BACK HOME FOR A LITTLE WHILE
Hopefully, as the old adage goes, a day off isn’t followed by an off day. The schedule maker in the I.L. really hasn’t done the PawSox any favors in 2010. Our first day off was spent in Charlotte ( a fine city, but I’d rather be home) The second day off (Wednesday) was spent travelling. An early wake up call followed by a ride to the Raleigh-Durham airport. Hung out at the gate for almost 2 hours before boarding the first leg of our flight, from North Carolina to Baltimore. Lots of bleary eyed personnel, sarcastically wishing each other “Happy day off”. We average a single day off per month in the I.L. (FYI). We hopped on the flight from Baltimore to Providence to find it about 20 degrees hotter in RI than it was in Durham. The air conditioning on the bus wasn’t working, luckily it was a short trip from Greene Airport to McCoy. As I tossed my suitcase in the trunk of my car, I looked at my watch. It was 1:48 p.m. and my “day off” had yet to begin. The thermometer in my car read 101 degrees as I made my way home. Unpacked, threw clothes into washer, and made myself a sandwich. Now my mini vacation was picking up steam! It slowed down again as I went and got a haircut. Pete DeCotis is my barber. A great guy, who has been promising to come see me at McCoy for the last 7 years. I finally don’t believe him anymore. After the haircut, it was onto the car wash and the bank. I imagine that this is exctly how Paris Hilton or Donald Trump would spend their day off. By this time, it’s about 4:30. Hadn’t seen my parents in a while, so caught up with them. Tom and Lucille, regular listeners of the broadcast (Big Dan Hoard fans!!) are baseball junkies. They’ll watch Boston with the volume down while listening to us. We decided to go to the “Melville Grille” in Portsmouth RI for dinner. We drove back out that way, fighting the traffic and cones set up for paving route 114 later that night. Upon arrival, the hostess informed us, that due to a power outage…no food. Not what a hungry Steve Hyder wants to hear. Never happens to George Clooney when he has a reservation at Nobu! We drove back to downtown Newport, had a nice meal at a place called the “Red Parrot”. Our waitress was an extremely dim bulb, but, whatever. After dinner, I dropped off my folks. It was only 8:45 and this was my night off! Newport on a Wednesday in May isn’t exactly hopping. I figured I’d go to my favorite bar, “Cappy’s”, settle in for a while and watch the Celtics complete their series in Orlando. As ESPN’s Lee Corso might say- “Not so fast, my friend!” The Orlando Thugs, er I mean Magic blocked, tackled and concussed the Celtics into oblivion, beating them in Game 5. At least I enjoyed the Sox trashing Tampa again on the other TVs. As I finish writing this epic paragraph (with apologies to my friend, Dan Barbarisi) I realized that I just needed to get it off my chest. Is it not in the Constitution, that every man is entitled to a good, solid day off? No need to worry, though. We have another day off coming…June 16. We’ll be back at it tonight and ready for action.
As we departed Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Tuesday night, we spotted Rick Medeiros talking with a familiar figure. Former PawSox outfielder and good guy, Sean Danielson! “Spike” made the 30 minute trip to Durham from Zebulon to watch his former team. Zebulon is the Reds’ Double A affiliate. (It was also the first name of Will Geers’ character in “The Waltons”). Spike journeyed with a couple of his current teammates. He isn’t playing as much as he’d like, but he’s enjoying the experience. Many of his former Pawtucket mates, like Gil Velazquez hugged him as they got caught up.
Also in Durham that night, we learned that the Rochester Red Wings were in town after a day game in Norfolk (Hey, why are we never afforded that courtesy?) Their series with the Bulls begins Thursday. We got in touch with Josh Whetzel, their talented and very funny radio man. Josh, along with Wings trainer, Tony Leo, joined Hyder and Hoard for a post-game meeting, for a late night snack.
One final note about Durham. Best press box in the League for one reason and one reason only. There is a soda machine in there. Just push a button (no money necessary) and out tumbles a can of frosty deliciousness! Diet Sunkist Orange Soda. My favorite. I hope Durham and the PawSox make the playoffs for that reason alone!
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to since we last talked. Let me know if there’s anything you need to know, via this blog. I’ll try to accomodate your desires!! Just the kind of guy I am….