Saturday March 26th 2016
Today was the third day in a row with severe thunderstorms in the forecast. This batch of storms was predicted to come late in the afternoon. The question was; Would I get wet at the baseball game?
The plan for the day was to go to the New York Mets vs. the Atlanta Braves game over at Champions field in Disney. I got there a few minutes before noon with the game scheduled to start at 1:05PM. It was bright sunshine with very little breeze when I got into the stadium. My seat on the 2nd level of the first base side seating was in the sun. I was well covered in sun screen, but I wasn’t looking forward to testing its effectiveness. Luckily, by the third inning it had clouded over.
This is the third stadium I’ve watched a game at this winter. I can’t help comparing the facilities and grounds crews. Champion stadium at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports center is the fanciest building. It has two distinct seating decks with lots of concessions on each level and it is very well maintained. However, the efficiency and results of the grounds crew seems to be inferior to the crews at the Sarasota and Bradenton stadiums where I saw games earlier in the month. The crew needed almost an hour to prepare the field after batting practice. The lines were blotchy and the batters box barely lasted the first half inning. Watering the infield dirt took so long that the third base side was dry before they got around to home plate. This is not a big deal, but it kept me entertained waiting for the game to start.
You’d think a game on Disney property would have a lot of Disney touches. The only overt Disney reference was during the ceremonial first pitch. Goofy escorted the kid throwing the pitch to the mound. Some of the lesser items were the concession foods were the same as in the parks and the people working at the stadium were clearly labeled as Disney cast members (i.e. employees).
The game went ten innings and ended in a 3 to 3 tie. The first few innings were good baseball. The pitchers were throwing strikes and the fielders were on their game. As lesser players were rotated in, the quality of the game went down. The Braves broke a tie in the bottom of the 8th inning leading by 1 run. They only needed to hold the Mets scoreless in the top of the 9th. With one error on a pick-off attempt at 2nd base they filled the bases then allowed the tieing run to score on a failed double play. The first baseman came off the bag allowing the runner crossing the plate to count. Neither team scored in the tenth inning.
I got back to the RV and managed to get dinner cooked on the gas grill before the rains came. A severe thunderstorm went through about 6PM. There was lots of wind and lots of rain, but it was not as bad as yesterdays.
More severe thunderstorms are forecast for tomorrow.