ideal woman yet, but I am certain this is true.

I believe this because if you take the most romantic woman you’ve ever met — the type who knows the entire screenplay of “The Notebook,” but stopped reciting it to you because she wanted to cry — she will ask you if you will go to the ends of the earth for her.

Only she doesn’t really mean it.

Baseball, on the other hand, does mean it. How many men have you met who privately yearn to — only when we’re retired and the kids have gone off to college, honey — rent a Winnebago and visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in all four corners of the country?

I’ve met quite a few.

Last weekend, I finished a tour of all MLB stadiums. Ladies, if you think watching that much live baseball is stupid, you’re right.

Absolutely right. Your man might not need to behave like that platonic friend who joins you for mani-pedis, but he does need a more compelling life goal. I am writing to help you convince your man that there are far better pastimes to consider than the national one.

I do not believe women are stupid, despite my terminal bout of the singles. I am content being by myself, but even then I get it. Men, you do not need to go to all 30 ballparks, for Pete’s sake. Maybe a couple, because only a few are fascinating.

What will be coming in the next month are reviews of the stadiums I have attended with the sincere belief you are better off doing anything else.

Some background: I am a former sportswriter for a national news outlet (Gannett News Service). My work primarily appeared in The San Bernardino Sun with a few bylines in other papers across the country. As a scribe, I did go to a number of stadiums. I will not be looking at these parks as a reporter, though, because sportswriters are idiots. When you work in the press, you get a special parking pass. Then you are led to a special entrance with an elevator that takes you directly to the press box, which is one of the best seats in the house. Then you often get fed for free, so of course, Petco Park is going to get a five-star review.

That’s bogus. You and I have to see if the place is affordable, comfortable and fun. That is the lens I am going to use.

I started my little trek to these ballparks purely by accident. I had seen all of the stadiums in California when I lived there. Then I moved to Florida. Along the way, I would catch a few games — Arizona, Texas, and so on. Then, if I was angry at my employer — which happened often — I would rent a car for the weekend to get away and next thing I knew, I was in Baltimore.

This is part of my point that ladies should make to the men in their lives. Is visiting Houston really that important? Really?

Having been to St. Petersburg, Fla., Oakland and Cincinnati, naw son, it ain’t.

Tell your significant other to keep this in mind, too. Anyone who embarks on this quest will watch a lot of bad baseball. The Red Sox and Dodgers aren’t going to be at every stop. You’re going to see far more of the Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins than you realize. Hell, thanks to interleague games, you could see the Chicago White Sox play the Miami Marlins and I wouldn’t wish that on an enemy.

Some ground rules: I will not be reviewing or ranking “who has the best hot dog?” It has been written that we only utilize 10 percent of the human mind. I believe I will be on the fast track to dementia if I spend any time taste-testing Fenway Franks and compare them with Dodger Dogs.

It’s ballpark food. It’s supposed to be awful.

What does matter? Is it somewhat affordable? Is it comfortable? Are the people nice? And most important, can you make a memory there, not just the game, but the city?

Finally, these reviews will come in an order from worst-to-first. Dodger Stadium will be the last entry, by the way. It is my personal favorite. Having said that, I admit my bias as a Dodgers fan. I also won’t entertain any “You ranked my stadium too low” arguments. I’m not driving back to Detroit to hear you out, because this is not about who is in the Top 10.

This is about talking some common sense to you.

Visiting all 30 major league stadiums is a bona fide stupid idea.

Your wife/girlfriend is right.

Now sit down, shut up and get that mani-pedi.

The Frenemy of the People

Today, more than 300 newspapers banded together to run the same editorial, taking President Trump to task for calling the denizens of the Fourth Estate “the enemy of the people.”

My first reaction was surprise there are still more than 300 newspapers left, but I digress.

I think most everybody can agree the dude knows how to push buttons. I also think we can agree Trump can be truth-challenged, shall we say? However, as someone who watched more than a few printing presses roar with my golden prose splattered on the pages, I think my former comrades are on — as people love saying lately — “the wrong side of history.”

It isn’t that the free press is the enemy of the people.

It’s that you’re screwing up — royally and often. And these mistakes are so grievous that they make you nobody’s friend.

You cannot speak truth to power when you do not speak the truth in the first place. It is just that simple.

This should be a time for nationwide media introspection instead of pearl-clutching. Because — and I’m genuinely stunned I seem like the only one who realizes this — the antedote to being called “fake news” is to be accurate.

If the national press had its facts were straight, and it does not, CNN’s resident moralist Jim Acosta could reply to Sarah Huckabee Sanders or the big orange villain himself with “Go ahead, tell me where I’m wrong.” I speak from years of experience. I was accused of bias all the time. The only response is to say “where was I wrong?” Prove it.

But there wasn’t much of a mea culpa in the days after Brian Ross of ABC falsely reported of meetings “candidate” Trump wanted arranged with the Russians. It took months to for ABC to finally let Ross go.

Or Zeke Miller of Time magazine claiming Trump had a bust of Martin Luther King removed from the Oval Office. Or the Washington Post falsely reporting the entire State Department leadership resigned in protest over Trump in January, 2017. Or multiple outlets reporting Trump fired FBI director James Comey over funding for the Russian collusion investigation. Or NBC claiming Vladimir Putin confessing that he had compromising information on Trump. Or CNN’s Thomas Frank wrongly reporting Congress was investigating a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.

I haven’t even mentioned the petty side stories about rally crowd sizes or the First Lady that were simply factually incorrect.

You do not have to be positive. You must be accurate. It is your mission.

I might also add that you have to be ethically sound.

Hello, New York Times, does a friend of the people hire a bigot (Sarah Jeong) for its editorial board? Does that sound friendly? For that matter, does a friend of the people look the other way when a reporter (Ali Watkins) has sex with sources? Same, I might add, for Fox News. How did Kimberly Guilfoyle stay employed for a single day after she started dating the president’s son?

I learned a long time ago that choosing journalism as a profession meant I would have few friends, which is why I cherish the ones I have. It is also why it pains me to see the garbage that passes for reportage today. Every misstep adds fuel for the firebreather in the West Wing.

If I took Howard Stern’s self-proclaimed “King of All Media” mantle for a few minutes, I would:

1) Immediately downsize all pundits in print and broadcast media. I would cut the opinion page to a cartoon, a staff editorial and letters to the editor. Punditry on all sides has been reduced to shrill name-calling. Who pays to read opinions, anyway? I can get the same for free from Facebook.

2) Take whatever money I save from that and anywhere else and hire more copy editors. A confession. I hate getting my copy proofread. My ego tells me my articles are as crisp as fine linen. Copy editors show me where it looks like something scraped from the mattress of a Motel 6.

Copy editors are the ones charged with making sure reporters don’t look like damned fools. When the journalism industry started cutting staff, editors were often the first to go because a river of new content was the priority. Reporters had to be saved because getting read was what made money.

Which is a fair argument, unless what is being read is factually wrong.

3) Any analysis piece must not be looked at in terms of vote counts. Did we really know if Obamacare is a good idea? The Trump tax cuts? Not really. We just heard about how it looks in the polls for “signature legislation” to pass. It could be argued that we went to war in Iraq in part because the press spent far too much time wondering if that was good for George W. Bush and precious little time asking if the stockpiles of chemical weapons were really there.

4) No more movie roles. You can’t be a real reporter and interview an actor in a wheelchair about what Superman did to him, Soledad O’Brien. You can’t on Friday, be anchor Wolf Blitzer and assail the Trump White House, but follow that up on Saturday and be actor Wolf Blitzer and break news about MI6 being blown up while James Bond was away.

5) Stop giving a shit if people like you. I have news for Acosta. They never will. I got my first threat at 14. I have been approached and surrounded by angry readers. It comes with the job. Grow the hell up. This is no time to whine. Nor is it time to complain about how Trump’s tweets hold up on a fact-check website.

It is instead time to recommit to fact checking yourselves.