Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring Training Update


It's been an exciting and exhausting week of baseball spring training in Florida.

Thursday afternoon Jon Andrew and I were in beautiful Charlotte Sports Park for the afternoon game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. It was a close game won by the Rays. From Port Charlotte we drove to Fort Myers for an evening game between the Boston Red Sox and that team from just west of Wisconsin. The air temperature at 9:00 p.m. was 45 degrees. Of course I was in shorts (I've not worn long pants since February 25, 2008). The Red Sox beat the team from west of Wisconsin so all was good.

Friday we traveled to Dunedin for the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Jays demolished the Phillies which was fun to watch. They had an 8 run fourth inning which is indicative of how the game went. We had seats four rows back from home plate in prime heckling territory. I used that location to my advantage and pissed off a Phillies pitcher named "Vogelsang". He walked a batter and the next pitch was a ball. I bellowed out "Ball 5". Then he threw another pitch and I yelled "Ball 6" The next pitch was also a ball and I yelled "Ball 7". It was then that Vogelsang slammed his glove and pranced around the mound staring at me. I knew that I'd gotten to him.

This was my personal spring heckler training!

Friday evening we returned to Sarasota and watched the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles play in Ed Smith Stadium. The air temperature at game time was 52 degrees. It only got colder. Again I was in shorts. The Pirates won. I remember little else.

After the game Jon and I retired to the Coach and Horses Pub where we single-handedly attempted to drink the pub dry of all fermented adult beverages. We did not succeed but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Saturday we were supposed to go to a Red Sox game in Fort Myers but we opted for a Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies game in Bradenton's McKechnie Park. Because of the late attempt at getting seats we were relegated to the damned grandstand where all "seats" are like park benches. Plus we were what seemed like a mile from the plate. The Phillies lost and I got a good tan foundation. All was well.

Now, Sunday, Jon and I attended a Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles game in Sarasota. We stayed only until the top of the 6th inning because Jon had to bail out for his 8 hour drive back to Atlanta. When we departed the Orioles led the Red Sox 3-1. David Ortiz hit three towering fly balls but all three were overcome by gravity before they could get out of the park and were caught for outs.

Tomorrow, Monday, I'm watching a game at Ed Smith Stadium between the Orioles and the team from west of Wisconsin. Afterward I'm headed down to Englewood to see old high school friends Tom Benavides and Steve Benavides. I've already been warned to "leave your liver at the door." If the Benavides brothers can still drink like they did in high school that is very sound advice. And if you don't hear from me in a couple of days I'm likely in jail for quite drunk and disorderly. At least Tom and Steve will be with me for company.

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