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Baseball Road Trip 2012: Best Pictures Number 5

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We like country music afterall…

If Louisville was Mos Eisely, then Nashville was the equivalent to the capital city of Naboo (if we are continuing the star wars theme). Yeah the weather sucked, but it truly was a great city even for people who don’t love country music. That said, we’d both go see Carrie Underwood any day of the week. And who knew that Nashville had such great arcitecture inspired by the Greeks?

That Greek Building in Nashville

We were here to see the Nashville Sounds Triple A baseball team. The Blue Jays catcher, JP Arencibia, is a native of Nashville and I asked him via twitter about the place. He said “awesome city, the baseball stadium is awful though”. Oh. Well, we enjoyed ourselves. We stumbled upon a double header which coincided with $1 hot dog day and we did our best to ‘camel up’ for the evening ahead. Don’t remember the scores, but the Sounds won the first game. Anyway, the stadium was pretty basic – but we did love the scoreboard:

Number 5: “Strummin’ my pain with ma scoreboard”, Nashville Tennessee.

This aint no banjo

We celebrated our good fortune by going for ribs and then persuading not one, but two local country music bands to abandon the regular ‘request’ list and to play Manchester‘s finest anthem – ‘Wonderwall‘. As you can see, one lead singer seemed happier than the other about this prospect:

Through gritted teeth

Megan Happy with Wonderwall

We got boo’d by the locals in one  bar and emptied the place in the other. We will be remembered…obviously for the wrong reasons.

Baseball Road Trip 2012: Best Pictures Number 6

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Louisville, Mos Eisley, Tatooine

Louisville, Mos Eisley, Tatooine

Ahhhh Louisville. Not quite Mos Eisely spaceport on Tatooine but relatively close. We stopped off here to see the Louisville Bats and mistakenly booked ourselves into the Econo Lodge, which was located in the middle of a busy intersection right next to an establishment selling second hand (and new) guns. We opted to set up our own security system as you can see.

Security System in Louisvile

Security System in Louisvile

Slugger Field is actually a great minor league stadium. Great design, easy to walk around, $1 beer promotions and not a bad seat in the house. And in mid May, nice temperatures that make for a comfortable baseball experience. We forgot to check out the spagetti junction but no matter, as my next favourite picture shows the air equivalent (lite):

Number 6: “Louisville at Dusk”, Slugger Field Louisville, Kentucky.

Slugger Field By Night

Slugger Field By Night

The home team got hammered I do recall and Terrill & I narrowly missed being hit by a sliced line drive foul ball that fuzzed past our balding heads at the speed of knots. Who knows, it might have improved our looks. After the game, we went for a quick drink in the down town ‘core’ – lets call it the Cantina Bar – a huge sports bar with bowling attached to it – and I found this very iconic picture of the great Arnold Palmer on the walls of the loos. I kinda like it. Very Hugh Hefner.

Arnold Palmer Looking Cool (on the wall  of the loos in Cantina Bar)

Arnold Palmer Looking Cool (on the wall of the loos in Cantina Bar)

 

Baseball Road Trip 2012: Best Pictures Number 7

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Wrigley Field, Chicago

Like the tourist shot in St Louis…has to be done

Back to where it all started. In Chicago. Cubs v Dodgers May 4th 2012. Wrigely Field, one of the most iconic sports venues in North America. Despite the fact we arrived in 30C heat the previous afternoon, the weather gods were not in our favour as the city was enveloped in some Stephen King-esque mist that threatened the game and our plans to wander around for half the day. This pic here shows Stu (before he went MIA) and Terrill (moping around in the background) against the skyline with Tuton Karmoon about to rain on our parade.

Chicago Skyline

The mist sinks in…and Copus strikes a pose

Luckily it held. Our Wrigely experience was pretty typical. Get to ballpark. Walk around ballpark with a beer and a hotdog. Get peanuts. Find seats. Sun disappears for good. Game starts. More beers. Heckles all round. Pretty girls getting pictures taken in the aisles. Stewards working overtime. Inflatable beach balls blown all over the field, stewards racing after them. Boos from the crowd. Final couple of innings from the Rum Bar. Across the road to the ‘X’ bar. Cubbies win. Tunes cranked up. Party for all. Time and space merge into each other. Around 7pm be at a loss as to what to do for the rest of the evening. Hic.

Cubs Win!

Cubs Win!

Anyway, my favourite picture number 7 was trying to capture the shenannigans on the field as stewards raced after the beachballs which wasn’t helped by the gusty winds.

Number 7: “Boys will be Boys”, Wrigely Field, Chicago Illinois.

Boys will be Boys - Chicago

I think there was a game going on…

Not sure why those blokes are kissing each other but still…

Baseball Road Trip 2012: Best Pictures Number 8

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It wasn’t all baseball and hotdogs you know. We did our fair share of sightseeing and we did eat a lot of other bad (i.e. good) stuff too. One of our favourite non baseball moments involved a visit to LucasOil Stadium – home of the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. The stadium tour took about 90 minutes and it was very inclusive. Obviously the electricity bill is high during the season as they weren’t allowed to turn the lights on for Goffy and Terrill during our visit as you can see. Very impressive stadium though – as long as you like blue.

LucasOil Stadium, Indianapolis

All blue over Manning…

My favourite picture however is this one of Peyton Manning, about to run out the tunnel in what would be his last game with Indy. This is located just outside the media area high up in the rafters.

Number 8: “Peyton”

Peyton takes the field for the final time as a Colt

Peyton before a playoff loss against the Jets. Sigh.

When we visited, the club shop was packed with new gear with Andrew Luck‘s name written all over it. Anticipation was high and rightly so. Peyton’s heir apparent has indeed started the season well, although Peyton is quietly building his own MVP stats with Denver. Still, at the time (May) it was kinda sad to see the name ‘Manning’ in the 50% off section of the gift shop. He is gone, but not forgotten.

Baseball Road Trip 2012: Best Pictures – Number 9

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After experiencing the cosmopolitan city that is Chicago, and freezing our nads off at the Cubs game (pics to follow later on), our second port of call was Des Moines, Iowa. Our first triple A baseball experience. I couldn’t decide which of these pictures to post – so I am posting them both. Principal park was cool. And we missed out narrowly on the storm. And we ate helmets full of nachos. And I had beer accidentally spat on me by a laughing local. It was a strange night…

Number 9(a): “The Drinks Holder, The Bum and The Glove” – Principal Park, Des Moines

Principal Park, Des Moines

Who took this? And what is it of? It is bugging me…

I seriously cannot remember taking this picture. And it wasn’t Terrill as his mooby-ness is in the shot. Now, this is either a picture of:

a) An empty row of drink holders

b) A rather cute behind

c) The big inflatable baseball glove.
Answers on a postcard please…..

Number 9(b): “Dang ma, get inside, blizzard’s a coming” – Principal Park, Des Moines

Principal Park, Des Moines

Cubs mauled by the Zephers + harbinger of what was to come later on in October!

As was the case with most of the games we saw, late on in the game the home team were being battered by their opponents. The crowd were yelling for the ‘Rally Yak’ - we were just hoping the heavens weren’t gonna open. Its hard to see in this photo how dark it got – but the players were all looking rather worried out there. After the game, fans were shouting ‘Lets Get a Taxi…….Lets Get a Taxi’ to the tune of ‘Lets go Cubbies’ etc. Mildly amusing. The rain never came, at least til the morning, where our drive to Kansas doubled in time due to wrath of god monsoon weather. Muggins Magoo was driving. More soon…

 

Baseball Road Trip 2012: Top 10 Pictures

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The baseball travellers are already looking forward to next season. Especially now that the Blue Jays have just pulled off a complete ‘holy f**k’ trade with the Miami Marlins. Plenty of baseball talk in November – which is good. Real good. Good for the Academy. Anyway, I never got round to posting the top pictures from our 2 weeks in the US in May. So, behold – the top 10 pictures as voted by, err, me. Not neccessarily the BEST quality pictures – but the ones that were truly representative of the trip and of the experiences we had.

Number 10: ‘The Baseball Tourist’ – Busch Stadium, St Louis

The Baseball Tourists - Busch Staduim, St Louis

How did St Louis lose to the Giants with Hunter Pence batting 5?

Yah yah. Everyone does it on when they visit Busch for the first time. The equivalent of snapping the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or Big Ben in London or The Falls in Niagara. Get the city skyline money shot. Busch stadium starting to fill up around 6.30pm game day, the Arch, the hotels, the shadows and of course, plenty of crappy beer ads. Number 10 of my top 10 baseball road trip pictures.

Baseball 2012 Season – Over / Under Review

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Seems ages ago that Vegas released the odds for every team regarding the over / under lines. Well it was ages ago I guess – that is the baseball season. Listed below are the odds and the predictions of the baseball travellers. Unsuprisingly we batted .500 in our predictions. Milwaukees spread was 83.5 and we went over. Damn half a game between us and a winning season. Some noteworthy facts:

  • Oaklands over / under was 70 games. They smashed that by 24 wins. Wow.
  • Astro’s over / under was a measily 64. They ended a league worse of 55 games. Awful.
  • Our two hot bets failed miserably  – Marlins (over 84.5, actual 69) Woeful. Tigers (over 92.5, actual 88) sigh.
  • Nationals over / under was 84.5. We went under. They finished with league high 98 wins. The future is now.
  • Orioles over / under was 69.5. We went over. But no one thought they would get 93 wins. Incredible. New logo helped.
  • Red Sox over / under was 89.5. We went under. They finished with just 69 wins admist a gongshow circus. Chuckle.
  • Matt Kemp predicted he’d hit the 40/40 club – Homers and Bags stolen. He finished with 23 and 9 respectively. Still a FIGJAM.
Team Over / Under Thoughts
Angels 92.6 Under – Correct
A’s 71 Over – Correct
Astros 64 Under – Correct
Blue Jays 80 Over (hopefully) – Incorrect
Braves 87 Over – Correct
Brewers 83.5 Over – Incorrect (by 0.5)
Cardinals 83 Over – Correct
Cubs 74.5 Under – Correct
Diamondbacks 86 Over – Incorrect
Dodgers 81 Under – Incorrect
Giants 87.5 Under – Incorrect
Indians 78.5 Under – Correct
Mariners 72 Over – Correct
Marlins 84.5 Over – Incorrect
Mets 70.5 Under (Goffy & Terrill hot bet) –Incorrect (punch)
Nationals 84.5 Under – Incorrect (wow)
Orioles 69.5 Over – Correct
Padres 73.5 Under – Incorrect
Phillies 93.5 Over – Incorrect
Pirates 73 Under – Incorrect
Rangers 91.5 Over- Correct
Rays 87 Over – Correct
Red Sox 89.5 Under – Correct
Reds 86.5 Over – Correct
Rockies 80.5 Under – Correct
Royals 80.5 Under- Correct
Tigers 92.5 Over (Goffy & Terrill hot bet) – Incorrect
Twins 73 Over – Incorrect
White Sox 74 Under – Incorrect
Yankees 93.5 UNDER UNDER (Fans hope) – Incorrect

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