You might get sick of hearing me talk about the weather, but I can’t help it. That’s what’s on my mind at 3:24am because the city is still a bit damp, and I’m planning to head to Shea in 12 hours.
Rain can actually be a good thing, even though it cancels batting practice. The crowds are smaller, stadium security loosens up a bit, and the players become more fan-friendly. They’re more likely to come over and talk to you or sign an autograph or reward you with a baseball—especially a wet baseball—for standing out in the rain like a putz.
If it rains in the next 12 hours, I’m not going. It turns out that I have to be at work at 9pm, so if I go to the game, I’ll have to leave after the 1st inning. That might sound crazy, but it doesn’t really bother me, as long as the weather’s nice and I get my hour and a half of BP. That’s when I catch most of my balls anyway.
I’d never leave a game early if I didn’t have to, but when I’m stuck with other evening plans, I’d rather show up for BP and get a few balls and leave early than not show up at all. I only do this at Shea. Yankee Stadium? Forget it. It’s too expensive, too crowded, and opens too late (two hours before gametime) to make a BP-only outing worthwhile. Plus, the Yankees are more fun to watch. Seems like everyone in the starting lineup is a future Hall of Famer (except Womack, but he and I both went to Guilford College, so I love the guy). It would be too frustrating to walk out of that place.
But later today at Shea? Horacio Ramirez and Aaron Heilman? Whatever. I’m hoping I can make it back tomorrow and stick around for the whole game. Smoltz vs. Pedro, baby. Those guys can bring it. It’s gonna be foul tip heaven.