Thursday, June 14, 2012

Braves/Yankees: Another BP Injury

Left work at 2:45, after a long day of being thrown under the bus for a problem created by a co-worker. My boss took up for me, and today’s required lecture from the old-school salesman wasn’t too bad.

Was supposed to meet Will and Joel at 3:15, but we didn’t leave the Normans until 3:40. They had gone kayaking on the Chattahoochee, and arrived back at the same time. Downtown traffic was bumper to bumper, but I dropped them off near the stadium around 4:10. I parked for free, but when I walked up the lines at all the gates were already quite long.

The outfield was packed for batting practice. I didn’t see my friends Johnny and Marshall…they probably ditched BP and went right to their seats. I put my Kimbrel bobblehead in my backpack, and put it on my back, in case I chased a ball. With unresolved issues at the office, I was monitoring email and making some calls.

Eventually a BP HR came right at me. I’d made up my mind to go hard after a ball, like Will. I had my glove, and I sure didn’t want a Yankee fan to get a ball. The ball was carrying over my head, so I reached high, leaned back, and left my feet. The ball hit off the top of my glove, and then I toppled back over the seat into the aisle. I scrambled to my feet, but the damage was done: my side hurt, and I pulled something in my lower abdomen. Could take weeks to recover, and my Peachtree Road Race status is now in jeopardy.

After BP Will found us seats right next to the Braves bullpen. We saw Hudson’s sweat and Livean’s playfulness with a rubber ball. Right before the game Kimbrel signed lots of autographs, and Joel shook his hand. Eddie Perez called the usher by name, and gave him a hug. I asked him if he’d talked to the Sullivan imposter, and he laughed. When Eddie saw that I was keeping score, he asked if I needed the lineup. Will said yes, and Eddie handed me a printed piece of paper. The rain was starting, and I was trying to keep my scorebook dry. I’m sure Eddie thought I was weird.

The rain continued, and we eventually moved for cover. We wound up sitting right in front of one of Will’s old teammates, Vince. The rain, lightning, and sunset provided beautiful visuals from our seats. It was obvious Atlanta’s northside was getting pounded by the rain. The breaks between innings were extended by the ESPN broadcast and the grounds crew constantly dumping drying agents on the infield.

Joel and I discussed the sometime far-fetched connections between the Yankee batter and the songs played by the organist. Three examples: “It’s a Grand Old Flag” for Curtis Granderson, The Beatles “Jet” for Derek Jeter, and “Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson” for Robinson Cano.

Two co-workers were at the game. Dennis and his family cheered for the Braves, and left early for a Varsity run. Jason showed his allegiance, wearing a Yankees polo. Chris could’ve gone: her brother called with his college buddy’s tickets. The buddy? Mark Teixeira.

We stayed until the end of the game: 10:47 pm. No rain walking to our car. Avoiding traffic, I snaked through downtown to Howell Mill. made it back to Joel’s in just over an hour after the game had ended. When I arrived home after midnight, Anna and Brittany were in the driveway practicing a song.

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