GNABRT Day 39 – Red faced

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GNABRT map - day 39Oh, so many ways that applies.  Let’s start with the obvious and leave the rest for the Miscellany section.

The Great North American Baseball Road Trip left for the Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds and this year’s All-Star game.

It’s easy to see why the MLB granted them the game.  The bathrooms are spotless and in perfect working order (you actually get more than 2 1/2 seconds of water to wash your hands after pressing the button).

Ushers lead you to your seat in the stands but don’t let you sit down until they wipe it clean and/or dry with a towel they carry.  I felt like I should tip my usher but he said they don’t (can’t?) accept them.

The stadium has two large scoreboards.  I got the scoop from the young woman sitting next to me.  Apparently, P&G (see City section) thought they could use better rep in the park and the park itself could use more sprucing for the All-Star game, so they built the second scoreboard.  Yow!

The City:  Originally purchased in 1788 by a real estate trio hoping to make money selling individual plats, the town had an initial dreadful name of “Losantville”, which was a convoluted reference to the Licking River the land was adjacent to.

In 1790, the governor of the Northwest Territory named the town Cincinnati, apparently in recognition of both a Roman citizen soldier, Cincinnatus (sounds like something from a Mel Brooks movie) and the Society of Cincinnati, a group of revolutionary war officers.

For the next few years, Native Indians bedeviled the town (whyever for, d’ya think?) before enough forces were brought to bear and then population began to flow back to the town.  The 1800’s were good for Cincinnati and it grew large in the meat-packing business (gaining the name “Porkopolis”, a catchy title that I kind of like better than Cincinnati).

The city experienced continual and regular growth through the Civil War (primarily Union backers) until today and is the national headquarters for the manufacturer of many of my favorite brands, Proctor & Gamble (makers of Bounty, Crest, Charmin and other classic consumer favorites).

The game:  Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers.  A collision of two truly awful teams going absolutely nowhere.  Both teams have a selection of solid offensive players and both also have equally horrid bullpens (relief pitchers for you baseball novices)…as you are about to find out.

There have been only two stinky games on my GNABRT so far.  The one in San Fran, where the home team made like the Keystone Cops and lost to a terrible team and the one today, where the home team looked so bad, the crowd cheered when they simply were able to leave a man on base at the end of the inning.

The game puttered along, with the Brewers nibbling the Reds pitcher to death (a run here, a run there).  The Brewers pitcher had a perfect game (no runs, hits or walks) through 4 innings and a shutout through 7, before the Reds got a charity run.

The Reds started threw so many pitches, he had to come out after the 6th inning.  The reliever who started the 7th promptly gave up a homer, a single, an out (!) and another homer before mercifully being lifted for another pitcher.  In his short time on the mound, he turned a 3-0 game into a 6-0 mountain.

The Reds ended up losing 6-1, dropping the GNABRT to 9-4.

The tab:  Ticket, $18, Hot Dog, $4.75; Soda, $5.50; Parking, $20; Total – $48.25

Miscellany of Day 39:

– My nav system has such a sense of humor.  It decided to take me through all these country roads just to get me to the main highway.  I know they are country roads because the name on them actually reads “Country Road <####>”.

It was a wild ride past corn fields and around dozens of birds, a couple of rabbits and a small turtle with his head out in the middle of my lane.  I had no problem avoiding all of them.  I was worried that might be a problem if I returned at night, so I checked for an alternate route that would keep me on the highways.  Total extned

– Conversely, on the way out of the stadium, after parking at an offsite location under a bridge, I exited the wrong side (duh) and got completely lost.  Well, not completely, I actually knew I was on the wrong side.  I quickly swallowed my ego (not a big gulp) and asked a police officer for directions.  Fortunately, I remembered my cross street and he did the rest.

– On the way back, I passed a chicken truck.  It had crate stacked upon crate of chickens.  I think they were actually live chickens since they had their feet and feathers.  If so, it’s horrible to think how those chickens felt shoved in there and moved like that.  Ick.

– When I was leaving Indiana, I noticed the exit sign from the DOT and Highway Patrol mentioning Hoosier Helpers.  It dawned on me as I sounded that out that it was like “Who’s yer helpers?”, which means anything you put Hoosiers in front of is going to sound like that forever to me.

– Omigosh.  Just before hitting the Illinois state line on WB74, there was an accident on the EB lanes.  It didn’t look particularly bad (admittedly, I couldn’t tell because I don’t rubberneck), but it must have been blocking the road because the traffic was stopped.  Not slowed, stopped.  People were out of their cars strolling the highway, so it must have been like that for a while.

Here’s the kicker.  I tracked it from the Illinois state line as I traveled west.  The eastbound lane was stopped for another 3 miles.  Add in approximately a mile and a half on the other side and you have nearly a five-mile, non-moving nightmare.  Thank goodness I was heading west.

– It’s staggering to me when I consider just how much of America’s roadways are under construction.  It’s the definition of ubiquitous!  Maybe one day, new roads will be ubiquitous instead.

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