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We've seen the Bluefish play the Bees twice so far this season and those were our first games in the Atlantic League, but on this Saturday night we attended our first Atlantic League game not at New Britain Stadium. I really feel like visiting every stadium in the Atlantic League could happen for us one day, especially if we go to maybe one or two stadiums outside of Connecticut per season. (To be fair, there are only six outside of CT- two in PA, two in NY, one in Texas and one in Maryland. Maryland would probably be the toughest to get to though)
I received an email from the Bluefish newsletter where they offered a four pack of tickets for $40 as part of what they called a Wendy's promotion. So, we got four tickets (which were the $12 seats, so right away we saved $8) plus four vouchers for value meals at Wendy's (which are worth about $6 each) and then we all also got t-shirts which I thought might be the typical generic Bluefish shirt but they actually gave us special "Fear the Fin" shirts which I believe are not available for sale (but they still put at a $15 value each) So, for a ticket, meal and t-shirt this was just a fantastic deal that I couldn't pass up.
Since we had never been to the Bluefish stadium before we left somewhat early. The game had a 6:12 start time with gates scheduled to open around 5 I thought but we got there a little bit around that time and people were just barely starting to go in after we parked (So they might have let people in around 5:12 then). We got all of our vouchers at will call then went to the line outside the gear shop to claim our t-shirts. In the gear shop itself, Quentin got a baseball and a mini-helmet while I picked up the 2015 Team Set of baseball cards for $2. We also picked up a program for $3 and it has a cover like a comic book while the overall theme of the Bluefish this season seems to be 8bit video games so it was just a lot of fun for me.
Just past the stand where they were selling the programs when you first come in was a table set up with a Bluefish player sitting at it signing autographs. I'm not sure if they do this before every game, but much like with the CT Tigers the night before I still think this is a wonderful idea especially for players who may not be playing in that night's game. Though it also lead me to wonder who exactly sits there and how they take turns because could we walk into a game one day and see Endy Chavez there? The player we met tonight though was pitcher Joseph Kuzia- who actually did come in as a reliever- and he signed Quentin's ball as well as his pocket schedule and he just seemed like such a nice guy.
We found our seats and oddly enough were in Row BB but couldn't find the mascot of the same name until right before he was to do something on the field. Before we get into the game itself and other aspects of it, I'd like to take this time to talk about BB, the mascot of the Bridgeport Bluefish. BB is crazy. BB runs, jumps, dances and all sorts of things I've never really seen mascots do before. BB seems to be a fan of the parkour. At one point, BB seemed to be staying put so Quentin and I went over for a photo. We had to actually walk down the steps and approach BB (he didn't come to us) and then we did get our picture, but BB just has a lot of... personality. BB is very lively and there is nothing wrong with that. So if you are going to a Bluefish game for the first time don't expect BB to come to you for a chance to take a photo with your kid-- you have to go to BB. And more importantly, my best advice is, you can take a picture with BB but only if you can catch him.
There were a lot of fans in orange on the Ducks side and why not, Long Island is just a ferry ride away. It was an interesting game to say the least because both teams seemed to be at this dead heat where neither of them wanted to score. Any time either team got close to mounting some offense they got shut down. It also looked more than once like someone would take the definitive lead and it never happened. As opposed to the game the night before, this felt more like a low-scoring sport being played (soccer perhaps, or as everyone outside of the U.S. calls it- "futbol") which is funny because Quentin and I saw two games end 2-1 and both with very different games being played during that time.
One of the key points in this game came when a runner for the Bluefish was called out at second by the umpire. At first, he was called safe it appeared but then was later called out. Had he been safe it would have been first and second and eventually the runner on first came over to third and that would have put another run in had the ump not made that terrible call. I realize we were in Bridgeport and you have to cheer for the home team, but here's the thing. The Ducks players never touched the base before the runner got there. He also never tagged the runner. So just having the ball somehow made the second baseman for the Ducks score that sweet, sweet out which defied all sorts of baseball logic.
Later on when a Bluefish pitcher was called on a balk the manager came out to argue it but where was he for that play? That was quite possibly the play of the game as if they somehow reversed the decision the Bluefish would have won and never gone to ten innings as they did. But apparently the manager cared more about his pitcher allegedly balking (which I don't think he did either) which put runners on first and second, but still I don't feel was as important of a play and a call to argue.
The majority of the offense from the Bluefish tonight came from Jonathan Galvez who played for the Bluefish last season (I believe) before being signed by the Mets organization. We actually saw Galvez play with the Binghamton Mets last season in New Britain and he can only be described as... strange. One of his hits came when he put it about halfway between first base and right field as three players for the Ducks watched it drop to the ground-- none of them bothered to try and catch it. But that was the theme for tonight- one which both teams were guilty of but the Ducks were worse on defense. Dropped fly balls, grounders between the legs, this defense had it all.
A certain element of the mystery of "when will the game end" when it is a tie is taken away when you know you have an almost hour long drive home. A lot of the Long Island Ducks fans (the "faithful flock") left before the end of the game but we assume it's because they had to take the ferry home. Still, they should perhaps rethink the "faithful" part of their name (I suggest "fleeting flock") But it was still a good game overall in the little bursts of excitement, a lot of tension and when the final outs finally came you were excited to hope for a walkoff win by the Bluefish but not getting it felt like a fine substitute for going seventeen innings. While it would have been nice to see the Bluefish win at home in our first game at their home, we didn't really have a horse in this race and I was just glad to see some baseball. Though it is odd that both games Quentin and I went to this weekend ended with a score of 2-1 with the home team losing.
If you've never been to a Bridgeport Bluefish game but are the type of person who likes to go to different baseball games and get certain experiences at least once in your lifetime then I would definitely recommend going out of your way to Bridgeport to see BB and the Bluefish. Whether it's a drive or a plane ride, you should do yourself the pleasure of coming out to see this team play because it's some of the most fun you can have at a baseball game.