Thursday wound up being a very busy day for me, but one of those “busy” days I really didn’t mind at all.
I scored tickets to the Rays-Marlins Thursday afternoon game at the Trop, a few short weeks after going to see the Rays play the Indians on yet another Thursday. This time, me and my mother (an avid baseball fan whose childhood hero was Duke Snider) sat in Section 143, the left field bleachers. We thought we might get lucky and catch some home run balls, and sure enough, two landed in my section, one hit by Chris Johnson of the Marlins, the other by Brandon Guyer of Tampa Bay. It was not much of a game, with the Marlins winning 9-1. We left in the 8th inning when Miami built up a lead of five runs, which I usually use as an indicator that the outcome had been decided. I was home before the game even ended!
I did pick up a memento in the way of a book: Position To Win by Dewayne Staats, the Tampa Bay Rays television broadcaster. In fact, he’s the only principle TV play-by-play guy in Devil Rays/Rays history with the franchise in its 19th season. When I’m done reading the book, I’ll review it here in a blog entry.
At night, the Lightning-Penguins game took center stage, and as you know by now, it was the Bolts swan song for the season, as Pittsburgh got the 2-1 win to become Stanley Cup finalists.
A lot of fans I see on Twitter and Facebook love to talk smack with fans from other teams, but I don’t intentionally try and do that 99% of the time. What does it prove? I have no problem congratulating the other team when they win, because the world of sports is a zero-sum enterprise. Somebody always loses when somebody else wins, and if isn’t your day, there’s always the next game, or season.
Personally, I was proud of what the Bolts did this year. When Ben Bishop got hurt in Game 1, everyone feared that they’d get beat four straight. Instead, we took the Penguins to the last game, and only lost to one goal. They never quit, it was just time that out on them.