Monday, April 19, 2010

Road Trip: Cardinals vs. Mets Marathon

[editors note - I'm sitting in the Waterloo airport and haven't slept much. This is a sloppy article, at best. I'm just typing out a story. There isn't much coverage of baseball in it. It's probably not funny at all if you don't know us. And not much funnier if you do]

A couple weeks ago, I received a call from Alright Hamilton contributor Waters from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where he was just finishing up his Army training. After a long discussion about the merits of St. Louis (blight, breweries, baseball), I agreed to meet him there with some buddies to celebrate his release back into the wild.

Our plan was to meet at the St. Louis airport on Friday afternoon and attend the 3:10 Mets-Cardinals game at Busch Stadium the following day. But the night before we were supposed to leave for Missouri, Waters called us and explained that he was on military orders to board his flight to Minneapolis. If he ditched out to hang out with his lame civilian buddies, he'd be considered AWOL. This was not good. Our whole reason for the trip was to pick him up and bring him home. We'd planned our week around it and were excited. And when I called our well-connected St. Louis contact, Mark, I found out that he had produced Champions Club passes and great seats for the Cardinals game. At no cost.

So fuckit. We'd go anyway. Besides, we had nothing else to do this weekend. (aside from playing a baseball game on Sunday. They only had seven guys. Oops.) Our timetable just got a bit trickier, because Waters didn't arrive at MSP until 8pm. This would have to be a classic overnight road trip.

I don't know if it was the sight of that sweet Minnesota soil or the fact that he was three sheets to the wind (uniform on plane = free drinks, apparently) but he was awfully happy when we picked him up.

So after a visiting some friends and stopping at the bar, we were off. Our ETA for St. Chuck, MO was 7a.m. We were looking good, until a loud crack.

At 3:45am in the middle of Iowa, I was awoken by the sound of a raccoon smashing against the front of my beautiful Mazda Protege. Dane said it was the size of a golden retriever. I thought we'd escaped major calamity until noticing the temp gauge creeping up. More like sprinting up. We killed it.

Okay, I'm bored and this is long. I have to go pick up my car. The story isn't even half done yet. Let's try to boil this down so I can finish it up. Let's pretend we're all on Twitter. YAY.

4:45 am: Split up. Creepy good sam picked me and andy up, assuring us Tow Truck can't fit all 4 of us in. Bitching about how broke he is; clearly wants money. Gave him 4 bux.

6:45 am: Been sitting in waterloo IHOP for almost two hours. Dane and Waters just arrived, got AAA to finally tow car .

7:50 am: Trying to do math on hours to StL and when rental car place opens at 9. Game at 3. It's going to be close.

8:15 am: Bad news confirmed. Hole in radiator the size of a raccoon skull. Won't be ready til Monday. Smelly, crabby, sleep-deprived walking to rental place with big backpacks on and 12-pack of Nordeast.

8:30 am: Enterprise rental agent, "Sorry, we're out of cars. I can call you a cab to get you to the airport. But just so you guys know, every place requires a credit card to rent a car." We assure her we're not transients.

9:30 am: On the road again. So long Iowa. Worst state ever. Hauling ass to the game.

3:10 pm: Walking into the stadium. Straight to the Champions Club. Free food? YES. Free Booze? yes. We have traveled many miles, thru many hardships. This is our oasis. We deserve this.

5:00 pm. No one has scored. It's good to see Santana again. My instincts make me clap when he strikes a guy out. But I'm wearing a Cardinals shirt. Ooops.

7:00 pm: No one has scored. Been here for 5 hours. We're still upbeat despite no sleep. Could be the free booze.

7:30pm: No one has scored. Getting a kick out of the people in the champions club, belly up to the bar cheering at the TV. Dude, you're at the game!

8:00pm: They keep walking Pujols because the pitcher is behind him. We're sitting in the front row of left center bleachers now.

8:30pm: Really, this is just dumb. People in stands getting desperate. We're hitting the wall. It was fun pretending to be an upset Cards fan for a while, but now I'm worn out. We're leaving.

And we left in the top of the 17th. Yes, we missed Lopez pitching and we saw ZERO runs scored. I don't care. We got out moneys worth. And we'd already peaked: the best part of the trip was when that rental car lady thought we were bums.

Created with flickr slideshow.


Anonymous said...

Getting to see Luis Castillo again made the whole mess worthwhile, eh?


Anonymous said...

I've seen that Mazda, and it is about the size of a golden retriever.


TwinsWin83 said...

that shit wouldnt have happend if you still had the contour.

Daymonster said...

I am pretty upset with you haas. I thought you were at that game and I was so sure that you would have stuck it out.

soup said...

I always like a good baseball roadtrip story.

I probably would have crashed too. Driving all night. Drinking free booze for seven innings. Not drinking booze for ten innings. That'll about do it.

Didn't Kyle Lohse play in left?

carl said...

Being from Cedar Falls, we have a saying when that kinda shit happens...

"You got so Loo'd!"

Anonymous said...

We had six guys from our team, one guy from theirs (who I'm pretty sure was getting paid to commit errors, and never swing.), and a girl from the cheering section. Classic Stallions.

Free baseball, food, and booze is always worth it.