Folks in Charleston will get to see a rare sight later tonight, as Carl Pavano and Phil Hughes of the New York Yankees will embark on rehabilitation assignments with our Single-A RiverDogs against Asheville at 7:05. I’ll be covering the game for YanksBlog.com. Major leaguers don’t stop by often; the last one that I know of was Jon Lester last year at the RiverDogs’ opening game as he began to rehab his way back from his chemotherapy treatments to beat away lymphoma. Carl Pavano pitching is a rare sight in and of itself, too. There are some tickets left but count on them to go quickly!
I had my first exam yesterday — it was my “writing for the mass media” exam. It went alright, I think. No complaints. I came home and fixed the air conditioning — the switch on the thermostat had gone pookie the night before, so I popped it back into place, and it works great now. I guess it just got jammed a bit. Nothing a pair of pliers can’t fix. So it came down from a balmy 82 inside to a more comfortable 75.
After some laundry, I ran some errands in Goose Creek and in the course of running these errands, I decided to head to a ballgame to decompress a bit before the rush begins again this weekend. After wussing out at the radar gun AGAIN (56 MPH this time) I sang a rousing rendition of “I Disappear” for about four individuals that looked halfway interested. See, it was Karaoke Night at the ballpark, and there was free karaoke, and I swear, I never saw anyone singing. What’s up with that? C’mon, it’s FREE! Sure, the song selection was somewhat lacking — a lot of Top 40 stuff from three years ago, to be honest. But since no one was singing, I sang “Drive” by Incubus later on in the night (had to get a song in which screaming may not be involved — something about disrupting the game, but to be honest, I don’t buy that — I seriously think the guy thought I was insane) and I came out sounding like someone who had been screaming at an umpire for six innings (yep). Ahhh well. At least one person liked it (thank you, Kelly). After a few more misguided attempts at throwing at the gun (thank you, Jeremiah — master of the radar gun that evening — for your patience with my antics!), I figured that was it, and left as the RiverDogs lost 5-2. The Dogs were no-hit for six innings, and then for some reason, the Columbus Catfish replaced their pitcher (WTF!) and surrendered a couple runs as a result.
It was, as always, a good time. I even got a new RiverDogs hat — one of the 3930 models, much like the major league BP hats.
Today I’m seeing Barack Obama at 2:30. If you didn’t get a ticket — too bad, it’s at capacity. This should be very, very interesting.
Last night was going to involve baseball, interwoven with studying for a test and creating a presentation, one way or the other. I was fully intending on watching Daisuke Matsuzaka make his Fenway debut (only for that to become The Felix Hernandez Show with his one-hitter), but instead, my buddy Greg managed to land free tickets to the RiverDogs last night.
It was an easy decision to go to the game, my first of the year. We sat in Section 102, on the first row, right down the first base line, directly adjacent to the Dogs’ bullpen. I enjoy sitting near the bullpen as I have a fascination with the art of pitching, so that was a real treat.
With my glove, I was also charged with saving the family of about 8 behind me from any foul balls that may fly in our direction. One landed a few rows up, but that was it for the fouls — generally, they find a way to avoid me.
One of my favorite things to do at the game is to have them take my speed readings with the radar gun. Again, this is an odd quirk of mine — I always like to know how fast I can throw, despite the fact that I have not spent a moment on anything resembling an organized baseball team at any level.
I threw a total of 27 pitches last night at the gun. The fastest I registered was 54 MPH. Sad, especially considering last August I was hitting 70 consistently (which is actually quite amazing considering how scrawny I am). Needless to say, my shoulder hates me right now. Perhaps this is a sign that I need to stick to websites or something. :)
As for the game, the RiverDogs beat the visiting Asheville Tourists 5-3 doing it the good ol’ fashioned way, with good, timely hitting and excellent pitching.
It was a fun night, and hopefully a sign of the summer to come.