Friday, April 29, 2011

Baltimore Roadtrip

I was up bright and early last Saturday morning. Well, not bright, more like cloudy and early. It was 7:40am on my day off when I awoke to a text from a friend of mine that said "I'm in the Bronx. First one to reply gets shotgun." I replied "I'll be ready in 6 minutes." It was time to get on the road because the Yankees were playing in Baltimore and my friends and I had tickets.

After Russ picked up Grumer, Jay and myself, we got on to 95 south. We drove through Jersey as fast as possible and only stopped once. It's just too hard to pass a Cracker Barrel without stopping. Once breakfast was resting safely in our stomachs and we were insulted enough by Philly fans, we were back in the car headed to Delaware.

Delaware went quickly and without even noticing, we were in Maryland. Soon we were ignoring Grumer's question of what a tunnel was and we were in the tunnel headed right into Baltimore. Once we exited the tunnel there it was. Just beyond M&T Stadium (the home of the Baltimore Ravens) was the beautiful Camden Yards.

After we were all done snapping pictures, it was time to find parking. We drove a few blocks and accidently parked in a hospital parking lot. We paid $7.00 for parking instead of $25.00 so I recommend making the same mistake. After we were parked in what seemed like the center of the earth because we went down so far to find a spot that wasn't reserved for physicians, we all got game ready and left whatever articles of clothing weren't needed in the car. We then realized we had arrived 6 hours prior to game time. WONDERFUL!

We walked to the stadium and directly across from Camden is a row of fun looking bars. And since it was dark and rainy we did what any man would do if they had 6 hours to kill before a sporting event. We drank.

We walked in to a bar called Pickles Pub and had a seat at their lesser crowded bar. We then made friends with the bar tender and began our fun. Slowly the place began to get crowded and to our surprise, the Yankee fans were strong in numbers. There were no angry words spoke between us and any O's fans. At one point it was recommended that we try Baltimore wings and I have to say, if you are in the area and are a lover of chicken wings, do try them.

After about 4 hours in the bar, we ventured outside. We were very surprised to see that the clouds had vanished and the sun was shining bright. Our next step was to enjoy a delicious Maryland crab cake because let's be honest, if youbare in Maryland and you don't try a crab cake, you are doing yourself a great injustice.

Once the crab cakes were done, it was time to venture inside. Upon seeing the field, you realize that Camden Yards is one of the most beautiful stadiums you will ever see. There is no easy way to describe why but everything about it just screams Baseball.

Our seats were outstanding. Right center field bleachers in the front row. There were a decent amount of Yankee fans so we weren't alone although I wasn't really worried, at this point we had established that Orioles fans are very nice people. They are not obnoxious Yankee haters (well not outwardly anyway). They are passionate and knowledgeable.

The game as a whole was a laugher although Adam Jones did what he could to spoil C.C.'s unstopable approach and make a game of it for a little while. Jones teed off on a pitch and drove it out in right field making it a 6-3 game. However, C.C. would go on to complete 8 innings and the Yankees would win 15-3 while hitting 5 homers (2 by Russell Martin).

Even while the Yankees were destroying the Orioles, the fans never really got on our case. It wasn't until the game was over sand we were outside that some O's fans decided to get tough. For the most part, we just laughed off remarks about how the Yankees "suck."

We walked the few blocks to our car and it was straight to New York for Easter dinner.

As a whole, the trip was certainly memorable and one I hope to take again someday.

WEEK IN REVIEW: The Yanks came home to a 4 game set against the White Sox. The Sox were able to take the first two games of the series by stifling the Yankee bats. The first game was lost 2-0. Rafael Soriano gave up the 2nd run in the ninth. The next night, the Yanks had a 2-1 lead going into the 8th, and again Soriano was not able to get the job done. This time, Soriano gave up a go ahead homer to Paul Konerko. I'm sick of hearing "it's only April" in regards to Soriano. The man is being paid a lot of money to get outs in every month, and if the Yankees end up losing the division by one game, you better believe I'll remember this.

The following night, the Yanks rode Bartolo Colon to a 3-1 victory. Colon threw a brilliant 8 innings just giving up 1 run. Mariano came in for the save.

C.C. Sabathia continued the recent string of strong outings with a 7 inning performance on Thursday night. The Yanks were being no hit through 4 innings despite taking a two run lead on 4 walks and a sacrifice fly. In th fifth, Gardner led off with a monster homerun to break up the no-no. The Yankees continued to collectively hit for the cycle in 4 consecutive at bats. The team batted around before recording an out. The game ended 12-3.

Tonight did not go so well. The pitching was painful, and the Yanks were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The final score was 5-3.

Mark Teixeira was back in the lineup tonight after a night off due to a sore shoulder.

Phil Hughes may have a season ending circulatory issue and will be seeing a specialist on Monday.

Finally, the Yankees have welcomed back their back up catcher, Francisco Cervelli.
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