Tuesday March 6th 2018
It was another beautiful South Florida winter day. The humidity and the temperature were both up a little. The temperature topped out around eighty and puffy clouds developed in the sky as the day progressed. It was a good day for a Baseball game.
I made the seventy five mile drive to Port Charlotte for the Red Sox vs. Rays game at the Charlotte sports park. This is the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The trip to the ballpark was easy. I didn’t encounter any traffic until I reached the stadium. There were two solid lines of traffic waiting to get parked. I arrived an hour and a half before game time, but the massive parking field behind the stadium was already half full. Tailgating seems to be a common thing at this ballpark. It cost $10 to park in the field. While this is the normal rate for spring training here in Florida, it was only $5 in Arizona last year.
The stadium is a modern facility with a seating two thirds the way down each line. This is complimented by lawn seating to the outfield walls. A boardwalk area crosses the outfield. The seats are standard width, but the amount of foot room could be better. My knees were in the back of the row in front.
The game was fun. There were several home runs, a couple of double plays and an odd ball play or two. I’m still trying to figure out what happened during an infield fly that was completely missed by the Red Sox fielders. The runner was out by rule, the base runners advanced to 2nd and 3rd, the Sox weren’t charged with an error, but they seemed to come out better than if they had caught the ball. In the end the Red Sox won 9 to 1 and the game ended with a 1 to 2 to 3 double play from a bases loaded situation.
The game lasted around 3 hours even with all the pitching changes and position player substitutions common in a spring training game. The real ordeal was getting out of the parking lot. All of the traffic needs to funnel out one exit road. It took around fifty minutes from the time I got into my car until I reached the main road. The people that resumed their tailgating had the right idea. I was back at my RV home a little after six following another easy drive.