Durham Bulls Game
Extremely excellent night at the DBAP last night. Why so great?
1. We have a partial season's ticket plan, for the four of us. Our seats are 17 rows up, right behind visitors' dugout, even with pitcher's mound on third base side. Shaded, under cover if it rains. The view from our seats. Lines at the beer/hot dogs/whatever stands are not too long. And stuff is cheap: $5 for a 20 oz beer, $2.50 for a hot dog, $3 for peanuts. I have trouble going to a MLB game now, because the seats are usually bad and the food/drinks so expensive.
2. The Bulls were playing the Columbus Clippers, Yankee farm hands at AAA level. The Clippers' pitchers were okay, normal size, and could throw hard. But their infield was composed entirely of hobbits. If a Bulls player was on base (and they left 11 players on base!), the Clipper holding him on looked like a ten year old. I checked their stats sheet on the CC web site, and it is pure fiction. It lists Russ Johnson and Andy Cannizaro both as being 5'10". I think not. Johnson is maybe 5'9", and Cannizaro is 5'7" with stiletto heels on.
3. The Clippers hit 8 doubles. When was the last time you saw ONE TEAM hit 8 doubles in a game? Those hobbits were jacking the ball. 3 or 4 of those doubles would have been homers in a regular park (The DBAP has a 32' high "blue monster" in left field, where down the line it is just over 305')
4. Foul ball went into the Clippers' dugout. Clippers (must have been one of the few non-hobbits) stood on top step, turned around, and looked for a kid to give the ball to. Sees a cute kid, about 6, hat too big for his head, but gamely holding up his glove and doing the beg-for-the-ball-with-those-Bambi-eyes thing that kids are good at. Clipper rolls the ball across the top of the dugout, straight toward the cute kid. Dad stays back, to let kid get ball. BUT GIANT FAT YANKEE BASTARD DAD FROM TWO SEATS DOWN lunges for ball, grabs it because his fat yankee bastard arms are longer than cute kid's arms. And then does a dance of victory. Now, this is the south. We don't hold with that bullshit. Enormous boos, people standing up and yelling. And the Clippers are mad, too. Most of the players are standing up on the steps (hobbits may have been on the rail), yelling at this guy. FYB dad quickly hands the ball to HIS kid. Points at kid. Yells at kid to hold up ball. Kid looks around, starts to cry, because people are going nuts booing at him about this ball. FYB holds kid up, like a fat white Michael Jackson on the hotel balcony. Boos subside, but kid is crying hard. Clippers find another ball, roll it across dugout roof to cute kid, who nabs it this time unmolested. Fans cheer wildly. FYB guy tries to hide under his Yankees hat (remember, Clippers are Yankee farm team, so for all I know this guy is an actual fan...of the CLIPPERS, I mean). Interesting thing about all this: FYB is white, and the cute kid/dignified dad are black. No question whose side the south was on this night. All you FYBs: get on I-95 north, and keep driving until you either hit New Jersey or a bridge abutment, we don't much care which. Nor for that matter are we sure there is an important difference.
5. Raymond, the mascot for the Devil Rays (the Bulls parent org) was at the game. He was pretty funny, I have to say. Good motions, and pantomime, lots of energy. But poor Raymond. He is a major league mascot for a team that has never had a winning season, and whose attendance figures are spotty at best. But, he gets to dance with hot chicks, Bruce Springsteen style. He picked this one woman, an extraordinarily fit and trim woman, and as soon as she got up on top of the dugout it was clear Raymond was in way over his head. She had on these white pants (I THINK they were pants, it may just have been paint), a leopard skin top that was off one shoulder, and an attitude that pretty much shut Raymond down. She looked and acted like a runway model playing with a child. Now, Raymond gamely went on with his act, but I was struck by the power of feminine haute hauteur. Big crowd pleaser, though. I know I was pleased.