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|View from the dugout|
|Field view from the bleachers|
Lets move on to one of the most insane asinine and grotesque uses of in game entertainment I have ever witnessed on a baseball field. During games 3 and 4 of our series there was another lapse of judgment and loss of common sense. In the bottom of the 5th innings during both contests, they put the game on hold so they could parade around the field a line of cars. The first night was Jaguars, old and new and the second night was Corvettes, old and new. This isn’t Barrett Jackson or Mecum AutoAuctions, it’s a fucking baseball game. If you want to have a car show, display the cars out front of the stadium in the parking lot so people can look at them, don’t stop a baseball game mid inning! They wouldn’t stop a Footy game for 15 minutes to parade cars around would they? Hell no so why is it any different for baseball. We are professionals playing at the highest level Australia has to offer, treat the game as such and not a fucking carnival!
|Physio Alicia getting Nic Ungs ready|
to pitch in the "Training Room"
|"Locker Room" more like|
Interestingly enough that night I was pitching against a friend who I met while with the Colorado Rockies. Sean Jarrett (Follow his blog here) came out and joined the Brisbane Bandits earlier in the season for the same reason I came out in November. He finished the previous season playing independent ball in the Atlantic League and was looking to get back into an MLB affiliated team. He pitched a brilliant game, pitching into the seventh inning while holding our offense at bay. I had dug our team too deep a hole to overcome and the Bandits were victorious for the second night in a row.
As a team we started off brilliantly but we definitely dropped off the last 3 games and came away disappointed. A good showing would have all but guaranteed us a playoff spot and now we find ourselves in a battle having to win this up coming series against Canberra to work our way into the playoffs.
Now onto the city of Brisbane. Let me first start off by saying the city of Brisbane is beautiful. The weather was superb the views were even better and the city showed us a great time. We stayed at the Medina hotel right next to the Story Bridge. If the Medina sounds familiar its because it is. We stayed at a Medina in Canberra. The room setup was similar to Canberra except that we were two people to a room and not four. Our room was complete with kitchenette, laundry, living room and bedroom with two single beds (Rock hard as previously mentioned). The pool deck outside the Medina offered stunning views of downtown Brisbane and the fabled Story Bridge.
Fortunately for us we had a Brisbane native with us in the form of our assistant trainer Trent. He guided us around the city, and to some of the landmarks that make Brisbane what it is. Our first stop was South Bank, a man made Oasis on the banks of the river. It was a giant pool with real sand beaches, palm trees and spectacular views of city. The water was cool and refreshing on a hot day in the sun and the sand offered a great retreat for working on my farmers tan. Just behind the oasis were shops and pubs that offered their crafts and food to anyone interested. We pulled up at a pub that looked fairly popular and ordered lunch. I went with the beet root and feta salad and a Bulmers Pear Cider. Ciders are becoming increasingly popular in Australia and Bulmers is a stunning example why. It was a great crisp refreshing drink on a hot Brisbane day (Sounds like and advertisement, Bulmers can contact me via email or my agent for any future work). The salad was equally delicious and filling. The next day our bullpen catcher and team manager Chip Mauerer took myself and fellow Americans Kevin David and Jeff Jamnik to Wet N Wild, a water park located near the Gold Coast. For obvious reasons I wasn’t able to get many pictures, but we had a blast. We arrived just as the gates opened and found ourselves on rides in a few minutes. Our first trip was down a giant water slide in a raft that ended with a big splash in the pool at the bottom. Next we headed to the single rider water slide with a super steep drop off. I was a bit nervous with this one because Im not much for steep drop offs but I gave it a try and was rewarded with an extremely thrilling ride! We spent the rest of our time waiting in lines to get on rides and walking around the grounds.
We decided to check out the nightlife on Saturday by catching a cab to the Story Bridge Hotel located, where else, below the Story Bridge. We arrived just in time to order some pizzas and chips and of course sample some beers. I had yet to try a Tassie beer and fortunately for me found one in the Moo Brew Pale Ale. This beer rewarded us with a great fruity crisp flavor that everyone at the table enjoyed. For the most part we just hung out at a table in front of some TVs drinking, eating pizza and watching some cricket. That’s what I call a good time. I would much rather chill out at a pub with some good friends and good beers than go to a night club where the music is so loud I cant hear myself talk. The night was winding down and we decided to wrap things up. We walked home over the Story Bridge to the other side of the river where our hotel was located and called it a night.
|Story Bridge Hotel|
Brisbane was heaps of fun, mostly away from the field but some fun was had at the field too. The city showed us the best it had to offer while the showgrounds definitely left us wanting more.