I have taken way too long of a hiatus. Since I last wrote, I moved to Chicago and then to an apartment 5 doors down from Wrigley. Lots of things have kept me from writing, but last night’s game provided more than enough inspiration to get back in the game.
Since I’ve moved so close to Wrigley, I’ve been really lucky at getting tickets. This was my 22nd game, and I’ve probably only paid for 5 of those. Usually I get tickets from my boss, and every once in a while I’ll go out with 10 bucks in my pocket looking for any ticket to get me in.That was my plan last night. It took me an inning or two, but in the 4th, a nice guy just gave me a ticket. That ticket just happened to be on the second row right behind the visitor’s dugout.
So I was already feeling pretty lucky. I went ahead and spent the 10 bucks I had planned to spend on tickets on hotdogs and beer. The seats turned out to be even better than I thought. There were cool people all around: the nice guy that gave me the great ticket, three really nice, really cute girls in front of me, and four fun guys who just happened to be Brewers and Sox fans behind me (they were, of course, rooting for the Rockies). At first I was worried about them and wondered if there wasn’t some kind of security to keep out opposing fans who weren’t even watching their own teams, but they turned out to be pretty cool guys. Amazingly, they even came up with a few funny heckling cheers. I guess they’ve taught some of those guys to read after all.
The girls were really cool too. They adopted a little nugget of a girl who was sitting next to them. The girl was visiting from NYC and told us stories of "Mark Jeter". After she yelled "Hey Number 8" at Yorvit Torrealba for a couple of innings, he ended up bringing up a ball in his mitt and rolling it to her on top of the dugout. When she thanked him, he winked. Priceless. Made me think maybe I should rent a cute kid for games. The girls also made friends with the nice guy who let me in. When he spilled mustard on his shirt, one of them whipped out a Tide to Go pen. It would have made for a great commercial.
The best part of the game for me was all the Tigers on the field. Fontenot, Theriot, and Hawpe all played for LSU while I was in school there. It has been so much fun to watch Fontenot and Theriot have such great seasons, even more fun to see another Tiger visiting. I got to see Hawpe up close
since I was right behind his dugout. One time when he was in the hole, I shouted " Hey Brad, you’re Tiger Bait tonight" ( a cheer chanted endlessly at opposing players at LSU). He nodded his head at me. Kind of a proud moment. Overall, the Tigers had a great night. Fontenot had an amazing 5 for 5 game, and the three of them went 9 for 12 on the night.
Besides the ending, the most exciting part of the game actually came after the bullpen and Bob Howry blew and 8-3 lead by giving up 6 runs on no outs in the top of the ninth. An aggravated fan
spoke for all of us when he ran out onto the field to the mound, put his arms up in a question and screamed at Howry, presumably asking how the **** he gave up that homer. He was, of course, tackled by the overenthusiastic ball boy and taken off to Cubs jail, but the guy really deserves the save for the game, because once he screamed at Howry, he settled down and got out of the inning.
I was worried that my mojo on the night was wearing off. Going into the bottom of the ninth down
9-8 is pretty scary. But the guys pulled it together with some solid base hits and an error. When Soriano came up with two outs and the bases loaded, the place went nuts. When he knocked the go ahead and winning runs, the stands went absolutely wild. It was electric. People were jumping over rows to high five strangers. Even the Brewers/Sox fans (who had been yammering for "free baseball" all night) had to admit it was a good game.
I walked the half block home with a bounce in my step. I knew this had to be the game to bring me back to writing. Plus the Brewers fan was so **** bent on getting into my blog, I had to write. I’ll have to share some stuff from earlier in the season in later blogs. It’s been a crazy ride. And we’re just getting started.