A couple of weeks ago, my cousin, John, called me up and asked if I would be interested in attending a Baltimore Orioles game. He’s a season ticket holder and had an extra for the last weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. At the time of his call, the Orioles were still in contention; and with Boston in first place, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to watch some good baseball by playoff teams. Well, as you know, since then the Orioles fell out of the playoff race and this series was just to finish up the season. Because I don’t get to see my cousin very often, I still decided to attend the game with him and just enjoy the evening.
Being a bit of a foodie and the game being played at night, I suggested we leave early for Baltimore and try a place that had great sandwiches. I left my house by 1245, gassed up, and was on my way to Arlington to pick up John by 1300. As soon as I hit 301 north, I heard on the radio that there were three accidents on 295 going into DC; two going southbound (which shouldn’t affect me), but the third was northbound right at my exit. Long story short, by trying to go around and take side streets, it took me two hours just to get to Arlington, and I saw parts of DC which are scary even in broad daylight.
I decided we would eat at Chap’s Pit Beef that was featured on both Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives” and Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”. Chap’s uses an in-door charcoal grill to cook their meat and a deli slicer to pile it high. I had the Richwich (named after Adam Richman), which is beef, corned beef, turkey and sausage on a sub roll; while John had the Tom Dog, which is turkey, sausage and cheese on a sub roll. We also shared a large order of French fries with gravy (a staple in Baltimore). The meat was tender, delicious, and the food was awesome. We were both wishing we wore stretchy pants. No Boog’s BBQ for us tonight.
Oh, yeah, there was a game. My cousin's seats were directly behind home plate in the upper deck. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky at game time. Was texting Zeb about Red Sox fans wearing fake beards because there were two groups wearing them. Shortly after the game started, I had to leave my seat because my manager called me on my cell phone because one of our field offices lost air conditioning, and they had to shut down our agency’s off-site back-up servers in their LAN room and keep the suite’s doors open making the place unsecure. I thought, “We pay GSA a hefty management fee,” and spoke to our admin officer on site and told her to call GSA and demand an emergency portable AC unit be delivered as soon as possible. By the time I got back to my seat it was the third inning and that’s when the game started to get interesting. (They got the portable AC unit installed this morning and was able to secure the suite.)
The game lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes with 26 hits, and I lost count of how many pitchers. Orioles scored one-run in both the second and third innings. Boston answered with one-run in the fourth, fifth, and sixth. Boston’s pitcher, Junichi Tazawa, was really pounding the strike zone; but I guess he was putting too much of the ball over the plate and not on the corners which resulted in giving up two runs and got the loss. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth looking for his 49th save. Jonny Gomes batted with a runner on second base and saw five straight 95 mph fastballs forcing a full-count. Gomes froze when Johnson threw him a 86 mph slider for a called third strike to end the game. Final score 6-5.
I made it home by 0120 and had a scotch. I hit the rack by 0245 almost too tired to sleep.