Through a series of different adventures, we ended up at the New Britain Bees game this Friday night because a) it was part of our quest to see every team in the Atlantic League play in New Britain Stadium this season and b) the last time we tried to see the Blue Crabs play here it rained a lot and they gave us vouchers to come back another time. The game ended up going on, it just wasn't until something like 9 pm and they did a doubleheader at that. When I saw rain in the forecast for this game I thought it might be cursed or something but thankfully it didn't rain as badly as predicted.
So first off, we had tickets which I had purchased online for the last Blue Crabs game where we would sit in the front row directly behind the dugout. By the time we got to this game the ticket window person said the best they could do in that section was the last row because everything else was filled and guess what lady: most of those people didn't show up! (Yes, I counted more than three empty seats even in the front row throughout the entire game) Our seats weren't that bad, but if we had gone one row back we would have been above the tunnel in general admission where we usually sit anyway. So, good job training your employees, New Britain Bees, because this one made it seem like there were no good seats left and the stadium was maybe 23% full at most.
As if things needed to be worse for us- and the Bees- when we got to the game and after he gave up a few runs I realized the pitcher was the same pitcher we saw give up six runs and then a grandslam against the Blue Fish last Sunday. I mean, most of my favorite starting pitchers have left the team (The Joshes) but still, to have seen a different pitcher might have been nice but, yeah yeah, it's what we get for going to see the games that number of days apart because of the rotation. If we had gone Thursday with Mr. Bob Backlund or Saturday instead we would have seen a different pitcher and maybe the Bees would have actually won.
Once we got inside the stadium we were informed (and saw) that there was a table set up with three Bees players sitting at it to sign autographs much like we saw that one player do before our first Bluefish game and proving it is not just an Atlantic League thing it also happened with Josh Lester at a CT Tigers game. Some guy walking by handed Quentin an official Atlantic League ball because Quentin attracts baseballs and so we had those three players sitting there sign it. We went to spin the TD Bank wheel so I could get another water bottle for work and then we also noticed that they had team sets of card for sale.
Now, normally I would have been freaking out about how we needed to get the team set signed right then and there (And by the time we got near the field, the players hadn't really come out yet so we could have) but the team set had several noted names in it which were no longer on the team (Josh Outman and Kevin Rivers were two) and so I came to terms with the fact that we likely wouldn't get all of these cards signed anyway- at least not by the current New Britain team- and so I just decided to wait until our next trip to the Bees so we could plan a little better. (Kevin Rivers is on the York Revolution now but we won't see them in New Britain again this season) But the one card Quentin did get signed was Sting, which was nice.
There was some kid sitting in the front row- where our original tickets were for- and he had collected something like four Atlantic League baseballs by the end of the game, but you know, what would we have done with them all? We had already gotten one and it was signed by three players, so that was more than enough of a souvenir for this game. I mean, where do you draw the line? Should we try and get twelve balls per game and just buy one of those cases from Michaels every time? That just seems like too much to me. But Quentin did stand up at one point between innings and get a ball thrown to him. It was actually really funny because a woman sitting next to us was walking back with beers- not paying attention at all- and spilled most of one of the beers all over another woman in front of her. What's the first rule of baseball? Something about your eye and the ball....
Even though the Bees lost this game they did put in more than just the one pitcher and so I suppose that is a step in the right direction. I've not really been paying attention to the Atlantic League standings but I know that there was some deal being made about the Bees winning the first half of the season and, well, I just don't really expect the Bees to do a whole lot in terms of wins and losses since this is their first season and at this point a lot of their better players were sent off to the majors, but you know, it was a nice enough night out and what better way to spend it than watching baseball. With our summer leagues coming to an end, we plan on spending a lot of August and September with the Bees and Tigers, so hopefully we will get to see them win more and by next season they can come back stronger than ever.