I started off running back-to-back 5k's the weekend Beth was in Raleigh.
|A couple of plaques for 5k's|
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!|
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?|
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!)|
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.
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!|
|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.