Tagged: travel

Laughing all the way up I-95

while listening into the game against the Rangers… especially during the fourth inning.

Final score: 8-3, Red Sox.

What I loved best about this game was the fact that the Red Sox shows its brilliance not through the big named players but through its depth of experienced, its investment in the farm system, and, finally, its demonstration of a cohesive team.

The commentators kept saying how Nippert was “taking one for the team” and deliberately left hanging out to dry because the Gabbard had an unexpectedly short outing. I didn’t like this implication. The way I see it- if the commentators are right, then it’s poor coaching, leadership, management, and whatever other word you want to insert in there. It’s saying that the team and coach made the conscious decision to call the game a wash and designate Nippert as the scapegoat. That’s poor sportsmanship. That’s poor teamwork.

So I’m going to assume the commentators are dead wrong and doing a poor job of the primary role as a narrator. My next question is: why did Washington leave Nippert out that long? Yes, they lost their starter earlier. So what? Stuff like this happens all the time and they should have, in the process of building their roster, planned for this possibility. The only reasoning I can come up with is that they have exhausted all available relief pitchers in the earlier games of the series, leaving precious few in the right physical condition to carry on. Since I did not follow any of the other games live, I don’t know if it’s true or not.  

Don’t get me wrong. I was cheering every step of the game for the Sox. I just, as a baseball fan, have to sympathize with that it going through the Rangers’ fans’ minds at the moment. It seems to me that they have the right to be frustrated. 

Count down

Overnight bag check
Case of Virginia wine for Dad check
Bag of spices for Mum check
XM radio in car for the drive check
Munchies for the the drive check
Wallet check
Full tank of gas check

 

I’m set, and ready for the drive home! The thing of it is… being able to watch the Sox games on tv is such a treat for me. I’m going to lose XM access once I move so I *might* subscribe to MLB.com but at this point I have yet to decide if it’s worth the time. Until then, going home is a treat not only because it’s home but also I get to follow the Sox. Trips like this offer me opportunities to see the team’s brilliance on screen… such as Buchholz’s no-hitter last summer.  

Oh yeah… it’ll be good to see you, too, Mum and Dad. 🙂

The Nats Stadium

I had a fondness for the Nat’s new stadium although I have yet to set a foot on the grounds. As a rower on the Anacostia River, I rowed right past the site every day of it’s construction, barring bad weather preventing me the go on the water, all year last year. I saw the grounds start off as a really unattractive piece of dirt called real estate turned into a massive stadium. It wasn’t completely done when our crew season wrapped up for the winter but the majority of the structure was already up and I had grown accustomed to seeing the sun set behind its silhouette. I truly regret not bringing my camera and snapping shows of the progress of the building from the water.

The stadium brings many changes. The opportunity to revitalise a horrible part of town. The process of growth had started long before the team even came to town. The government buildings being constructed around the Navy Yard has brought more daytime foot traffic and dispersed some of the more shady elements of DC’s population.

The biggest headache for me is traffic. Other than an initial surprise and private grin when I saw small road signs with the Nationals’ “W” and an arrow pointing where to go show up on I-395, I will start spending more time griping about the traffic gridlock. DC has more traffic than its roads are designed to handle. Which is why a practice emergency evaculation a while back went so wrong so quickly. I had to fight traffic from work to the boathouse with RFK traffic since my practice time coincided with the weekday evening games. Now with the stadium directly on the way to the boathouse, I’m not even sure Metro is ready to handle the traffic either.

I do want to check out the stadium, though. I chuckled last night at the first homerun of the stadium. I wondered if the Nats, even with an one-point lead at the time, wished they were still at RFK because that hit would not have been a homerun there. I am kicking myself for calling it a night and hopping into the shower at the bottom of the 8th. I apprently missed the best part, as I inevitably do in my rare decisions to close up early. But my excuse: I was running on 6 hours of culmulative sleep the past three days and I had just had a 16-hour day of travel. I was beat.  

Now, I’ll have to continue my thoughts on the stadium later… off the hit the slopes!

Packing checklist

– Skies
– Ski boots
– Ski clothing
– Base layers
– Warm WARM thick sweaters, preferably with snowflake designs
– Wool socks
– Hiking boots
– Neckwarmer
– Thick waterproof gloves
– Regular winter gloves
– Ski jacket
– Horseback riding boots
– Riding jeans
– Ski goggles
– Sunglasses
– Contacts
– Spending money
– Camera

and

– laptop in case there’s no baseball coverage.

*sigh*

In conclusion. Three days is far too short. It’s like getting a lick of an ice cream cone than dropping it on the ground and watching it melt.

The painful part was leaving 30 degrees Celsius to land in 30 degrees Fahrenheit less than 2 hours later.

I did not watch Saturday’s game. Tickets sold out long before I had a chance to buy. Sure, I could buy from a scalper, but I never was a fan of them and what they represent. Instead, I settled with checking out a vastly entertaining Fleamasters Fleamarket and somewhat overpriced but tasty Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival.

The pricier but by far nicer place to stay: Sanibel Island. Beware the $6 toll to get on the island (but they are perfectly content to let you off the island without a fee).

My trip revolved around the Spring training games. Sleep in in the morning, go for a two hour swim at the resort pool. Back to the room, breakfast, shower, enjoying some sun on the patio, and a reluctant departure to head out for the day.

The City of Palms Stadium is surprisingly small, and close quarters. View of the field is fantastic. For $26, I sat on top of the visitor dugout. Shell out an addition $5, I sat behing home plate. Maximum capacity for the stadium is somewhere around 7,800. But during the Dodgers game, the tallied total attendance was somewhere around 8,070. Figure that one out.

After the game, I would explore a beach town. Naples on Thursday, and Sanibel on Friday. I did not spend nearly enough time there. Even for a non-beach-goer, I loved it down there. I had a whole list of things I wanted to do and that list grew faster than I was able to check the items off. At least now I know and can prioritise for next year.

Now, I need to convince my father to retire there. I’d go down there every spring to see the So- er, my folks.

Unruly thoughts

I really need to reign in my thought process. As I pulled out and drove off, I remembered that I was supposed to blog about in my previous entry, which was not what I ended up blogging.

Going back to rest, refreshing, etc etc. Logically I knew it, but the reality of how much traveling the baseball team does didn’t truly sink in until about a year ago when a friend tried to give it a go in kindling a romantic relationship with someone on the coaching staff of a major league team. He was always on the road and she fretted about not getting timely calls or responses. She swung between being understanding to being impatient. Well, as objective person can see, that relationship wasn’t happening.

I admire families of players who deal with him being constantly on the road or at the stadium. My father still travels frequently and I often credit my mother for uncomplainingly holding the fort down alone. What they did pales in comparison to the professional baseball circuit, which impresses me even more.

I used to have a 50% and more travel rate for my job, constantly packing and going. A couple of times, I would leave two suitcases in the trunk of my car and simply swap them out for three consecutive trips. That schedule wore me out quickly and lead to some winters when I suffered more and worse colds because my body was too weak to fight off the bacteria.

How do the players deal with their travel? Not only are they constantly on the road, they also have to play games the days of travel. We’re talking about guys who are fit and in great shape, where their jobs depend on their being healthy. When I hear all the talk about players “wearing out” and “getting tired” I now understand that context. So while we fans enjoy a day off the decompress and calm down, these guys are getting the physical rest they really need.