April 24th, 2012
I know I’m living the dream, and I’m losing track of which day is which, but when I woke up yesterday morning I could sense it was Monday. Part of me just wanted to stay in bed all day, but there was baseball to be seen! I wound up getting up around ten, and got some stuff taken care of for upcoming trips. I hadn’t purchased the tickets for the Cardinals series yet, so I checked that off the list. I wound up spending $593.50 on a total of six tickets, two for each of the three games. Since Victoria will be joining me on the trip, I won’t be using the Brewers’ provided tickets and am in charge of getting my own. I got pretty good seats for two of the games, but one of the games I’ll be in the upper deck, where I paid $56.25 a ticket after all of the processing fees! And that’s right from the Cardinals website, the demand based pricing did play a role in that.
I left the house around 3:15, and went to Ken and Betty’s Philly Steaks & Hoagies for lunch/dinner. My eating schedule is all out of whack, case in point I made a chicken salad sandwich at 12:20 am, before I went to bed. Ken and Betty are from Philadelphia, and moved to Wisconsin in 1987. It was shortly after opening up a restaurant that they realized there wasn’t authentic cheesesteaks anywhere to be found. They eventually opened up the aforementioned restaurant in 1996, and haven’t looked back. Their son pretty much runs the place now, and I stop by every few months or so, because it is delicious. I haven’t had a cheesesteak in Philadelphia, but I will be hitting up a few places when I’m there in July. It will be hard to beat what they serve in my hometown though, however far it may be from Philadelphia.
The four part picture below, from the top left going clockwise, is as follows:
1) The exterior of the building, which is on Sherman Avenue, just off Main Street in Fort Atkinson. As you can see, they support their Philadelphia sports teams.
2) The dining area, with World Rally and Touchdown fever arcade games to boot!
3) One of the interior walls, containing various Philadelphia items.
4) A map of Pennsylvania, with pins representing where visitors call home. Nothing is stopping me from putting a pin in there, but I think most people, like myself, are honest.
I ordered the usual, which for me is the Philly Works. It’s is an original cheesesteak, blended with diced green peppers, onions and mushrooms. I add banana peppers for a little spice (I like things that are spicy). I’m displaying a full size picture of my lunch, because I think it is deserving. Long story short, if you’re ever near Fort Atkinson, and are craving authentic cheesesteaks, hoagies, or grinders, Ken and Betty’s is the way to go.
I left Fort at 4:15 and made it to Miller Park by 5:25. I met Larry Granillo, who contributes to Baseball Prospectus, outside of Miller Park, and went inside right after the gates opened. Larry is going to be writing something for the website, and I agreed to go to a game with him and let him pick my brain about my mission. We went to the upper deck, to get what should be the middle picture of all the upper deck game number photos.
I’ll probably wind up revisiting the spot right behind home plate, because I don’t like how this one turned out. The sun coming through the windows didn’t do us any favors, and it made it difficult to get a good picture. Hopefully later in the year with the roof open I can get a better one.
We had plenty of time to spare, and we wandered Miller Park for the next 30 minutes. I met up with someone I grew up with (we rode the same bus for seven years or so). She goes to UW-Whitewater and was at Miller Park for a career fair that the Brewers host. She paid $30 for it, and it included a game ticket (in the loge outfield), and $10 worth of concessions. Without the career fair that’s a bargain, so well done Brewers.
We got to our seats with 30 minutes before game time, and talked about baseball, my mission, and how I’m going to make it all work. Larry actually made me a little nervous about possible rainouts and make up games. I already knew that this was possible, but hearing someone else talk about it makes me a little uneasy. We were looking at the Brewers pocket schedule and discussing how I was going to make each trip happen. We noticed that the Brewers end the season with 39 games in 41 days! And that’s without any possible makeup games on either of those off days. “It’ll all work out, it’ll all work out” is what I keep telling myself.
The game got underway and the Astros struck early with a run in the first. That was the EIGHTH time that the Brewers have given up a run in the first inning! That’s a crazy stat, and I’m hoping that trend doesn’t continue. The Brewers got three in the first, and never looked back… Sort of. The Brewers had a 6-2 lead heading into the seventh, when Jose Veras entered and made things a little nerve racking. Five of the first six that came to the plate reached base, which included three singles and a triple. This was even more frustrating for me, because I was preparing to try another middle of the inning bathroom break. Veras got out of it after giving up three runs, but not the lead, and I was able to make it back to my seat without missing a pitch. K-Rod got the job done in the eighth, Axford the ninth, and the Brewers were victorious once again. Final Score: Brewers 6 Astros 5.
I tend to pick the Polish in the sausage race, because it is my favorite sausage to consume. I do however, usually look at the height of the sausages (based on how much leg is showing), to determine who is going to win. If it looks like the Polish doesn’t stand a chance due to the makeup of the other contestants, I’ll usually pick the most promising candidate. I did not do that for Monday’s game, and just went with the Polish. You tell me if that was the right decision:
This wound up being a four sausage race, and as you can see below, the Polish was not one of the four. After looking at the height of the runner, I should’ve known better. You can barely see the Chorizo on the far right, and the race wasn’t even half over yet!
That may have been more sausage race analysis than you’re used to, but that’s who I am. I can overanalyze with the best of them. It’s 1:45 am, I’m tired, and there’s a game in 15.5 hours, so that is all.