Other posts in this series:
Greetings from scenic Sarasota (Reds at Pirates, March 21, 2008)
The agony of defeat (Reds vs. Rays, March 23, 2008)
I love the Club Seats (Reds at Phillies, March 25, 2008)
I tried to go to Mote Aquarium yesterday, but there was no parking. None at all. Cars were double-parked, jammed along the sides of the road and on the grass, and some were idling in the parking lot, just waiting for a space to open up. None did. And there was a really long line, mostly of little kids, waiting to get into the aquarium. I decided I had better ways to spend a hot, sunny Monday.
So I went back the way I came, and stopped at that beach park across from Bird Key. There's a bridge with pedestrian walkways that I've been wanting to walk over every time I drive by. And there are little parks on either end. People were windsurfing at one end, fishing at the other.
Me, I took photos. The locals thought it was hilarious that I was trying to take pictures of a bird that was flying by. They kept laughing at me and telling me I wasn't going to succeed. Hah! Once you've tried tracking speeding outfielders, a mere bird is a piece of cake:
I think it's a pelican.
I was surprised that once I was out of the car, it was no longer a hot day. The wind was incredible. Once I was moving it was okay, but it was surprisingly cold.
That should have been a warning to me. It was freezing at the game last night. I brought a jacket, but it wasn't warm enough. The wind just blew right through you.
The game was sold out, but I bought a bleacher ticket for face value from someone who was trying to get rid of it. I chose the right field bleachers, because there's usually more action along the first base line. And I wanted to get some photos of Andy Phillips for his loyal fans at my blog, and figured if he entered the game, it would likely be at 1B.
Bad choice. The view is pretty lousy from the right field bleachers. You can't even see the plate from many of the bleacher seats.
Nevertheless, I got out the camera and took some photos. Through a chain link fence and around the people sitting in the disabled section in the box seat area.
There was a guy heckling the players sitting behind me. When Buck Coats came to bat, he yelled "Buck Coats? What kind of name is 'Buck Coats'? A name like 'Buck Coats' means he sucks!"
None of the fans seemed to remember Coats was briefly a Red last year. Hatteberg did, though.
My view of first base was blocked by a guy with a really big head.
When he left, I got to see BP hustling down the first base line. Alas, he didn't beat the throw.
Keppinger racing around first base on a double, his second hit of the night. He went 2 for 2, then was pulled early, probably because he's been sick.
By the sixth inning, it was so cold that people began leaving en masse. I moved up a little, to get a better view of the middle infield (though it meant I couldn't see the plate or first base at all). It was a mistake. One of the stadium ushers noticed me and told me I couldn't use a camera. WTF? Even the Nazis at Yankee Stadium allow cameras. My bag was searched, I told them it was camera gear, they looked at it, and said it was okay. If cameras are forbidden in the stadium, wouldn't someone have said something? The rules say no food or drink; they don't say no cameras. Almost everyone in the place had a camera.
I asked why, and he just said, "Because no cameras are allowed anywhere here. Put it away now."
So I did what any law-abiding fan would do. I packed away the camera...and decamped to the left field bleachers, where I took out the camera again.
It was a blessing in disguise. The view was much better from left field. It was warmer, too. And Andy Phillips ended up coming in at 3B, not 1B. I tried to blend in with the crowd, but by then, there wasn't any. However, none of the stadium employees on that side of the field had a problem with my camera.
The eighth inning pitcher for the Jays was a familiar face: Mike Gosling.
Affledt made the game interesting in the ninth, giving up two runs on a walk, a double, and a triple.
It was too little, too late for the Jays, though. This one belongs to the Reds.
Final score: Cincinnati 5, Toronto 3.