Lehigh Valley wasn’t a part of the itinerary. The last ballpark that we were going to visit was going to be in Auburn, New York, but since 2013 has been the rainiest year in the history of mankind, much like everything else has been at some point, Auburn was rained out.
But instead of tucking our tail between our legs and accepting an unexpected baseball-less evening, quick thinking on Huzzard’s part opened the gates for us and immediately after finding out the cancellation in Auburn was official, we were already on the road, headed south into Pennsylvania, since we needed to be going in that direction anyway.
Apparently the Lehigh Valley IronPigs were home on this particular evening, and because of a prior rainout, they had a double-header that needed to be played, because of where they stood in the standings. Which meant that it was just enough time for us to get down to Allentown, PA to catch an official game, at a new park that neither of us had been to before.
Syracuse was one of the marquee places on our itinerary because my boy Huzzard is a Nationals fan, and the Syracuse Chiefs are the Nationals’ AAA affiliate. He had actual incentive to seeing Syracuse, as it put him one step closer to being able to say that he had been to every single Nationals affiliate, and obviously I can relate, because I’ve seen all of the base minor league affiliates of the Braves as well.
I’d actually been to Syracuse a few times in my life, since it’s where my sister went to school back in the day. Although my memories of the place often involve cold, or really cold weather, but I did remember the gigantic mall there, that used to be called the Carousel Center, based on the fact that they had a carousel in the center of the mall. Apparently at some point, it was renamed “Destiny USA,” and almost threw me for a loop when looking for it, because I’d never heard of a mall called something like that.
It’s funny, when I know I’m going to minor league parks, I have this mindset that I’m going to be going into the tiniest dregs of civilization, and expecting to be the only Asian guy on their planets and expect to be treated with discrimination and prejudice. Although such horrible treatment has never happened to me before (although almost in Jackson, MS), there’s kind of a general standard that is associated with the minor leagues.
That being said, it wasn’t until this trip got closer did it really dawn on me that Rochester is actually kind of a big deal of a city. It’s not like a name I hadn’t ever heard of before like Zebulon or Fort Mill or Aberdeen; Rochester was a name that I knew as one of the more notable cities in the entire state of New York that seemed to flourish and exist outside of the general perception that NYC is the center of not only the state but the entire planet.
The first stop on a multi-day minor league baseball trip was Buffalo, New York. Buffalo’s actually a city that I’d been to a few times in my past, as I used to have family out there, as well as used it as a cheap hub in order to get to and from Toronto.
But anyway, as terms of a place to watch baseball, Buffalo kind of misses the point. Either they were trying to prove to Major League Baseball that the state of New York actually needs more baseball teams, or they simply don’t really get that minor league baseball is kind of supposed to be small potatoes, in order for the players to grow and develop, but then again the way Triple-A baseball is nowadays, that’s kind of out the window now that I think about it.
I feel the need to write something before I embark on a four-day weekend a week before the craziest four-day weekend of the year. Needless to say, between the events of this weekend, and the events of next weekend, there really isn’t going to be much time for me to actually makes posts to my beloved brog, unless it is of the mobile and fluffy variety. I take pride in my ability to maintain commitment to my brog, and refusal to let it become one of the millions of blogs out there that have gathered dust and been abandoned by disillusioned posers from all walks of life.
For whatever reason, I always have a city/state that I really dislike at any given time. Sometimes, it’s because the place is a dirty cesspool (New Jersey), sometimes it’s because I have bad associations with it (Baltimore), sometimes I find that it’s a horrible place in almost all aspects (Miami), and sometimes it has things to do with sports mostly (Philadelphia).
I was watching MLB Network this morning, and it brought me an inordinate amount of satisfaction watching the Giants lose to the lowly Marlins. The defending World Series champions losing to one of the most historically bad teams ever drew a sadistic joy to me somewhere in my head. It dawned on me that it wasn’t just this game, but in just about every instance where I see highlights with the Giants coming out on the losing side, it kind of makes me happy.
Earlier in the week, Darren Young, a current active WWE wrestler, came out of the closet and announced that he is gay, when he was approached by a meddling paparazzo at an airport. Admittedly, it’s funny to watch how the paparazzo probably thought he could corner Young into an uncomfortable situation with a loaded question, only for this admission to happen, and completely turn the tables on him.
But the point remains, it’s somewhat notable that a WWE wrestler would come out of the closet while still currently active and fairly regularly used on television, considering that just about every wrestler or other professional athlete who also admit to being gay, all waited until their careers were already over and in the past before doing so.