30 July 2015

Overheard in Court

I walk in to listen to part of a civil jury trial going on in Circuit Court. Apparently, the judge had on the previous day indicated that he was disposed toward striking the evidence in the plaintiff's case as legally insufficient to present to the jury (I believe other States would do this via directed verdict). However, the judge gave the parties the night to research and come in to argue. As I watched the plaintiff's attorney, who clearly had already been going for a while, cited case after case after case and explained why each case required the judge to allow the jury to decide the case based upon the evidence which had already been presented.

At one point, prior to moving on to the next case in his stack, the plaintiff's attorney looks up at the judge:

"Judge, not to be too cheeky or anything, but whenever I reach the point that you decide the law requires you not to strike the case please interrupt me and we can move forward with the case."

The judge just smiles back at him: "Naw, that's okay counsel. You put a lot of work into preparing all this for today and I'd hate to stop you when you are only an inch into that stack of cases."

11 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Eight

This day was a couple hours of driving followed by attendance at the West Michigan Whitecaps game. They were hosting the Bowling Green (Ky) Hot Rods and it was a pretty good game with the Whitecaps getting two runs in the third and doing the same in the fourth. Then they held off the Hot Rods who scored individual runs in different innings, including the ninth.

The park was full and the crowd was into it, but somewhere around the 3rd or 4th inning something started bugging me and after looking around a bit I figured it out. Almost nobody in the stadium was wearing Whitecaps stuff. I noticed at the souvenir store that there was more stuff from the Major League affiliate than I usually see - a lot more. The Whitecaps are the the single A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and there were a lot of people wearing Detroit hats/jerseys/t-shirts. However, not even all the ushers were wearing Whitecaps stuff. There were at least two ushers walking around completely decked out in Tigers stuff. I think this is a reflection of two things. First, Detroit is the mothership, has an extremely loyal fan base, and is just down the road a couple hours. However, if that were enough then nobody at Dayton would be wearing Dragons stuff (instead wearing Reds stuff), but the stands there were filled with people in Dragons gear. I think the second factor was the most important: the Whitecaps logo sucks. It's a wave withe eyes crashing over a baseball. It's not the worst logo I've seen, but it's in the bottom ten percent. In comparison, the "D" that Detroit uses as well as the tiger are classics. The test of this theory will come tonight when I'm at the Toledo Mudhens game (Tigers' AAA affiliate) with their well established logo.

When the game ended and we were all walking out the gates they were handing out loaves of bread. Let me rephrase that . . . They were aggressively handing out loaves of bread. Kids were running everybody down and basically throwing bread at them. I barely had time to realize what was going on before a girl ran up and shoved a loaf at my chest so I had to grab it. It wasn't like I was trying to avoid the kid. It was kind of providential; I'd just used up the last of the bread in my cooler (but still have P&J and lunch meat). However, whether I wanted it or not that girl was going to make sure I took my loaf of bread.

Next up: The Toledo Mudhens on Saturday and the Columbus Clippers on Sunday. However, I doubt y'all will get updates from me because the Mudhens are playing a double header against the Bats tonight and the Clippers game is at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Then comes the 5 hour drive home. Not going to be much time for anything other than sleeping or driving for the next couple days.

10 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Seven

The day started out with another drive through the farmlands of Michigan. For the majority of this the land was flat but toward the end there were some hills. They weren't really hills like I grew up with in Kentucky, but there was definitely a little bit of change in elevation.

Traverse City is on a spur of Lake Michigan (not sure of the proper term: finger? bay?) and it is obviously a big tourist town. The beaches were full. The harbor was filled with all sorts of boats for sailing and various fun activities. Lots and lots of water out there. The town had a big fair set up which looked at least semi-permanent and besides that it was filled with the kind of quaint little shops meant to separate tourists from their cash.  Gotta say, if it wasn't 12 hours away I'd probably be recommending it to lots of people back home.

The game of the day was a Frontier League game between the Traverse City Beach Bums and the Southern Illinois Miners. The Frontier League is interesting because it is an unaffiliated league so none of its team have any major league support. They also have rules limiting the number of experienced players on each team's roster. I think that each year at least half the team has to be composed of people who don't have any professional experience and the majority if the rest can only have one. In effect, it's a rookie league (much like the Appalachian League back home which I have come to know and, ummmm, kinda think is okay).

The park definitely had a different feel to it. The outside looked like you were walking up to a beach front apartment building. Once you got inside there were normal baseball seats and a whole lot of tables with beach chairs.  The concessions were in little rooms in the concourse building that had sliding glass windows (it felt kinda little leagueish), although there were a couple walk in bars as well. The field itself was synthetic (not sure if this is still called astro-turf). I think this may be a Frontier League standard since it looked exactly like the synthetic field which the Florence Freedom had when I watched one of their games earlier this year.

The game itself was a defensive struggle. As I do the math, before the game the Miners were .5 games ahead of the Beach Bums in the Frontier League East so both teams had a little something to play for. At the end of 9, the score was 0-0.

It should have been 1-0 in favor of the Bums except for umpire interference in the 4th (or maybe 5th - these things blur a little by the next day). And, when I say umpire interference I don't mean a bad call, I literally mean umpire interference. The Bums had a guy on second and the batter hit a screecher right past the pitcher. It was headed for the gap and the runner on second was already halfway to third and heading for home. The ball skipped once and then it nailed the second base ump. It popped in the air and the second baseman grabbed it so it looked like an infield single with the Bums other runner stopping at third. Of course, even that didn't stand. When a ball hits an umpire it's dead (treated like a foul ball, but no strike) so everything reset and everybody went back to where they were when the play began. The Miners then got out of the inning without any runs.

The game went into the 11th tied and a unique Frontier League rule came into play. Starting in the 11th, the last person put out in the inning before is put on second base at the beginning of the inning. Gotta say, I'm not really a fan of this. I'd rather they adopted the Japanese rule of allowing a tie after 12 innings (but nobody asked me). Anyway, in the 11th both teams played it the same way. The first batter sacrifice bunted, moving the runner to third. The defensive team then walked the next batter to set up the double play. Then the defensive teams got the side out. In the twelfth inning the Miners just sent their batters to the plate swinging. A double scored the man from second and they managed to move that guy across the plate as well for a 2 run lead heading into the bottom of the inning. The Bums managed to get their guy from second home and had a guy on first, but it looked like the safety run which the Miners had put on the board was going to hold. Then, with two outs, the Bums batter hit a long ball to right field. The Miners' outfielder raced to the wall and leapt . . . and the ball went six inches over his outstretched glove for a home run.

It was the second best ending to a game I've ever seen (best was a stolen home base with two outs in the 9th by the K-Mets). I still don't like putting the guy on second base though. It feels very little leagueish.

Traverse City Beach Bums 3 - South Illinois Miners 2  (and the Bums move into first place by .5 games)

Today I travel to Grand Rapids to watch the West Michigan White Caps.

09 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Six

Day six started by walking out to my car and seeing that someone had destroyed one of my hubcaps. I'm not sure if they broke it trying to remove it and then got mad or if they simply destroyed it for fun. It was a cheap plastic pop-in so trying to steal it made no sense. Anyway, they didn't break into the cab or flatten the tire so I guess I should count myself lucky.

The trip to Midland, Michigan was uneventful. The GPS took me through a bunch of country highways over a lot of very flat farmland. Every so often there would be a crossroads with a small store and a gas station, but not much else. Then up popped Midland. I get the feeling that there are a decent number of people around here, but they are spread out a bit.

I went and played disc golf at Chippewa Banks. It was a nice course without too many challenging pins. I played a typical "first time on the course" round with about 40% pars, 40% bogies, 10% "aw crud the pin's over there" bogies, and 10% bogies for which I can't even use that excuse. It was a flat course and about 65% of it was in the woods. At one point the path went along a 50' wide river and I thought I was going to have to shoot over it, but then it turned and led me back into the woods. All-in-all, a fun way to spend the afternoon.

The big event of the day was the game between the Great Lake Loons and the Lansing Lugnuts. Dow Diamond is the Loons home park and it's an interesting stadium. The gate to enter the stadium is between center and right field. The stadium was fairly typical except for the fires. In the concourse, on both sides of the outfield there were open fire pits and behind home plate there was a fireplace. I asked one of the kids working the park if this had a particular reason and he told me it was just because it gets cold.

The game today was something of a defensive duel. Not a lot of hits and the only run scored on the night came in the seventh when the Lugnuts drove a run across the plate with some small ball that got a man on third and then a single to drive him in. It was a well pitched game and the crowd of Vietnam vets to the left of me and the crowd of Japanese folks to the right of me all seemed to enjoy it. After about five innings, I got up and wandered the park and finally ended up at a stand up table on the concourse behind home plate watching the last couple innings with a couple local guys. Once they figured out I was here on vacation they spent the time quizzing me about how this park compared to others and telling me about the 200 or so things I should see and do before I leave Michigan (which seemed to boil down to a lot of beautiful lakes and fly fishing).

Loons 0 - Lugnuts 1

Today I drive to Traverse City, which I believe is Michigan's answer to Myrtle Beach.  We'll see.

08 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Five

I got to Lansing an hour earlier than check in was allowed at my motel and it was raining, so I went off to the nearest bowling alley and rolled three games. The first was a 180 and the third was a 230. We won't mention anything which purported to be a bowling game between those two. The Spare Time bowling alley was a pretty interesting place. At one end was an old-fashioned, win your tickets, claim your prize arcade. At the other end was a completely closed off bowling area which looked pretty swank (the tables in there looked to have fancy mixed drinks on them and there was obviously some sort of private party going on). There was also the typical bar which you see at all the northern alleys and outside (in front of the bar) half the parking lot was covered by barriers which kept several feet of sand in place for a beach volleyball area. Inside, every alley in the regular bowling area was covered with moms and their kids.To the left of me were 4 asian ladies and their herd of kids who were doing their darndest to disprove any stereotypes about how well behaved and quiet asian kids are. These kids were bouncing all over the place and running their mothers ragged just like any other 'murican kid even if there wasn't a word of English being spoken over there. To my right was a lady with her two sons and her 4(?) year old daughter. The daughter was using bumpers and the plastic ball roller shaped like a dragon. It was clear that this child was in charge of the entire group. Halfway through their first game she was chasing mom off after mom put the plastic roller in place. Before the game was over the girl wouldn't even let mom come up anymore. She was moving the roller into position herself, aiming it, putting the ball in place, and rolling. And she was doing pretty darn good. She even got some spares and a strike.

The next big event of the day was the Lansing Lugnuts. The Lugnuts play at Cooley Law School Stadium. It's a fairly generic single A stadium with a couple of exceptions. First, they seem to be building apartments onto the back of the stadium behind the outfield and over a concourse and vendor area. I may be wrong about this though. There was a sign that said something about a "Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame", but it did not state any specifics and those look an awful lot like apartments (and wouldn't that be a cool place to live?). Second, they appear to have gutted out the first three rows behind home plate. In it's place they have built a small pit where they kept the people waiting to go onto the field pregame for the first pitch (apparently half the Michigan legislature came for this purpose yesterday) and the younger kids waiting to play between inning games as they were being corralled by the older kids running the games. This was annoying and it meant my "front row" tickets weren't really front row.

The temperature was 65 degrees. 65 degrees. Yeesh. Thankfully, I had an old jacket stuffed way back in the trunk of my car. It may have been stained and smelled slightly of oil, but it kept me warm enough. Personally, I think this is Michigan's payback on me for gloating over the fact that the fans in Comerica couldn't handle a 79 degree day.

The game itself was pretty good. The Great Lake Loons were playing good small ball and moved three runs over the plate. Unfortunately for them, the Lansing Lugnuts had two 2 run homers and added a small ball run as well. The high point of the day was watching a Lugnut fielder rush a throw to first which went five feet over the first baseman's glove and drilled into the stands. Luckily, no one was hit, but I think everyone in the stadium gasped at the same time.

Lugnuts 5 - Loons 3

Tonight I'll be watching the same teams again - only this time it will be at the Loos' stadium which is wherever Midland, Michigan happens to be (apparently a little less than 2 hours northeast of Lansing).

07 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Four

This was something of a down day. I slept in a bit and the big event of the day was going out to The Ponds at Lakefront, a disc golf course which was built on the remnants of an old ball golf course. It was flaaaaaaat and a great place to practice throwing for distance and I spent about three hours on the course. The only really tricky shot was one over an old pond and that was only if you threw from the pro tee. It was a tunnel shot between trees on both banks and about 100' of lake between. I was playing the regular person tees so I had a much easier shot over a dried out finger of the pond (in fact, I overshot the basket). I got a lot of practice throwing long shots (for me) and I wish there was some place around home which I could go to and use like this place to practice bombing discs; it's possible I could develop a decent distance throw if there was. On the other hand, since most of the places back home require more control than distance I think the kind of throws which I was using yesterday might lead to me smashing my discs into a lot of trees when I get home.

Anyway, post disc golf I found another Arabic restaurant to eat at, but it wasn't quite as good as the one I went to Sunday night. Then I went back to Masri Sweets and bought more stuff I ought not to be eating. After that I wandered around Dearborn rubbernecking like all tourists do. It's interesting. You drive around and see a few signs with both English and Arabic on them and then suddenly you're in a roughly 6 block area where everything has both. There were only a couple stores I saw which only had an Arabic sign and both of them seemed to be women's clothing stores. There seem to be a lot of restaurants proclaiming in Arabic that they are Lebanese while just saying "Arabic" for us poor gringos who la narifoo al-luga.

There were little grocery stores scattered about that obviously meant to cater to the Arabic population (they all had signs proclaiming halal meat). I spent a fair amount of time trying to dredge up my linguistic skills because of one of the grocery stores. The English sign said Green Supermarket, but the Arabic said "the markets of the Mustafa"; I kept running it through my head and coming up with akdhar as green (which google confirmed on my cell). Anyway, here's a picture of the Arabic sign for those of you out there that taqra al-lugatil arabea:

Another interesting thing to see was the abundance of hooka stores and hooka bars. Didn't stop at any as I am not a fan, but it looked a lot like it filled the slot that bars would in most places. Not that there weren't also a fair number of bars around, because there is also obviously a non-Arabic population here as well.

And that brings me to my final topic of the day. There are an awful lot of yankees up here. I mean, I expected there would be people of Arabic descent, but nobody warned me about the huge numbers of yankees with weird accents and courtesy disabilities. Of course, once you make the 20-30% rudeness allowance that you have to make for yankees in general they are all perfectly decent human beings. There are just so many of them. I've even run into a few of a truly different group of people from some place north of yankeedom which I think is called "Canadia." These people are very polite, pronounce their "o"'s very differently (omg, it's not just a stereotype), and talk about something called "hawk-key" even while they are sitting at a baseball game.

Anyway, next comes the Lansing Lugnuts game. See y'all at the game.

06 July 2015

The Vacation: Day Three

Apparently, I pre-paid for parking when I bought my ticket to watch the Detroit Tigers, but forgot about it. I pulled into the first parking lot I found and paid $10. This was lot P. It was maybe half a mile from the stadium and the parking I'd pre-bought was in lot Y. If P was half a mile out, I fear that Y may have been somewhere in Outer Mongolia, so the money was probably worth it.

I hiked in and had a little trouble getting through the metal detector until we figured out it was the badge in my wallet setting it off - at which point the security guy wanding me down (who I figure was off duty working a second job) gave me a "you're a schmuck" grin and announced to the guy running the metal detector that I was okay, "It was just the big metal badge he's got in his wallet." And thus, I got passed in.

Comerica Park felt like one of those old time monstrocities which were built in the 70's, but apparently it was actually opened in 2000. That's disappointing, especially since I've been to Great American in Cincy (opened in 2003) and seen how much better a modern ballpark can be. Heck, I've been to to the home ballparks of the Charlotte Knights and Norfolk Tides (both AAA) and seen how much better a modern ballpark can be.  They spent a lot of time and money making the outside of Comerica look cool and putting up statues to make things look good instead of actually making the park work.  The facilities are woefully inadequate. Until yesterday, I hadn't stood in line to use a restroom at a baseball stadium since I went to Riverfront as a kid. There was such a lack of space for vendors that a good deal of the concourse was roped off for kiosks. They were placed immediately behind the rear seats of the lower level. A lot of well thought out stadiums now put tables or stand up bars there so that people who buy food can eat and watch the game. The only tables this stadium provided were well away from any possible view of the field. Unlike most stadiums which have monitors in the concourse so you can keep watching the game as you buy food or visit the loo, Comerica had very few and they weren't even turned on. They weren't even piping the radio play-by-play into the concourse. As well, the seating was bad. There was plenty of nosebleed seats (the vast majority of which were empty) and even the lower level seats were poorly laid out. They were neither staggered by row nor "stadium" style so that when the man took his seat in front of mine I could not see the field unless leaned to one side or the other. Most of the game I tried to position myself so that I could see the pitcher throw and the then quickly flick my eyes past the guy's head and see what happened at home plate. I was willing to forgive all this as the faults of a stadium built in the same era as Riverfront (1970) - and boy, did it bring back on deja vu of attending games at Riverfront - until I looked it up just before writing this and saw it is only 15 years old. Unbelievable.

Counterpointing all this was a tremendous group of fans. The place was filled with people and this crowd was live. They rooted for their team the entire time and even sat around joking with the rather large contingent of Toronto fans who came to the game.They held out hope for the entire game despite the fact that Toronto had the game in hand after a 6 run sixth. Detroit played sloppy with outfield errors (you catch the ball - no you catch the ball - no you catch the ball - wait, where'd the ball go?) and an easy play with a throw over the first baseman's glove stretched as high as he could get it and still be in contact with the base and more. It just wasn't their day. Even so, the crowd held throughout the entire game with very little crowd leakage prior to the game ending. I'm impressed. These are good baseball fans.

The funniest part of the day (for me) came when the two guys next to me started griping about how boiling hot it was in the stadium. It was 79 degrees and there was a breeze. I kept my mouth shut, but clearly these people have a different definition of hot than those of us from a little further South.

The Tigers lost to the Blue Jays 10-5.


Post game, I went to my hotel. It turns out to be an old-fashioned really nice hotel except it is so close to the interstate that you constantly hear the traffic and the outside of the hotel is painted pink. The next step was to find my way to the nearest Arabic restaurant (Al-Ameer) and eat a good meal. Finally, I went to Masri Sweets and got two something or others which each had to have at least 1,000 calories and tasted amazing.
And so the day ended on an excellent note.

The Vacation: Day Two

Day Two: I drove to Columbus to watch the Columbus Crew S.C. play the New York Red Bulls. It was the first soccer game I'd gone to since I watched my high school (Bryan Station) get massacred by Lexington Catholic some time back in the stone ages.

I was a little surprised when they charged me $15 for parking.  That's a little steep, but there was nowhere else to park so I paid it. Next, I had to figure out where the stadium entrance was and get through the rigorous security which required me to pat my pockets before I could enter the park.Then I walked in and the first thing I saw were giant hanging banners in yellow with the pictures of four Crew players painted on them. I felt like I should be pledging loyalty to Rodina and the Party.

The stadium itself felt like a super-sized high school stadium. The whole place is made of metal bleachers. The only pro level stadiums where I've seen that before is single A baseball and even then rarely. The place just did not feel permanent.

And then there was the crowd. At most sporting events I've been to the crowd seems to take on a life of its own. There's a constant buzz even before the game in the concourse area. In contrast, this group of people came in like a bunch of zombies. They looked like loyal fans, although a huge number of them were wearing the old cool logo instead of the new generic. They just did not seem excited at all.

[mini-rant] As an aside, at this point I must note how the Crew have been the victim of management stupidity in the last year. The Crew used to have one of the most unique and easily identifiable logos in all of American sports and particularly in U.S. soccer. It was pretty darn cool:

And then they changed to a generic, designed by committee logo which I could have doodled in my spare time when I was in the 7th grade. They also decided that hereafter and for all time they would change from being called "the Crew" to being called "Crew SC" The SC stands for soccer club because I guess we weren't smart enough to figure out what sport those guys running around on the pitch were playing. It was one of the worst guttings and generitizations that any sports club has gone through. If you are standing twenty feet away from someone wearing the new logo it just looks a circle with some indecipherable squiggles in it.

It was clear by looking at the crowd that they are not buying in. While the new logo was everywhere in the stadium, the majority of the people in the crowd who were the obvious die hard fan types were wearing the old logo. And it's too late in the season for this just to be stuff left over from last year. In fact, most of the t-shirts looked like they were new so somebody is still selling stuff with the good logo on it.

This was a monumental screwup on the part of the Crew's owner/management. Will they fix it? No. Will they admit it? No. The new logo is the perfect corporate creation. It is generic enough that it carries no real meaning. Thus it can't really raise any emotional backlash or stir any feelings and you can sell it to everyone. And it feels more European than the old, American-feeling logo and this is a sport where we should all be europhiles, so that's another plus.

God save all sports fans from the idiots in ownership and management. [/mini-rant]

Once the match started most of the crowd sat there quiescent. There were a lot of empty seats for an organization which brags about how numbers are up. To be fair, that might have been because it was the 4th and many people might not associate soccer with the 4th. Anyway, there was a corner section which was filled with rowdies making lots of noise, but it had little or nothing to do with the match. They were just over there singing songs and chanting away oblivious to the events on the pitch.

Eventually, the crowd did start to slowly come to life, but it didn't really happen until about 35 minutes in when the Crew tied the match at 1-1. Even then it seemed to slowly rise out of somnolence until it got about half 75% engaged by the end of the match. I'm not sure the rowdies in the corner ever really engaged, but they made noise the whole night through.

The main lesson I learned while at the match is that soccer is not a good sport to watch from the third row, mid-pitch. My seat gave me an okay view except for when it was blocked by the TV camera which the Crew placed right on the half way line. However, when I left the seat at the break between periods and went to the upper level I could actually watch the play far better. It's something I'll have to keep in mind if I ever make the 5 hour journey back up here to watch another match.

In the end, the Crew won 2-1.

04 July 2015

The Vacation: Day One

So, vacation was going to start Thursday at noon when the office closed for the 4th of July holiday. As I'm sure all of you know and have experienced, that was just a pipe dream. By the time court was over, I finished what paperwork I could, and left instructions relating to the remaining stuff, it was dusk. Consequently, the trip home to get my bags and feed the critters turned into a decision to remain home. After all, I'm not sure my cat can sleep unless it is laying on top of me.

Friday morning I timed my departure so that I could stop at the Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg for breakfast. Of course, when I get there the place has a sign on the front door informing customers that because Letcher County is cutting water off at 8 a.m. the resteraunt isn't serving sit down meals until the water is turned back on. So, I end up getting a couple biscuits at the next Double Kwik I ran into on the road. 

The 5+ hour journey to Dayton, Ohio continued.  Through most of the trip I was listening to "They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived", an audiobook about the life and career of Doug Harvey. As you might suppose from the title, Mr. Harvey is not exactly the most humble guy who ever lived, although it is an interesting ramble through whatever topic seemed to pop into his mind as the book was being written. That's typical of this kind book so I wasn't dissappointed, although I think "The Umpire Strikes Back" by Ron Luciano was better (but it isn't available in audiobook).

I got to Dayton early enough to go to the local top ranked disc golf course. You drive through a somewhat run down area of town to get to a somewhat run down park in order to find a run down disc golf course. The course wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as I'd hoped - lots of medium-long, rather open fairways over grass that was just tall enough to stop the disc from skipping and hide it from easy view. Lots of younger kids playing in groups of three to six. Naturally, I get glommed onto by an older hippy type who just decides he's going to golf with me on the third tee. Admittedly, I didn't try to shake him too hard because he became my native guide. Without him I'd have wasted at least five or ten minutes trying to figure out where each next tee was and where each basket was. Still, I wasn't too surprised at the end when he hit me up for beer money.

Next came the Travelodge hotel. Not much you can say about a $50 hotel. The hallway to the room smells funny and some of the people in the other rooms are *ahem* interesting, but the room is solid enough and the lock on the doors and the wifi work great.

To this point, Vacation 2015 was rating mediocre to mediocre-low. And then I went to watch the Dayton Dragons play.

It's nor fair. The Dayton Dragons have now set the standard against which the rest of my vacation will be judged. The only tickets I could order for this game were in the outfield grass area (I kid you not) and the area was filled with people. The stands were packed and the place felt more like I was at a well attended AAA game rather than a single-A. As the game began, they were making announcements about how you could try to arrange to get tickets for next year. The scoreboard had big dragons on it. The outfield walls were electronic and constantly playing scenes. The people were really into the game and nobody left before it was over (in most minor league parks there is a trickle after the third and a steady drain of leavers starting about the seventh). Heck, when the game was over I left and the great majority of the crowd was still sitting in its seats. It was amazing. I now want to move to Dayton just so I can rent an apartment across from the field and go to every home game. I even violated one of my major rules and bought a jersey.

So, the rest of the baseball teams I'm going to see this next eight days have a lot to live up to. Today is actually a soccer day and I'll drop ya'll a line about the Columbus Crew tomorrow morning.