It was quite nice to get to the park for two of three against the Braves this week, a bit by serendipity, really. My regular partner and I attended the opener with John Danks on the mound and Hanson pitching for the Braves. The get away game also made the perfect Father’s Day gift for my father-in-law. He wanted to go to a Cubs game with his one set of grand kids and a Sox game with my kids. As it turns out the day game was also something called Grandparents Day, so grandma got to tag along too.
The first game as far as the experience goes was pretty standard as far as attending games with AJD goes, which is to say a blast. He and I are good friends regardless of time or place, but at the ballpark is where I always think of him. I think Richard Creamer put it best in Ken Burns’ film Baseball when he said, “the best thing about baseball is that its fun. It’s just fun.” I can’t think of better way to describe sitting with AJD, it’s just fun. We do seem to slowing down a bit in our dotage, however. We could not even make it to our customary ice cream dessert. Hard to believe, but we admittedly were full enough and the balance of an evening feeling like a beached whale just isn’t as appealing as it once was. The Sox won the game handily, though Scott Linebrink did try and make it more interesting in the ninth than in needed to be. It was nice to see the bats really come alive again, including the up until now absent Carlos Quentin. He had a monster series against the Braves, three home runs, six rbi and pretty much pounding the ball whenever he made contact.
I didn’t actually see the second game. My cable provider was having some issues so I was regulated to the radio, which isn’t so bad, kind of reminds me of being a kid and listening to Indians games when they were on the west coast. It was definitely the Quentin game, hitting two of his homeruns in that game and accounting for three of the runs. Buehrle pitched well enough to win, only giving up 2 runs and scattering 9 hits, but like all of the starters in this recent hot streak he went deep into the game and gave the bullpen more rest. I have to admit for as nutty as Hawk Harrleson can be he does make a good point about the importance of a bullpen in the modern game. The sharper the Sox can be come August and September the better off they will be. Which leads me to something I didn’t think I would get to enjoy this summer. The Sox are actually back in this thing. After completing the sweep of the Braves they are only 2.5 games out of first place. They might not be a great team, but they don’t necessarily have to be, just good enough to win their division. There is a lot of time to go, I’m well aware, but at least they have made it interesting for a little while at the very least.
The day game was great, bright sunshine, the kids, my wife, the grandparents and a wonderfully quick game. I love a fast, error free game even if I don’t get a chance to really watch it. I got to watch the kids play, enjoy the pleasures cotton candy and listen to my son explain as much as he could about the Sox, US Cellular Field and the Fundamentals deck as he could to his grandma. The boy knows his stuff, though I’m not quite sure if he knows more about the Sox or the concession stands. I wonder where he gets it? We actually got to see the Konerko homerun from the lower bowl because we were lining up for the “Seniors stroll around the bases.” It was awesome to say the least and for the second time this year I got to see Konerko give a curtain call. I think that is one of the coolest traditions in baseball. It would be interesting to see when it started out, what was the occasion and how it’s changed over the years. The Stroll was very cool as well. My daughter and the grandparents took their time around the bases, but the boy went for broke. I thought for sure he was going to slide into home, but instead he just jumped emphatically on the plate. The only bummer, sadly, was the behavior of some of the other seniors cueing up for the stroll. First, if you have to cut in line for a stroll around the bases, you’re just pathetic, come on! Second, if you have to jump into a line reserved for seniors, and you’re obviously you not a senior, you’re more than pathetic, you’re an asshole. Of course if that was the worst part of the day, and it was, then it was a pretty great day. Great day, great sweep, good times.