Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brockton Rox - Collegiate Little League

"Dad, can we go to a Brockton Rox game?"  G would always ask me after he hears a buddy of his describe how he caught a foul ball at a recent game.

It seemed like just last year when the Brockton Rox were a part of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.  It's not much of a professional league, but one that now features Jose Canseco on Worcester Tornadoes, but it is a little more interesting than the collegiate little league known as the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, which was formed this year because a couple of teams weren't permitted to play with the big boys (of collegiate summer baseball).  While this sounds similar to little league politics, the ramifications were huge for the JMR household because we really wanted to go see a game in Brockton.  All in all, my answer was going to be yes.

And we saw that a recent Sunday was going to be a nice day, if a little hot, and after days and days of rain, we decided to skip baseball practice of our own and watch some possible future major leaguers play baseball.  It would be the Brockton Rox against the Pittsfield Suns for us on this day.  Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler, here we come!

We packed up the kids and headed on our 30 minute drive to Brockton.  Situated behind Brockton High School, we first arrived to find out that we had to park adjacent to a house across from the ball field.  It was "monitored" so I guess that was going to be a good thing.  The fact that the "monitor" was drinking from a brown paper bag was not a good thing.  And then he had the audacity to tell me how to back into the space.  Dude, I'm more sober than you are right now, I can do this.

And after parking and subsequently walking in to the park, we see that our seats are very good.  We are in the second row behind the Brockton Rox's dugout.  If they were not so defensive about baseballs, we would have been psyched.  But it's more like a little league game where the balls go out of play and they are retrieved and sent back to the pitcher.  If C or G caught the ball, I'm sure they would relish throwing it back to the pitcher. 

And shortly after noticing that balls are like round gold, I also take notice that both starting pitchers are lefthanders.  That means that most, if not all, hitters are going to be right handed.  And thus our chances for getting a foul ball behind the third base dugout were going to be slim.  It was so freaking hot though, that  I decided to sit in my seat and see how long it will take the boys to figure this fact out.  The less effort exerted, the better.  By the way, you might be wondering where the girls went.  Well they have already gone off to the petting zoo in rightfield thinking that alternative was better than watching baseball.  Thanks for coming!  Who knows when we are going to see them again.

The game starts off with a bang as the Pittsfield Suns score 3 runs in the first and the Rox counter with one run on an opposite field double by DH Greg Baggett.  And after 3 innings, fast forwarding a bit, the Suns are beating the Rox 4-2.  Meanwhile, we are literally baking in the 90 degree heat.  I feel like the sun screen is just a little bit of EVOO.  I am going to be tasty tonight.  Where are the girls?

Damnit!  three innings and the boys figure out that we are not going be thrown any balls or get any foul balls, so the boys take me to the other side of the field toward the Suns' dugout on the first base side.  But the sun is beating down on that side, guys - really?  How about right near the concessions where a couple of foul balls went?  There's plenty of shade over there.  That lasted just long enough though to listen to the guy screaming at the top of his lungs "Let's go Brockton, Let's go!!"  "Let's go Brockton, Let's go!!"  C looks at me and asks if that guy is OK.  Yes, I tell him.  I wonder myself, honestly.  Judging by everyone else with their pissed off looks we are not alone.

Later, as the Rox string together two straight 2 run innings, we move to the RF seats, where no one is sitting.  It would be our last chance to get a ball before the Rox sew this game up...but just as I say that the game seems to be put away, the Suns come back to score 7 runs in the 8th inning to tie the score 13-13.  Seriously?  We were just up 13-6?!?  And now the 3 hour game is going into extra innings?  Noooooo!

Luckliy, we had places to go and DLG was getting restless, so we decided to hang them up, just as it seemed that Rox were rallying in the ninth.  The boys didn't really want to leave, but they were both redfaced and looking a little tired.  They relented and let us go home.

The Rox ended up winning 14-13.  Yup.  Just like little league.

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