Monday, May 28, 2018

No place on earth I'd rather be

Game Time
When we arrived at the park, it was 6:30, a sunny 90ยบ, and rapidly filling with 40,000+ blue-clad bodies. We were among the last to leave nearly four hours later, when it was cooler, dark and empty. I'd still be there now, if it wasn't for security rousing us from our seats.

It was a fun game. My guys got off to a rocky start. Yu Darvish is on the DL, so Tyler Chatwood took the mound in his stead and promptly gave up 3 (gulp!) runs. But we tied the score just as quickly and never looked back. The final score was 8-3.

I was nervous about the game. My kidney stone has been bedeviling me so I've been taking serious pain meds. And I hate heat. Even under the best circumstances, it leaves me miserable -- and being filled to the gills with opiods and alpha blockers are not the best circumstances!

But I had a great time. Especially seeing Javy Baez smack one into the stands. Noting that he was 0-2 so far for the night, I said to my friend, John, "You know, he's due for a big at-bat." And then POW! My lips to God's ears. The ball went into the bleachers.

I drank water all night and headed off to the bathroom three times. Now at Wrigley Field, three tips to the ladies' room could mean that you miss a lot of game. But where we were sitting (Section 240) is tucked away where the first baseline meets the right field wall. So as luck would have it, once you navigate the steep cement stairs, there's one of the ladies rooms. I never had to wait, so it wasn't so bad. (Of course, taking those steps when I'm a little high was an adventure.)

9 innings later
Then we watched the park empty out. After the game, it was cooler and very, very dark. But still pretty in it's own way.

Apres game we stopped at Mordecai Brown's Bar at the new Hotel Zachary, right across from the park. It's very la-de-dah, very high-end. The bartenders wear white shirts and garters on their sleeves. The decor is all clean lines and class. And yet because it's literally across the street from the park, it was filled with sweaty fans in blue tees and jerseys. I imagine that, on non-game nights, it draws a very different crowd.

John was a little grumpy about the bar, even though he chose it. (Since I was unable to drink anything alcoholic, I didn't much care where we went as long as it had air conditioning.) He thought it was too high-end for families who want to come to Wrigley Field. I pointed out that there was a Taco Bell up the street and a McDonald's next door. I suppose I get his point, though -- Wrigleyville is changing and it's tonier than the dives and hook-up bars we knew in our 20s and 30s.* I know John blames Millennials, but I think it's merely free enterprise. Mordecai Brown's will attract tourists and date night crowds all year around, not just during baseball season. I think that's just smart.

At any rate, it was good to get my mind off my gut. It was good to be within The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. It was good to be with John and to watch the W fly high and proud.

*Come to think of it, it's never been family friendly. More beer friendly and casual sex friendly. I wish I'd said that last night, but I was medicated.