The bus rides are long; the constant travel admittedly more tiring than I anticipated. Tuesday's journey from Chicago to Minneapolis was eight hours, and both the internet connection and electrical outlet at my seat weren't working. Megabus fail. That meant a whole lot of time to read, and think, as we trudged north along I-94.
1. The Baseball Road Trip Of A Lifetime would not have been possible without the support of family and friends. You know all about Detroit with Dad, and how this journey began, but there's more. Case in point: I spent a full two weeks in New York City with my dear friends Karan and Tiffany, in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. They so graciously allowed me to make their living room my own, and gave me a set of keys to come and go as I pleased. Bus journeys from Baltimore and Boston had me return at four and five in the morning, but they never said a word, and never asked when I was leaving. They even cooked Rogan Josh, a Kashmiri delicacy, for me. Thank you, guys. Words cannot express how much I appreciated your hospitality. I'm grateful, and your kindness will never, ever be forgotten.
2. "I love [baseball]because it's so simple, yet it can be so complex. There's a lot of layers to it, but they aren't hard to peel back." - Ernie Harwell
The baseball Gods acquired one hell of a broadcaster yesterday. If you haven't ever read Ernie Harwell's 1955 essay "The Game for All America," or would like to read it again, today's the perfect day to do so. Rest in peace, Ernie.
3. As I journey from city to city, and ballpark to ballpark, I've been keeping all my ticket stubs. I figure I'll do something with them when this is all said and done. Well, last Friday night's stub from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is sadly nowhere to be found. And you know what? That was bound to happen. Frankly I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
4. Sticking with Philadelphia: the Phillie Phanatic is without a doubt the best mascot in baseball. It isn't even close.
5. Between writing that Philadelphia Phillies fans aren't as bad as they're made out to be, two idiots decide to make the field at Citizens Bank Park their personal playground. Typical.
6. The Toronto Blue Jays will finish higher in the standings than the Boston Red Sox this season. And, after trading Roy Halladay, wouldn't that be a positive start to the Alex Anthopoulos era?
7. I believe the competitor in Roy Halladay misses pitching in the American League East. Doc became the best by consistently pitching to, and beating, the best.
8. However, it will be fun over the next few years to watch Halladay pitch to Albert Pujols. They've met during four at-bats so far, and Pujols has, naturally, put up zeroes across the board.
9. Would anybody mind if, for the rest of #TBRTOAL, I referred to the Rogers Centre as the SkyDome? Because I really hate calling it the Rogers Centre. We know Rogers owns the team, and the ballpark. If you're listening, Rogers, make it the SkyDome once again. Because she'll always be the SkyDome in our hearts.
10. Every ballpark I visit has a statue or three, either outside or inside the building. Roberto Clemente in Pittsburgh; Carlton Fisk and Harry Caray in Chicago; Mike Schmidt in Philadelphia. The Toronto Blue Jays, and the SkyDome, need a statue. Outside the ballpark, preferably. Here's my question: who do you choose? Roberto Alomar, in his infamous pose after he hit the most important home run in Blue Jays history against Oakland's Dennis Eckersley? Joe Carter, immortalized while leaping down the first base line? King Carlos Delgado? Roy Halladay? Dave Stieb? Tom Cheek? Have your people call my people, Rogers. Let's do lunch.