Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reds Lose Again Last Night - Closing In On My Goal


The hapless Sarasota Reds, holders of the worst record in the Florida State League and one of the worst records in all of Minor League Baseball, were defeated last night by the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs. The final score was 1-0.

Although it was a close scoring game, that happened purely by coincidence. At least twice the Reds found themselves with the Crabs having loaded the bases and there being only 1 or more likely 0 outs. Somehow they worked their way out of these messes and kept the score out of the embarrassing department. I'm not sure how it happened but they pulled it off.

The game was played in beautiful, clean, wonderful, comfortable Charlotte Sports Park.

This stadium is without doubt one of the three best in the Florida State League. Of course I might be a tad biased because it has 1) a tiki bar in left-center field and 2) the tiki bar has Cerveza President on draught!! I've never seen Presidente on draught even in the Dominican Republic where its brewed! Talk about a major coup.

Stone Crabs fans are among the best in the Florida State League. They certainly love their team and they show it vociferously. Last night's paid attendance was 3,586 people. Can you freaking believe that?? Tonight's game (Saturday night) was sold out already last night. I was lucky to get two tickets for Sunday afternoon's game.

My brother-in-law and I sat together in Section 108, just 8 rows back from the edge of the field. These seats were as close as we could get - everything forward was sold out including a bunch of season ticket holders. What a concept - something else the Sarasota Reds forgot to learn.

The Sunday game will be the last game ever played by the Sarasota Reds. I will be there with my Sarasota Reds cap on seated next to Anne, the person who is the inspiration for "Anne Hinga" in my book "Minor League Heckler." We will be seated almost on top of the Stone Crabs dugout which will prove interesting for me....especially when Henry Wrigley (#39) comes out to the on-deck circle. However I have promised Anne that I won't heckle (much) so Henry will get off light.

The irony of my heckling the Crabs is that next Tuesday night September 8, the Crabs will be playing the Fort Myers Miracle in Port Charlotte. This will be the first of a potentially three-game playoff series to see who wins the Florida State League South Division championship. I got two tickets for Tuesday night's game against the Miracle. And for that game I"ll be in the stands (we have seats in the first row next to the Crabs dugout), I will be wearing my Stone Crabs baseball cap and I will be cheering FOR Henry Wrigley and the rest of the Crabs.

Right now the Sarasota Reds have a record of 10 wins and 39 losses with me in the stands cheering them on. Some time ago I wondered if they could get to 40 losses with me there. Tomorrow night will be the test to see if we can reach that goal. But its a bittersweet goal. I'd certainly like to see them win just because its their last game ever. At the same time I am expecting them to lose because that is what the Reds do best. Either way, win or lose, there is a Cerveza Presidente tap in the tiki bar in left-center field. So all is well no matter what.

Still it will be a melancholy time Sunday afternoon watching the Reds in their last game ever. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do once they are gone.

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