May 29, 2004

Kansas City

Watching my Royals win in person was really special tonight. And they won in such dramatic fashion. The bottom of the ninth, 2-1. If this team turns it around and has a good season, I'm taking all the credit.

Rookie pitcher Zach Greinke lived up to the hype, going 7 innings and only giving up one run and seven hits. He looked very very good. If he really does live up to the hype, maybe in 20 years I'll be telling people that I saw his second major league start. Too bad he didn't get the win. I haven't been following the team closely for the last two weeks, because of prepping the house for sale, so I was surprised to see Jeremy Affeldt come out to pitch the ninth. By my calculations he gets the win. I noticed two saves on his statistics, so is he the closer now? Blogs are not for asking such factual and easily answered questions, but he was a starter at the beginning of the year.

The last time I was at Kaufman Stadium, it was called Royals Stadium, and George Brett was in his prime. The old place looked so good it looked new. The place is over 30 years old now so that's pretty geriatric by modern stadium standards. Many of The K's contemporaries: Three Rivers in Pittsburg, Riverfront in Cincinatti, The Vet in Philly, The Kingdome in Seattle; have been cast aside and razed, whereas KC's masterpiece still hangs in there with the likes of the new SBC Park in San Francisco (that's the only one I've been to therefore the only one I'll refer to).

Our seats in the upper deck were great, the Boulevard Ale was really good, and the hot dogs were just as good as 20 years ago, if a bit more expensive. Next time I want to sit in the lower deck for easier access to the Gates Barbecue.

Baseball was involved in a mild synchronicity for us earlier this week. We saw a copy of the Lawrence newspaper -- the front page of the sports section. The lead article was about Kevin Hooper, a player who had been with our Albuquerque Isotopes. It turns out he is a Lawrence High grad, and the article was about him being picked up by the New York Yankees. It was a trip seeing his picture wearing his Isotopes baseball cap.

Lucy and I both wore our Isotopes caps to the Royals game this evening. Our home is still in Q-town. And I ain't paying $32 for a Royals cap at the stadium. I'll find one cheaper online. But we are definitely moving on, baseball-wise. I look forward to seeing the Kansas City T-bones minor league team. I have a feeling we'll have just as good a time at those games, and they'll be closer to where we live.

As Lucy and I came into Kansas City earlier today, we couldn't find a motel to save our ass. The absence of lodging places was positively surreal. We drove for miles through Olathe, and it was as though we were trapped in The Land Of No Motels. Finally, as we got in closer to KC itself, Super 8's and Comfort Inns started their standard popping out of the landscape at all freeway interchanges. We landed up at a Radisson that is nice but pricy. The in-room coffee comes with real coffee mugs.

If you've stayed in middle-class hotel chains much you have seen the obligatory complimentary continental breakfast, which usually consists of weak coffee and Hostess Donuts. If it's classy you get cornflakes and orange juice, but usually not in the same bowl.

Anyway, the Quality Inn of Lawrence offered a new and very innovative twist on the complimentary continental breakfast: DIY waffles. Yes, the management puts out cups of premeasured waffle batter, which you pour into a waffle iron, which when turned over turns on a timer that tells you when the waffle is done. Brilliant. They do this and apparently no one has gotten hurt. Beats the shit out of stale bagels.

Tomorrow, back to the home town.

Posted by Wayne at May 29, 2004 12:24 AM
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