The world of baseball has always been a small one, a fact proven again today when Al and I spotted former New Market Rebel General Manager and current 50-50 salesman, Tom Linski ushering at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. We had a nice chat, of course. The game between the Tigers and the Nationals ended in a 5-5 tie after 10 innings before some 6,600 fans. Detroit played its starting lineup for the first half of the game, which included Justin Verlander who threw 4 shutout innings before being relieved. Those Detroit folk are enthusiastic and we enjoyed witnessing such passion for a simple exhibition game. Winning does wonders for fans. (Peter Angelos take note.)
If you are ever at Marchant Stadium, I highly recommend that you try the “loaded nachos” which you can order with a variety of toppings. By the time the concessionaire finished adding taco meat, salsa, green jalapenos, and cheese, I literally could not see any nachos. It wasn’t long before there were no nachos to be seen anyway.
Al and I also highly recommend buying the cheapest ticket available at any of these ballparks. They are so intimate that you are close to the action no matter where you sit. Furthermore, the cheap seats usually aren’t as crowded and we have been able to go stand under a palm tree or sit at a picnic table or wander here or there at will, thus providing ourselves with many perspectives on the respective park and game. After all, these are exhibition games and we feel no need to sit close enough to see the location on every pitch and note when an infielder spits a sunflower seed toward an opposing base runner.
Our day was complete when we found the Rainbow Restaurant in Mascotte, especially since Friday and Saturdays are the barbecue buffet nights. And by now, you know how much we enjoy barbecue.
The one sour note of today, well actually as of 2:00 a.m. Sunday is that we need to set the clocks ahead. That means that we’ve been cheated out of an hour here in Florida. I suppose that’s not that bad, however, since the only time that’s mattered since we left is game time.