Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sarasota Reds Win Two in a Row!

Stranger things have happened, I guess, but in the world of Sarasota Reds baseball not much is more strange than them winning two games in a row. Yes you read that correctly.

This evening my hapless Sarasota Reds beat the Palm Beach Cardinals 1-0. It was a great game! This comes on the heels of a 6-2 win over the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs on Sunday afternoon.

Of course the back to back wins need to be put in perspective before anyone dares to think the Reds are on a streak or something.

When the Reds began Sunday's game with a 4 run first inning (I almost hyperventilated despite the temperature feeling like it was 900 degrees at game time) those runs ended another streak - the Reds had gone 27 consecutive innings without scoring one single run. Now my reticence makes more sense perhaps?

Sunday's game against the Stone Crabs was a lot of fun. Before the game started I chatted with the Crabs' manager about their upcoming playoff bid. The Fort Myers Miracle are at the top of the South Division of the Florida State League and a shoe-in for a playoff spot. The Crabs are close by in second place but not far enough from their closest competitor to clinch a playoff spot. As we talked I told the Crabs manager that I'd be in Port Charlotte to cheer on his team but added "even though I'll cheer for you there, today I will heckle you mercilessly." He smiled and said "that's what the game is all about."

Sunday's designated recipient of heckling was #39 Henry Wrigley. For whatever reason I was on Henry like white on rice each time he came to bat. Finally in the top of the 8th inning when Henry was in the on-deck circle I made a comment about him reporting to the Rookie League after the game. Fed up with a three games worth of invective from me (he got an ear full the night before during a double-header) Henry looked at me and yelled "Fuck you, asshole." I laughed as he took the batters box and then poured it on more helping him to strike out.

The other designated recipient on Sunday afternoon was Omar Luna, the Crabs' second baseman. Being from the Dominican Republic I probably should have not been too rough on him however during one of the Saturday night games Omar swung at a pitch, lost control of his bat - lost control hell- he lost the bat!- and it went sailing into the stands behind the third base dugout and hit a kid in the head. Sunday, each time he came to bat, I yelled at Omar and asked if he was going to hit another kid this afternoon. Omar didn't have such a good day at the plate.

I arrived late for this evening's game against the Cardinals. I had a wardrobe malfunction as it were and needed to dash over to my sister's house to get the zipper on the pocket in which sat my wallet and my money unzipped. This made me arrive at the top of the second inning. Luckily the Reds were tied.

Tonight's designated recipients were Blake Murphy the catcher and Jose Garcia the shortstop, a kid from Caracas Venezuela. I chose Blake because he was consistently throwing balls to second base that seemed to defy gravity and regularly wound up in center field. Jose was chosen because of a throw in the second inning that went over the first baseman and into the stands. Clearly these were two mistakes that called for rigorous heckling. Unfortunately there were no four-letter words thrown my way by any of the Cardinals, but this was just the first game of a three-game series. I have plenty of time tomorrow and Thursday to aggravate them.

Tonight's win puts the Reds record at 10 wins and 36 losses with me in the stands. There being only two more games to be played in Ed Smith Stadium there is no way I can encourage them to my goal of 40 losses with me in the stands by the time this home stand is done. This means that I'll have to travel down to Port Charlotte for at least two games in enemy territory later this week. Could be interesting!

One nice thing about tonight's game is that as I watched it I got some more ideas for how my book "Minor League Heckler" will move forward. First, the Heckler will pursue Anne Hinga his real love interest while 2) Tonya Goodthighs continues to pursue the heckler. Eventually there will be a huge cat fight between these two. Haven't figured out how it ends yet. Also, the two other lines of the story will be 3) the Heckler's pursuit of the Santa Lucia Metros and 4) how Cubans in Miami have been buying off umpires making them throw all these games that the Reds have been losing. Not sure where that one is going either but it should be fun!

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