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Contact Nani at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Season Sweep


It did NOT get better.

In baseball a season sweep, winning every game against an opponent for the year, is a fun and wonderful thing when it’s your team doing the sweeping.If your team is the one getting swept it’s good to think positively and remember that if you’re getting swept, well, if it was real sweeping at least you could say you don’t have to walk and scooting across the floor might be kinda fun. Another thing that makes it easier is if you go to that final nail in the season’s coffin in person and bring fans of the other team with you so someone goes home happy! That was yesterday, yet yesterday was much more fun than you’d ever imagine getting swept for the season could be.

As much as I dislike Interleague Play, and I immensely dislike it… One of my papers way back in English 102 was about Interleague Play and why it was an awful idea. I still stick to what I said 19 years ago… But I digress. As much as I dislike it, there are some good points. The Reds and Red Sox played each other this year; 2 games in Boston and 2 in Cincinnati. The Reds lost both of the Boston games. We hadn’t seen the Red Sox this year and David really wanted to go to one of the games in Cincinnati. My cousin, Rob, lives in between us and Cincinnati and is a Red Sox fan too. Rob and I have wanted to get together for a game or coffee somewhere and if he was available for the game, what a great choice for a get-together!

A few emails and a chat with the nice agent at reds.com to get accessible seats and I had tickets on the way for Rob and his daughter, K, David and me for yesterday’s game. I was excited on so many levels. David and Rob had never met and they do have the home of their baseball hearts in Red Sox Nation in common and I’d seen pictures since she was a baby but a decade later I hadn’t met K! The absolute to the excitement was that although we chat and communicate online often, I LOVE social media for that, Rob and I haven’t had a face-to-face get together in a long time. In fact the last time we spent actual time together I have a vivid snippet of memory of Rob and his sister, Rhonda, my cool cousins, going to do something and me pouting because I was too little to go too. You see, they were double-digits, practically teenagers, and I was still in single digits.

Yeah, I probably followed them around like an annoying little cousin because I wanted to do everything with them when we got to see each other. We just didn’t see the family in Ohio, Mom’s side of my people, as often as we did Pop’s side who were all in Michigan like us. I was probably as annoying to Rob and Rhonda when I did see them as all of my younger cousins were to me on Pop’s side. Really I hope I did as well keeping from making my younger cousins feel like pests as they did keeping that from me!

So fast forward up to yesterday.

Long lost cousins reunite!

We met just outside the stadium at noon before the 12:35 game. Introductions were made and I was suddenly the minority in my Reds jersey. K opted to go “fence” as in sitting on the fence in her Red Sox shirt and Reds hat. That’s like I usually was back in the 90’s at Reds/Braves games or like I will be someday when the Tigers and Reds play in October again.

I’m going to take a “ain’t technology great?” moment right now. Not only was our day set up with emails and online ticket chats, but iPhones and an iPad were essential to the day too! The iPhone enabled Rob and me to find each other in a crowd of people on a big plaza outside of the stadium. Imagine that even ten years ago!

Now, read carefully and bookmark this page. We had the four tickets, knew exactly where they were before we left Toledo and took them from that place when we left the car. And then they were gone. I don’t know if they were dropped somewhere in the car or in the garage, but somehow in the shuffle with the wheelchair and getting to the plaza, they were lost. David went back to frantically search the car. I wanted to go to the ticket window and Rob offered to push me.

I opened the iPad and got the receipt information from my email. I asked at the window if it was possible to get the tickets reprinted, if I had enough information. I was asked how I purchased my ticket, if it was reds.com. I said it was and the woman at the ticket counter took the iPad, opened to my confirmation email, through the window slot and walked away. A few minutes later she returned with my iPad and 4 tickets. Do you think even FIVE years ago that could happen? I called David and told him we have tickets, let’s go see the game.

When we got to our seats and got situated it was time for the razzing to begin. You see, Rob and K were there to see the Reds lose Tuesday night’s game so the Red Sox had already won the season series and given that the Red Sox have a worse record this year it was the mathematical probability that David would see his team win once when I saw mine lose twice since they lost the game Friday we were at before Summerail. Add to that Rob had been there the night before and they won. The math was not in their favor going into the game. Rob threw in a bet with his Reds fan neighbor as being a factor but that neighborly “bet” was for a series win, a sweep wasn’t necessary to decide the bet. So in my best fan bravado I pronounced that it didn’t work into the mathematical equation and the Reds were going to win.

Rob and K

 Our traditional baseball selfie. 
I should have moved my arm to uncover the Reds logo!

Don’t think there weren’t doubts behind that bravado. The Reds are a good team this year, not a great team and Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips; the biggest offensive threats are BOTH on the disabled list. That leaves a huge defensive hole at first and second too. When you have good players taking the places of great to phenomenal players, it definitely affects the team’s performance. But I’ve been listening to David telling me the World Series champions of 2013 in last place his year are much worse that the “good” I rate the Reds right now. Law of averages and probability and all says… never mind. The baseball gods weren’t practicing law yesterday.

So we got swept this season by the Red Sox. Like I told Rob the company I kept put the smile on my face that my team didn’t. Anyway I always say a bad day at the ball park is better than a good day almost anywhere else, and I stand by that!

After the game we met at Graeter’s for ice cream. More great technology; Rob found the shop on his phone and sent it to me as a message. I clicked the link in the message and a map appeared! We all had ice cream, my favorite food group, together and talked baseball, travel, books a little paper as opposed to eReaders and barns! They started collecting quilt square barns with a pamphlet with addresses to locate the quilt-barns. It’s much like David and I collect the bicentennial barns. Rob and K searched out the barns while Rob’s wife, K’s mom, Kathy was on-call. Kathy, who I haven’t met, yet, is a doctor. With his second kid, Rob is a stay at home parent. Well, okay, a stay-on-the-road parent? I know from weekends and some weeks with Tori and Rina when they were little, that nobody just stays at home with kids!

K is a sweetheart. Even if she elected to not go all Reds, I wasn’t completely alone. We have Joey Votto as a favorite Red in common too! When her dad mentioned something about it likely being the end of live baseball season for them because school started soon there was a little yelp and her eyes bugged out a bit; she’s not ready for the summer to end either!

After a day of David and Rob talking lots of Red Sox and ribbing me in much the way my Reds bravado deserved, we did have to make our way home. It was great fun and we all agree we’ll do this again!


3 comments:

Edna B said...

Wow, sounds like you guys had a fantabulous day! I just love your photos. There's a family resemblance there between you and your cousin.

Sorry your team lost, but good for me that my team won. Ending the day at an ice cream parlor sounds perfect.

You have a great day my friend, hugs, Edna B.

seamhead gypsy said...

Nani..,yes. Let's do this again,,doesn't have to be Red Sox/Reds either. Could be Reds and anyone. Or Mud Hens and anyone. Though I'd like to see the Paw Sox play! And if the Reds had played the Sox on the 15th, they would've won! Since Ben Afleck starred in "Good Will Hunting" in1990" the Red Sox are 0 - 15 on Ben's b-day, August 15 ( also my sisters birthday).

Hey Edna... My wife and I, along with "K" spent a number of days in Boston two weeks ago. It is our favorite town in the U.S. We also make a point of showing/teaching "K" the history that seems to be found around every corner. I should add that "K" was born 58 miles as the crow flies from Fenway Park. And each time we visit we hop on the T down to the park and the Yawkey Way Store.

Andrea said...

sorry, YAY SOX.