Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Weather has been iffy

4 Jul
Mascot Keyote

Mascot Keyote

On Saturday I took my yearly trip to Frederick to see the Keys play and to get my Orioles Passport book stamped.  Over the last two seasons the Orioles have come up with a passport program http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/bal/fan_forum/passport.jsp ,it encourages their fans to travel to the minor league ballparks and see the games up close.  It is great for the Baltimore Orioles seeing that all of their minor league teams are in an 80 mile radius from Baltimore.  Most teams are not so lucky.

Unlike the Baltimore Orioles the Keys have not been playing very well this year but I thought the evening might be great for a game.  Up until the 9th inning I was correct about the weather was dry and a great inexpensive night to be outside.  The ticket cost me all of $12 and since I ate dinner the only thing I bought at the ball park was a soda.  That evening as I parked and went up to the stadium to buy my ticket I noticed even though the team was not on a winning streak residence around the area love this ballpark for the simple fact you can take a family of 4 out and spend under $40, and probably even less if you find coupons for an evening out.  You do notice when you go to a minor league game the average age at the ball park will drop, just because the kid ratio is so high.  The weather around the Washington Area has been very iffy, we have had rain most days or a threat of a thunderstorm in the afternoons, but the game started on time.  I had the misfortune of going to the game on Disney night. This is where the ball park staff has to dress up in Disney outfits and still do their usual rallying of the crowd while dressed up as anything from Aladdin to Snow White. Needless to say they has as much enthusiasm as I do going to work on a Monday morning.  It was sad seeing these kids suffer.

Once the sky opened up and the rain started to pour I got in my car and left.  I did find out the next morning that the Keys did come from behind and win.  I also found out Ryan Minor couch of the Key’s had been ejected, both I missed because I didn’t stay around.   I am hoping to go back in August and see the Rodeo Monkey perform.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Advertisements
Link

Network hits a home run for the blind

30 Jun

Network hits a home run for the blind

While I was at the game on Saturday, it appears baseball was making history on the TV.  Accessible Media Inc was covering the Blue Jays, Orioles game in a new way to help the blind.  As many of us Oriole fans have heard night after night Hunter, Palmer, Bordick, and Thorne broadcast games in their tell all style.  It may never have occurred to us that they really weren’t being as descriptive as they could be.  That is because we have the advantage of sight.  When we miss a play more than likely they will show the play over and over again.  But what if you could not see the play to begin with.  You would have to rely on your family to describe was a high strike is a ball inside.  That is where the AMI comes in.  Instead of making the blind rely on the radio announcers to give more colorful play by play a solution to this problem is to add in a contaminator that will work with the current broadcasters to add in what they missed.   

Back from Toronto

24 Jun
Mascot having a discussion with the team

Mascot having a discussion with the team

Yep this was my 5th ball park of the year.  I found this trip online through a company called Kline tours.  www.klinetours.net

We left from Hagerstown, Md at 5 am in the morning.  Most of the trips with Kline all start at the 5 am hour to make sure you have enough time to get there to the ball park and relax before going to the game.  The bus we took was a newer bus which had shallower steps so you never felt like you were climbing a mountain to get on the bus.

We checked into the Intercontinental Centre Toronto www.torontocentre.intercontinental.com/‎  which is one block and over a bridge walk to the Roger Centre.  Once you walk over the bridge you are now at Gate 2.  As I walked to the ball park I noticed everybody was getting their dinners at the food trucks outside.  Once inside I noticed fast the reason why.  Food there is very expensive.  It is not only expensive you get hit with taxes.

I went to the guest services desk there at the stadium to get my MLB Passport book stamped, http://mlbballparkpassport.com/  and got into a conversation with the service rep.   As she was telling me, the Canadians do not have the option of purchasing the passport book at the stadium this year.  Back in December when they got their shipment of ball park passports the books contained the wrong emblem for the Toronto Blue Jays and had to be sent back.  Since MLB felt they would not have the correct one shipped out to the Roger Centre in time they told them their order was cancelled for the year.

As I went to my seat I noticed these seats are tight.  Someone who is a size 18 or smaller probably would not have a problem with them but some one like me could get by but after a 10 hour bus ride my knee was swollen.  So back to customer service I went and the lady gave me a seat right behind home plate in the handicap section.  I did notice the seats are weirdly numbered.  They go from 1- 10 and then 100 through 112 in the same row.  Not sure what that was about. The field looks strangely small.  I am figuring this has to do with the stadium being built up.  You have the hotel in the outfield and the roof which is retractable making the stadium seem very tall but the field tiny.  Not sure if I am correct with this but Friday night the roof was open and the ball seemed to fly.  On Saturday the roof was closed and the ball was staying in the park.

Toronto fans are passionate.  I have to admit this was the first time I had been a little nervous in an away ball park.  When you watch the game on tv you get the impression that it is empty and the people are asleep in the stadium.   NOT true.  the first night I went there was 35,000 plus in attendance and Saturday the stadium had 43,000 plus.  As for the fans, think hockey game.  They are into to every play and know the names of the players and the name of the Orioles players also.  When Buck Showalter got thrown out in the second inning the crowd was into play.  The second day was just the same.  The crowd is young and they are loud.

The only disturbing thing I had about the whole experience, beside the Blue Jays swept my Orioles, was they have cheerleaders.  What the heck why would you have cheerleaders at a baseball game?  This isn’t football.  Saturday they had the kids run the bases which brought out the baby Blue Jay they named Ace.  I am figuring the cheerleaders and Ace are a concept from the minor league base ball clubs they brought over to the majors.  Ace was cute the cheerleaders were annoying.

To sum up, you will be in a crowd of 20 for 40 year old people, who are passionate about the games.  They are not as high teck with their big screen as the Orioles.  You should never eat in the stadium it is expensive.  The team is on a winning steak and the seats are small.  But a good time.

Enjoy and happy travels.

 

 

Section 139

27 May

As promised.  I go to the games and let you know where the best seats are for a person who is not comfortable with a lot of stairs.  At Nationals Park I have found a gem.  It is Section 139.  There at only 7 rows of seats.  There is a maximum of 12 stairs and it sits right over the Nationals Bullpen.

geo

The only problem with this section is you do not see the scoreboard, which mean you have to keep an eye on the score track under the 200 sections to find out who is batting, and what the pitch count is.  Not a huge deal breaker to me.  It is also shaded, or under cover so if it starts to rain, who cares.  The seats are nice and wide and they have cup holders for your drinks. The usher who supervises section 139 is very nice and will talk to you about anything baseball.  They have an option of having your food delivered to you using your smartphone but one of the ladies in our row said when she tried to use it the row number did not come up.  So up and down she went.  This is a draw back to the game since most people have forgot you should stay in your seat until after an inning is played.  In the first two innings played my friend and I had to let people throw the row 9 times.  I was being to get annoyed and the gentleman in front of me was really annoyed with his row jumping up and down throw out the innings since his wife had a bad hip. This continual getting up to let people throw the row is hard on able people but add in the fact she was using a cane it is very tricky.    

Image

Standing Room Only

27 May

Standing Room Only

Memorial weekend is always crowded on the metro, but add in a battle of the beltway game along with metro repairing tracks and you get one crowded car after the other. Even if you are at the end of the platform.

Link

Bowie Baysox

17 May

Bowie Baysox

Here is another description I wrote for trip advisor.  

Today is May 15th

15 May

Today is May 15th and the Orioles are playing a 12:35 game today

Link

Trip Advisor Review Camden Yards

15 May

Trip Advisor Review Camden Yards

This is a post I recently wrote in http://www.tripadvisor.com about Camden Yards in Baltimore.  Home of the Orioles.  The first thing you notice is the Warehouse.  This is the icon of Camden Yards.  I have discussed with many baseball fans the attraction of Camden Yards and the first thing everybody says is the Warehouse is was the striking force that draws your attention as you walk toward the stadium.  The second thing they say is the beauty of the ballpark.   The other great thing is the light rail that sits in front of the Warehouse.  Getting to the ballpark is very easy.  Even if you drive Camden yards the stadium is to your left right off of 95 coming off of exit 52.  I usually park at the Sheraton when I drive.  Mainly because of the ease of getting right on 95 after the game. The  cost of parking is $20 event parking and is collected when you drive in.