Tuesday, March 18, 2008

First...A Word about Viera, the Nats and Ron D's huge head

Monday was a trip to Viera, which is near Melbourne. An even wider view would include Cocoa Beach and Canaveral. The "Space Coast." Home to Maj. Nelson, Jeannie, and Spring Breakers. Viera is on the eastern side of I-95. At one time, in the not so distant past it was probably wetlands. Now, expanding out from the center of the outdoor mall it is a golf community. Homes are large, brown and expensive. Space Coast Stadium sits in the middle of an empty field. Almost an oasis for the weary baseball traveller. It is almost an hour north from Port St. Lucie. I arrived there at approximately 10am and went to the local Panera for coffee, bagel and some time to check e-mail, etc. Normally, the ball fields open two hours before game time. This gives the fans a chance to see the home and visiting teams take batting practice. This is an almost essential activity for Spring Training. For some reason, the Nats didn't(wouldn't) open the gates until 11:40. By then the Nats were done with BP. When I went in and staked out a spot for Mets autographs and pics, I was told that I couldn't stand in the first three rows. They directed me to a place near the dugouts. It was a walkway in front of bullpen, directly to the right of the dugout. I decided I would have a better chance of a few autographs near the Nats bench as opposed to the Mets side. I did get three signatures (Austin Kearns, Aaron Boone and Justin Maxwell). Ryan Zimmerman, the Nats star third baseman was reaching for my baseball when the announcer said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the singing of out National Anthem." Dohhh. Ryan is a good American. I didn't get an autograph.

My seat was third row, directly behind homeplate. Great for watching baseball, but because of the net, hard to get photos.

The hamburger I ordered was excellent. It was fresh, not frozen, on a big bun with lettuce, tomato and onion. The basket is served with fries. 8$ is not that steep, considering the amount of food you got and what I've seen at other parks. And it leaves you satisfied.

Oh and one last note, Oliver Perez pitched great! The Mets won. The only Mets win I saw on this trip.

Okay about Ron Darling's head. I was in Duffy's which he had (coincidently, not ironically) mentioned the week before during a game. (The secret's out, he said). So there is Ron D. in Duffy's. I've seen him on a few occasions at the games but he's normally a ways away. Monday night he was 5 feet away, he's a big guy, but his head is HUGE. It has it's own weather system. People would stumble when they walked past because of the gravitational pull. They had to open both doors so he could get out. Okay, that's a little cruel. Ron could squash me like a bug. I like Ron. He seems to want to give some insight to the game being played and recognize what the NY Met fans want. He was very nice to everyone that approached him and shook thier hand and thanked them for being a fan.

So that's the Monday report, being written on Tuesday night. One day I'll tell the story about the girl snorting coke in the booth at Denny's. Oops that's the story. Another story is about the guy from Canada who wants to be a golf pro. He stays at a place where he's met a number of players, ironically he doesn't know anything about baseball.

Here's the link to the pics.

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