The Wonderful State of Iowa

I first have to apologize for the fact that I haven’t posted in a while, I was under the impression that I was able to post to two places at once, and have my personal blog and the Viper Bats one done at the same time.  I found out last night that this isn’t the case, so I do apologize for the lack of updates I didn’t realize it was not working.  That being said, I’ll just drop you guys into my latest post, because it would be a nightmare for you to read, and for me to write about the weeks since my last post.  I had a solid first month of the season hitting .329 with 11 RBI’s and our team played well enough to finish above .500 for the month. So here we go, back to the blog posts

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We left home on Wednesday morning just after 6am to head out on our six game, two city road trip.  I made sure to drop my personal stuff off on the bus before packing my baseball bag, and getting breakfast to make sure I got my own seats.  I made sure to put my fully packed snack bag on one chair and my bag with my clothes on the other, then ran downstairs to throw my baseball stuff together.  I packed, and did my usual double check to make sure I didn’t forget anything.  Max and I then jumped in my car and drove to McDonalds to get some breakfast, and I ended up bringing back an order for Baltz and Carmon also.

When we pulled out of Parkview Field I immediately threw myself on the floor of the bus to go back to sleep.  I always bring my pillow on the trips so it’s actually pretty comfortable.  I tried to fall asleep, but couldn’t help but hear the movie that was playing over the bus televisions.  I popped my head up and asked someone, “this is Skyfall right?”  I was right, I recognized the sound of the opening scene somehow and so I jumped back up into my seat to watch because there is no better way to start a morning than a 6:30 am showing of James Bond.  I watched as he saved the day, and then struggled to stay awake the rest of the ride.  We pulled into The PZAZZ hotel and resort just after lunch, and walked through the many lobbies past the casino, spa, arcade and indoor water park before going upstairs to our rooms.   Me and Shepherd played a quick game of NHL13, and I finally broke my 17 game losing streak in a 3-2 victory by the London Knights over the Kitchener Rangers.

We headed over to the ballpark before the first bus, to take a look around at the stadium we’d be playing in for the next three days.  I walked with Shepherd, Eflin and John Hussey, an Australian pitcher who recently rejoined the Padres organization after being out of baseball for a couple years. We snapped some pictures, and walked around wondering aloud how anyone could possibly play in the old stadium that plays host to the Angels affiliate. We realized just how spoiled we are to have a world class facility like we do in Fort Wayne.  The stadium was extremely small, with bleachers about 20 rows high between the two dugouts. There was no upper deck, no suites, no video board, no radar gun display, no padded benches, and certainly no advertisements in the dugouts. It was the truest “Minor League” field we’d experienced so far this season, it was really just a field with a grandstand, consisting mostly of metal bench seating. We headed into the clubhouse, which had no air conditioning and got ready for either early work or conditioning and then headed out to our respective jobs.  I took some rounds of front toss with Burkie in the cage, which was surprisingly spacious and a good work space.

The game was a bit of a mess, we scored, then gave up runs. They scored, then gave up runs.  We made an error and they returned the favor.  It ended with us coming away with an ugly win in the first of our three game series.  At one point I counted exactly 68 people watching the game, it was a morbid atmosphere.  There is no worse way to play a game than in front of a tiny crowd in a dark blustery field.  By the time the 8th inning rolled around we encountered what I called the “Iowapocalypse” a combination of freezing cold 85 mph winds and a stadium that made an eerie ghost noise.  It was BRUTAL.

Our next game was at 11:30 am the next morning, so we were at the ballpark at just after 8:30.  We ate peanut butter sandwiches in the clubhouse, and traded complaints about how miserable it was to wake up early for a game.  We walked out to the field after cage work for batting practice and realized it was kids day.  Seven or eight local schools brought school buses full of screaming kids and the place was pretty well filled up.  We joked about how a full house at Community Field wouldn’t fill a single section at our place, and again we were pretty snobbish about it.  We managed another win and survived kids day with very little annoyance.  We headed back to the hotel around 2 and had an entire afternoon to waste.  We ate lunch at the Boogaloo Cafe in the hotel and then headed to the arcade for the afternoon.  We played Skee-Ball, basketball, went on the Go-Karts, and played 4 on 4 Lazer Tag.  We killed about two hours then went back to our rooms and played NHL again before dinner.

I went to sleep early last night because we had a 9 am lift in the morning.  I woke up, and headed to the bus.  We went to the local YMCA and did a quick lift, I did a bunch of TRX stuff, some light leg stuff and then core.  We packed up and headed back to the hotel for some breakfast.  Walker and I went to the buffet together and had some steak and eggs, a favorite of mine.  Our trainer Ricky came and told us that the game tonight was cancelled and that we’d leave early for Peoria.  So here we are, driving through a pretty hard rain en route to Illinois.

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