We haven’t posted a good TGR story lately. During the summer things are slow, but when it comes to one of us making a fool of ourselves or of others doing the same it has to be mentioned…. About 4 seconds after I wrote that last sentence I realized that was an out right lie, we are always making fools of ourselves, but that is not the point. The point is, we have a story to share with you courtesy of our Florida correspondent, corky Patrick. When I got the call from Patrick after this incident occurred, I have never heard him so miserable in my life.
Take it away Corky, and thanks for sharing…
– As an avid baseball fan, you grow up your whole life hoping that you will one day have the opportunity to see the improbable. I have seen some pretty great baseball games in my time including a World Series, Sammy Sosa hitting his 400th homerun in Wrigley, and many other games in some great venues. Ever since I was a kid; I have always been fascinated with no-hitters because they are such an unpredictable event. 2010 is a perfect example.
There have been 5 no-hitters (6 if you count Gallarraga’s heart breaker). Some of these have been pitching gems and others are unbelievable that they were a no-hitter, see Edwin Jackson’s no hitter with 8 walks. This brings us to Monday evening. I am often criticized for my rooting for teams in the area I live. Since moving to Tampa, FL early in 2004 I have become a Rays fan. There is not a more exciting team in baseball to watch considering the young talent and with the exception of B.J. Upton, the all out hustle they bring to the ballpark each night. Plus I sweat incredibly bad, and enjoy watching games in the air conditioning of Tropicana Field. In the first home series of the season, my wife and I went to a game and the first thing I do is check out the schedule to see if the Rays will be playing at home on July 26th, my 29th birthday. I could care less if it is the Orioles or the Yankees, I just would like to spend my birthday at the ballpark with some cold snacks and good company.
As I notice that the Tigers are going to be in town, I could not be happier. At that point I am 99% certain that my wife, a friend that we could refer to as “Buffet”, and his wife would for sure be attending on that Monday night. As time got closer I was informed that I would have to fly to Jacksonville on Tuesday morning at 6:55 AM to attend some work meetings. I knew with that early of a flight, it might not be in my best interest to go to a Rays game the night before due to the fact of getting home late with an early flight and the fact that I might indulge in a few too many cold beverages, especially with “Buffet’s” presence. My wife agrees that going later in the week would be a smarter decision.
Fast forward to Monday night, when my wife and I are eating a wonderful meal at my favorite restaurant, Fleming’s Steakhouse. The place is dead and we get a booth where we can both watch the game. I made a comment before the game even started stating “There better not be a no-hitter tonight.” Every game I attend, I make a comment after each team’s first hit that we won’t be seeing a no-hitter tonight. You could tell from the beginning that the Rays defense had really come to play and Garza was actually hitting the corners on his pitches, which he has not done in over a month. In about the 4th inning I realize that both pitchers have a no-hit bid going. You could still tell at that point that the Tigers pitcher didn’t have his stuff because he was walking a batter basically per inning, plus he had thrown way too many pitches to even finish the game. As we leave Flemings and are listening on the radio, the innings are starting to become very quick because Garza is just mowing the Tigers down. After a Matt Joyce grand slam I knew there might be trouble brewing due to a 4 run lead which would allow Garza to relax. We get to the house and at this point, I can’t watch.
It is the top of the 7th and I am pissed. If this was any other night I would have been as pumped as possible. I then explain to my wife that I need to go for a walk and just chill out hoping someone for the Tigers would get a hit. After a walk to our dock and actually touching a few manatees (I know this sounds very weird) I decided to check my phone. I could have cared less about the manatees but at least it kept me from focusing 100% of my attention on this game. After about 20 minutes I decided to check my phone and as the score came up and read “Tigers 0-0-1” I knew that I was in for heartbreak. It was now the top of the ninth and I thought it was best that I put my selfish/pissed off attitude to rest and we hustled back to the house to watch the bottom of the ninth.
I truly was shaking at this point in disgust at myself. I now know that I didn’t go to the game because I didn’t want to be out late and have too many drinks. I have now pounded a few cocktails and know that if this happens I won’t sleep so my excuses are not valid now. As I watch the last 3 routine outs, I was disgusted. I was furious. I was in a state of depression on my birthday. My wife is pissed as hell at this point too. I make no noise as the last out is caught besides just stare at the ceiling. The #1 item on my bucket list is going on 30 minutes from my house on my birthday and I am sitting on the couch. I did not move a muscle for at least 5 minutes, just staring at the TV in disgust at myself as I watch the camera scan thru the crowd showing grown men hugging each other and experience the euphoria that I have dreamed of each time someone has not given up a hit by the 4th inning. My wife figures if I go open up my birthday presents it will calm me down. We sit down and after opening up a box of golf balls, a nice golf shirt, I get to the last box. I can tell by the look on her face that this could be bad. I open up the box and I got a brand new Rays shirt and hat that I will be able to wear to the game on Wednesday night since I made the decision not to go on that historic Monday night…….-