Although it is raining lightly as I write this, the weather has lately improved. Highs near seventy degrees, clear or partly-cloudy skies, beautiful sunsets, and so on. So, last night I went to a baseball game with my friend Marty. He’s as big a sports fan as anyone I know. He’s the kind of guy who actually keeps score while watching the game.
Florida State University was playing Florida at McKethan Stadium here at UF. It is a lovely park, with a particularly fine view of great pines and some of the taller campus landmarks. Marty met me there. He even brought me a drink down from the press box. My free ticket also entitled me to a free “Beat FSU” t-shirt, which I gave to Marty. We sat up on the third base side, above the Gators dugout.
The game got off to a rough start. FSU scored three runs in the first inning, then another two in the second. UF scored a couple runs early on, which kept me from feeling hopeless. But that would be it for FSU. They hardly got another hit after the second, and their pitching deteriorated in a manner that was uncomfortable to watch. Literally. The changed pitchers at least six times, and by the seventh inning, with the sun having already set, and the wind having picked up, it was cold. Hundreds–maybe even thousands–of fans who had arrived at the game wearing only shorts and short-sleeved shirts fled. Those who stayed–Marty and me included–just wanted the game to end. But FSU’s pitching troubles continued, and they had so many conferences on the mound, followed by pitching changes, and new-pitcher-warm-ups, that the dedicated fans who stayed nevertheless felt the urge to boo. It got ugly in the bottom of the eighth, with the wind howling through the stadium, when the catcher once again walked from the plate out to the mound. It wasn’t Disco Demolition Night, but there was loud, angry heckling, and many cries of “let’s just get this over with!”
Florida won eight to five, and I biked home in the dark and cold. But it was great, and I look forward to doing it again.