One More Time, with Feeling

As you probably have noticed, the vast majority of content here on the blog in recent weeks has been “On the Road”-related. And, well, there’s going to be plenty more where that came from. Local trips will continue to the extent that time allows, but, also, in addition to that, I’ve got one more blockbuster to share.

Pacific Northwest, here I come!

The Pacific Northwest from space, courtesy Wikipedia

The itinerary is as follows:

8/18: Eugene Emeralds

8/19: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes

8/20: Yakima Bears

8/21: Tacoma Rainiers

8/22: Everett AquaSox

And, the piece de resistance — Ben’s Biz is going international! I am happy to report that I will be observing Julio Franco’s 54th birthday in Canada!

8/23: Vancouver Canadians

I’m not exactly sure how this latest jaunt will play out, but one thing’s for sure. I’m gonna be spending some quality time with this guy:

Vancouver’s Chef Wasabi

Beyond that, you know the drill: should you have any recommendations regarding where to eat and what to visit while I’m in the area, then please get in touch via the comments, email, or Twitter. These recommendations have been absolutely crucial on past trips, and I’m sure that this time around will be no different.

Also, keep in mind that this will be the first larger-scale trip in which I am following a gluten-free diet. Therefore, “designated eaters” would be appreciated at each stop. If you think that this is a role (eating the ballpark delicacies that I cannot) that you can fulfill at any stop along the way then, please, get in touch.

Meanwhile, I have two months of backlogged blog material to get to. I no longer stress out about such backlogs (as part of my longer-term strategy to prioritize permanence over the ephemeral), but nonetheless I might as well get to some of it now. How about this awesome Lowell Spinners commercial, which immortalizes a Spinners-ValleyCats batboy battle that took place at a game I was in attendance for last month?

Let’s see, what else have I got here…

How about this? On July 13, the Lake Elsinore Storm had over 500 people “Tebow” in the outfield as part of a “Night of Fellowship” promotion. Here’s what that looked like:

And speaking of fellowship, Elizabethton Twins general manager Mike Mains recently sent out a mass email regarding a helpful groundskeeping trick that his team employs. I hope that he won’t mind me excerpting it here, as it could help teams as they deal with weather that, in recent weeks, has bordered on the apocalyptic:

We’ve had so much rain that we got a little creative this past week. The fans blowing air under the tarp keeps the air circulating which limits damage to the grass when the tarp is down for long periods of time. The most useful thing we found is when heavy amounts of water forms on the tarp the fans will literally pick up the tarp which will form a bubble and then will force the water to the edges of the tarp which makes it much easier and quicker to push the water off and then remove. I’ve heard of this before but it has really worked for us especially with limited manpower.

The best fans in baseball:

And that’ll be it from me, until it isn’t. Thanks for reading.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

5 Comments

Renegades have gluten free chicken wraps. Gluten free Pizza and best of all gluten free beer.

This is going to be a fun trip for sure. I don’t know about the parks specifically, but you should have a much easier time eating gluten free in general in the PacNW. I’ve only spent a weekend in Seattle (Labor Day 08), but I did get to an AquaSox game. They have a great little park with entertainment out the ears, not like the no frills Appy. I hoofed it through Everett that day, catching a preseason WHL SilverTips game in the AM as part of a preseason tournament then the Sox in the late afternoon. I stayed in Bellevue most of the time (apropos, my wife will tell you) which is sports free. It doesn’t look like you have even a hint of downtime, but should you find yourself near the base of the Space Needle, look for the Gehry-designed Hendrix Experience Music Project (http://www.empmuseum.org). I can tell you from Experience that they’re closed on Tuesdays, but it’s great to just walk around outside if that’s all there’s time for. There’s also a decent restaurant with a ton of memorabilia and a great beer selection upstairs….nevermind. :)

The park in Vancouver is a(n) historic one. It was next door to the curling venue during the 2010 games. The wife and I saw it from across the way but didn’t make our way over to it in light of the cattle-herding-esque manner in which you move around at the Olympics. Have fun!

You are going to love Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver. As a Canadian, I wasn’t sure we were up to it, but this place ooozes the soul of baseball more than most parks anywhere. Too bad you weren’t going to a fireworks night, I only got to see my one game there when a bachelor party was too drunk to be allowed in and I won a bidding war to scalp the last tickets available. Best hot dogs in baseball, vendors in the stands, quotes from Veeck on the walls, vintage 1952, you’ll love it!

White Spot’s Chicken Sandwich in Vancouver is the best I’ve ever had.

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