5-18-12 (vs. Minnesota)
I got up in Houston at 7:30 am, spent two hours in St. Louis, and went to bed in Fort Atkinson at 1:15 am this morning. It was a long day, but surprisingly I wasn’t that tired when I got in bed. It could just be fear of a possibly disastrous season ahead for the Crew, or that I’m worried about the upcoming trip to Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Back to Houston: I made it to the bus stop (located just three blocks from my hotel) seven minutes before I thought the bus was to arrive. My iPhone (google maps) told me that it would depart for the airport at 8:41 am, and I was there by 8:34. A few buses appeared in the distance and I got my hopes up. I needed the 88 bus and the three that passed in the time I was waiting were not said bus. I started getting nervous as my watch ticked past 8:40, and 8:45. I always think that when a bus is late it was just really early, and I already missed it. Finally at 8:50 the bus showed up. I’m starting to think that Google maps just doesn’t have updated schedules, because on the weekends the route says it picks up from that spot at 8:50, so I’m guessing it is now the same for weekdays as well.
My flight to St. Louis touched down at 12:55, and I had plenty of time to spare before my 3:20 flight to Milwaukee. I was nervous when the plane didn’t show up at the gate until 2:45, but we departed on time and made it to Milwaukee by 4:20. That was the latest arrival time I had scheduled for any of the return flights, and I’m glad it’s over. The whole morning (and afternoon) I was expecting something to go wrong, and was pleasantly surprised when nothing did.
Once in Milwaukee I took I-43 North to I-94 West, and I shouldn’t have. It took 48 minutes to traverse 10 miles. I don’t think there was any construction westbound, and it was just rush hour traffic. I pulled into the Braves parking lot at 5:37, and was inside Miller Park and in the upper deck shortly thereafter. There were no fans to be found way up near Bernie’s terrace, so I had a nearby usher take game photo number 39. Only one more to go in the upper deck!
I didn’t have someone to go with for Friday’s game, so I had tweeted earlier that my extra ticket was available for 20 dollars (which I would donate to Be The Match). I received a few inquiries and “awarded” Erica G with the ticket. I sent her my phone number and she called so we could discuss the details. I left it at one of the will call / drop off windows, and she got to the park around 6:20. She lives a few miles away and was able to jump on a Miller Park bound bus right after I confirmed that the ticket was hers. She works at the Meta House, which “helps women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction reclaim their lives and rebuild their families.” I took that right from the website as to not mess something up. Unfortunately Erica went to the University of Minnesota and as a graduate of UW-Madison and a loyal Badger, I had to give her a little grief. We talked about sports and other topics, and when I talked about possibly getting a ball and glove logo tattoo, she mentioned that she heard of a guy who had all the mascots of every MLB team tattooed on his body. I laughed and said “well you must not read the blog, because I just met that guy three days ago in New York.” I showed her the pictures I took of him (here they are again if you hadn’t seen them). She was a little embarrassed and said she hadn’t been reading, but I think she will now.
The game, you ask? I’ll let this do all the talking:
Yikes. It was not the Brewers’ day. As you can see, the Twins scored in five of the nine innings, and put up crooked numbers in four of them. The FOUR ERRORS contributed to two unearned runs, but even without them it would’ve been a 9-3 game. The Brewers made it a little (stress on the word little) exciting in the ninth inning, when they loaded the bases with one out. However, a strikeout and a groundout put an end to the rally and the game. The Brewers’ highpoint of the game was probably in the top of the first inning. After a leadoff double by the Twins, Norichika Aoki made a back-to-home-plate-over-the-shoulder-Willie-Mays-esque catch on a ball hit to straight-away centerfield. Gomez probably would’ve been camped out under it with how well he plays centerfield, but it was an amazing catch and effort by the Brewers’ Japanese import.
I’m leaving in a little bit to meet Victoria in Johnson Creek, then it’s on to Milwaukee for game two of the series. I’m really hoping it goes better than it did yesterday, because that was tough to watch. Thousands of fans left early, but Erica and I stuck it out until the bitter end. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I wasn’t tracking my pitches seen (and missed), but I still think I would’ve stayed. Even though the product on the field isn’t what I hoped it would be, I’m not going to jump ship. Someone tweeted at me and said after the game I should consider abandoning the mission. I responded that I made my bed, and now I have to sleep in it. Plus, I just received the 2,500 business cards in the mail, so there will be no aborting mission from this guy.
For all of you that have donated to Be The Match, I thank you. I received an update from my Be The Match contact, and we’re up to roughly $1,300 raised. It’s hard to track how many people have joined the registry because of my story, but I know at least a few people have joined. It’s only May, which means I’ve still got four plus months to spread the word, and I’m hoping that’s not the only thing I have to look forward to. But if that’s the case I’ll still feel good about my decision to quit my job and raise awareness and funds for something that means a lot to me.