That's because I was visiting Bucdaughter in Connecticut and I made a deliberate decision to avoid the Internet while I was there, which I managed to do for all of about a half hour (I checked in here Saturday). I still managed to follow the Bucs old-school (TV, newspapers) and was glad to see y'all have been doing an excellent job at getting us into an actual (I can't believe I'm typing this in July) pennant race.
You haven't heard much from me for a week.
I did manage to fit in a ballgame on our trip. I saw the New Britain Rock Cats and the Harrisburg Senators play on Friday, at nifty New Britain Stadium, where nearly 6,000 people turned out for baseball and fireworks on Friday.
First off, minor league games apparently don't mean minor-league prices anymore, or maybe it's just that everything is more expensive in New England. Decent beers (Long Trail Ale, Sam Adams and the like) were IIRC $5.75 and that old pricing standby, the hot dog, was $2.75 for a short one. But hey, parking was free and tickets were $5, so there's that. On to the baseball.
The most notable thing, I suppose, in hindsight was that I probably missed seeing Bryce Harper by about three days. During the game itself, I didn't see much of anybody who looked like an actual prospect except for a Rock Cats guy named Parmalee, who looks like he can hit a little.
I did see (for sheer amusement value) 1, a first baseman lose a throw in the sun; 2, perhaps the shortest pro player since Eddie Gaedel (New Britain infielder Chris Cates, who is [generously, I think; even with a helmet on, he barely came up to the third base coach's armpit] listed as 5-foot-3 and 145 and played third base for an inning; Harrisburg had a short middle infield too); 3, both teams load the bases with nobody out and fail to score, and 4, the ever-popular walkoff wild pitch.
Also in attendance was Pirates alum Jimmy Barthmaier, who started an inning for the Senators that turned into a disaster and then didn't. I don't recall how the leadoff man got on, but the second batter hit a DP grounder that the second baseman booted. The next batter bunted, and Barthmaier did that thing I hate, he tried to throw out the lead runner and didn't. When the next batter grounded a single through the hole at short, Barthmaier was done. Fortunately for him, that was one of the innings where a team had the bases loaded and nobody out and didn't score (at least, didn't score any more).
The weather was great, even a little chilly around 10 p.m., and there was a fireworks show after.