Thursday, June 27, 2013

June's Recap

Things sure have been busy since school wrapped up. Here's a snapshot (get the pun!!!) of the goings on.

I started off running back-to-back 5k's the weekend Beth was in Raleigh. 

A couple of plaques for 5k's
The first one in Freeport was kind of sluggish (18:29 vs 17:56 last year), but it was hot and humid. And I still got 2nd. The Sunday race was the Greenfield Glide in Schenley Park. I've been wanting to run it for a couple of years now because it is essentially the same course as our high school runs for the Red, White, & Blue invitational. Now, I know what the kid go through during the race. The leader ended up cutting off a little chunk early in the race (and the rest of us followed), so my 17:02 comes with the disclaimer that it was more like 2.95-3.0 on But, coming off a so-so race Saturday, it was a nice recovery. And, top 5 got overall plaques.

Beth went from Raleigh to Baltimore and hung out with my parents for a day in Frederick. I met her down there Thursday night and we made our way down to Eagleman. We met up with Ben and his dad the day before the race. 

Good stories from Mr. E over lunch!

Beth had a great race and then we came home the same day because the last day of school for teachers was that Monday. I had to pack up and say goodbye to my room because I'm moving to a newly renovated room with the construction project at the school.I'll miss my fellow Penn State alum English teaching neighbor!
The rule for packing: If you haven't used it in the last two years, throw it out!
Beth and I then did something we don't usually do, get away for a weekend that isn't related to some sort of race. We looked at the calendar earlier in the spring and saw that mid-June had an opportunity to take a trip. Of course, I suggested that it should involve baseball. What we ended up doing was taking a weekend to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater-Dunedin area.

Friday night was a Tampa Bay Rays game. I have probably mentioned in the past how I admire the way the Rays are run. The book "The Extra 2 Percent" was a great read. I had heard and read a lot of mediocre things about Tropicana Field, but still thought it would be neat to see the Rays and to see a baseball game inside a dome.
Is it me, or does the roof look crooked?

Indoor baseball!

In the bottom of the first inning, we had our first excitement and Matt Joyce led off the frame with a shot to right center field, just a row up and a few seats over from where we were sitting. So close!
Notice me reaching for the ball and Beth moving the other direction!

Oh so close!

There was also a live stingray tank in center field and you can go and tour it. Beth wanted to take one home, but I didn't know how well it would get along with Roxy.
Netting to protect them from home run balls to center field!

Can we keep one!

Then, we move around to check out a different angle and sat by the right field foul pole, near the Rays bullpen. In the 9th inning, a fly ball came our way. Since I was sitting on the aisle, I was able to go down a few steps and make an attempt to catch it. I had it in my hand, but then E-Shutt. I couldn't hold on. It bounced out (not soft enough bare hands I guess) rolled down a step, two kids checked me to the side and some lady ended up getting the ball. I wanted to say to her, "Hey, I did the hard work. Can I have the ball?" But, I left disappointed at not having a ball and, more importantly, not catching the ball.
Location of my "error." I should've brought the glove...

Saturday involved running along the St. Petersburg bayfront where the St. Anthony's triathlon is located. Beth did that race many years ago.

Then the afternoon involved a stop at a mini golf and more locale.
Keep the head down!

So close to being under par. Those crazy water trap holes!
A little driving range action!

Seeing if I could still put a sting on a fastball (notice the batting gloves - I wasn't messing around!)
After tiring ourselves out, we swung by Clearwater (another spot of Beth's triathlon lore) and went north up to Dunedin. We found out Dunedin didn't have any commercial restaurants (we like those because they're safe and you know what you'll get). So, we adventured and went to a little brick-oven pizza restaurant and it was great!

The main reason we ended up in Dunedin was part 2 of the baseball experience: The Florida State League (High A) All-Star game. Ideally, I would've like to have driven down to Bradenton and seen the Pirates' Spring Training facilities and McKechnie field, but they were on break with the ASG. Still, Gregory Polanco, Nick Kingham, and Alen Hanson were scheduled to play in the game. However, Polanco and Kingham were too good of All-Stars and got promoted to AA Altoona days before the game.
FSL All-Star game MVP Alen Hanson warming up in between innings

But, Hanson didn't disappoint as he hit a home run and looked smooth at short stop, earning him the All-Star game MVP.

We came back on Sunday, and Roxy proceeded to get sprayed by a skunk in our backyard when I let her out in the middle of the night Sunday night-Monday morning. That was an adventure to corral her back in and then to de-stink-ify her over the next couple of days.
Stinky dog!
I did my summer program "Math in Sports" with the elementary kids these past two weeks and it flew by.

The Pittsburgh Marathon sent me a gift the day after my birthday.
Thanks again to Jeremy Cornman for only being 34!

Tuesday, I went up to Altoona to try to catch the elusive Gregory Polanco, but he was out with a sore shoulder from a diving catch over the weekend. I did get to see top minor league prospect Miguel Sano and some of the Altoona gang.....for two innings when the skies opened up.

Imagine if the Pirates could have closed the deal and signed Miguel Sano as an IFA a few years ago!
First it was very windy and the field crew had a whale of a time trying to get the tarp in place. They were being blown all around!
Dark skies!

Hold on to that tarp!

So, the game got cancelled meaning I'll just have to go back up later this summer.
I'll have to hang out with my buddy Oscar again some time in July

Oh by the way, the Pirates are tied for the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL! But, like I said last summer, the season is a marathon and we're only at mile 12. A lot of crazy things can happen between now and October.


Steve said...

I saw the other day you guys have a pitcher who just came up. At the time he was 3-0. Won games against 3 Cy Young award winners, or at least two and a runner up maybe. He hits 101 on the radar, and pretty good control.

I forgot his name, but that is a huge pick up for a team, especially if it is just from the farm system.

I think the Pirates will be there probably, but I guess it looked that way last year too.

Beth said...

If only you had body-checked that little kid a bit harder, you could have had that foul ball!!! :) Geez...seems like a lot happened in June when you write it all up in one blog entry!