Royalty Tours USA

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Royalty gets to see some fellow roadtrippers over Opening weekend of baseball at Citi Field!‏

Me, Eddie & the King in Sydney, Australia
After I got to jump for joy when Gio Gonzalez homered, the next day I went to get a cyst removed from my back. As a result, I'm glad he hit it before I had the surgery. What a way to enjoy myself before the pain set in. I went to the doctor during my lunch break at work that Thursday afternoon, April 3rd. Ironically the Mets played the finale of their opening series with the Nationals at that time. While my back was being treated, the King ‎& the rest of the royal court got to see my pal & fellow roadtripper Scott Bultman aka Woo Chamberlain as he calls himself. You can follow him on Twitter if you like. His handle is @EPLSB. He flew in from the Twin Cities that morning for the weekend. He landed at LaGuardia airport at 9:15AM. He came to visit us again. He got more than he bargained for that day. He was joined by his brother Eddie who came from Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with him here in NYC. His twitter handle is @EFQZ so you know. The King & I saw him when we officially opened the baseball season in Sydney, Australia. I was told when Eddie saw the King again at Citi Field he started yelling & I quote "Hey Casiano". The King was in his glory. His fan club was present & accounted for. In addition, they got to see him do his signature strikeout call. Furthermore, they got to meet a few other guys we know who come to games from time to time. I'm referring to Mike Jaffee aka Minor League Mike who usually attends the midweek afternoon games. He was there without his wife Sharon who was working. They've seen over 200 minor league ballparks together as well as almost all the major league ones. He spoke to Scott & Eddie during the game. Those guys also got to meet another guy who we know as Devil Bill. He's a big Devil fan hence the appropriate moniker. He also likes the Mets. It should be noted that he's made plenty of crazy road trips over the years for all different sports. He's a quiet type person who we always see by himself. I speak to him whenever I see him so I can see where he's been lately. When Scott & Eddie tried to strike up a conversation with him they couldn't get much of a response they told me.  

Devil Bill
As for the game they saw, the Nationals went on to sweep the Mets by a score of 8-2. It was a 3-2 game after six innings as the starters Tanner Roark of the Nationals & Zack Wheeler of the Mets pitched well to earn themselves quality starts. Once the bullpen took over the game, the Mets imploded as the combo of Scott Rice, Jeurys Familia & Carlos Torres combined to let the game get away. They allowed five runs, four in the seventh inning  & one in the eighth inning as the Mets record fell to 0-3 to start the season. 

Friday after work I was greeted in the lobby of my office by Scott ‎& Eddie who decided after they did some sightseeing during the day to meet me so we could go to Citi Field together. It was great to see them waiting for me. I did keep them waiting five minutes because I forgot my umbrella upstairs. Just in case I needed it, I went back to get it. After a false start, it was smooth sailing. We wound up taking the subway to Queens. We got off the 7 express train at Junction Boulevard so we could have a pre game meal first. I wound up meeting my Cousin Andy there as well as my pal Vincent Ascanio who happened to be on the same train as us. We all wound up splitting a pizza pie that Eddie treated us all to at Taste of Italy No. 2. I want to personally thank him for his kindness. 

After we finished eating, ‎we all got back on the 7 train & we went to Citi Field to see the Mets open a three game series with the Cincinnati Reds who making their one & only visit to Queens this season. However they do return in July to play the Yankees in the Bronx right after the All-Star Break. We all got to see my pal Sam Citron who greeted us royally at the Rotunda gate. Once we got inside I went to get my MLB passport book stamped then we all went upstairs to the Royal Court in section 515. We were joined by the King, Frank Anichiarico aka Duck, Bryan Gilligan & some other regulars including Danny Werba who we affectionately call Webber. Since the Knicks, Nets & Devils were playing some of the crew were missing that night. Regardless despite the cool weather it was an entertaining evening at the ballpark.

As for the game we saw, the Mets wound up getting their first win of the season. They went on to beat the Reds, 4-3. Jay Bruce of the Reds drove in the first run of the game with a run scoring single in the third inning off Mets' starter Jenrry Mejia who pitched six innings allowing just the one run. He did walk five & he kept the King busy by striking out eight.‎ He left with a 2-1 lead thanks to Lucas Duda who hit the first of his two home runs. A two run shot in the fourth inning. He did it again in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Mets a 4-1 lead. The Reds cut the lead to one as Jay Bruce hit a two run blast in the top of the seventh inning. This time the Mets' bullpen managed to preserve the victory.

Vincent Ascanio, Me, Scott, Eddie, Howie Mars, Mike Jaffee & the King
Saturday afternoon the King & I returned to Citi Field for game two of the three game series between the Mets & the Reds. We were joined by Scott & Eddie again up in the Royal Court. Among those on hand were Mike Jaffee who came with his wife Sharon, a guy we know named Howie but we always call him by an infamous name of Howie Mars. He's a legend in his own rite. What's so unique about the people we know is you never know when they're going to show up. Some days are better than others when it comes to the size of the bunch. One thing's for certain, there's always comic relief.      

As for the game we saw, both starters pitched well. Dillon Gee pitched into the eighth inning before he was taken out. He wound up giving up three runs in seven & a third innings of work. His counterpart, Johnny Cueto of the Reds allowed two runs in seven innings. Despite leaving the game with the lead, he didn't get a decision because interim closer J.J. Hoover came on to close out the game. Four batters later pinch hitter now former Met Ike Davis hit a game winning grand slam as the Mets beat the Reds again, 6-3.

Sunday morning Scott headed back to the Midwest as he caught an early flight so he could get to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play before he went back to the Twin Cities. Eddie also went back home. 

Blair Long & I at Citi Field
The King & I later that afternoon returned to Citi Field as the Mets looked to sweep the Reds. When we got up to the Royal Court in section 515 we were joined by another special guest. I'm talking about my pal Blair Long who I met at PNC Park last July when the Mets played the Pirates. That night he was joined by his wife Paula. This time he was by himself. I asked him about Paula. He said she was tired so she decided to stay home. He lives in Central New Jersey. He took public transportation to get to Citi Field. He has seen a variety of baseball games. He likes seeing both major & minor league games. ‎It was nice to see him again.

As for the game we saw, the Mets failed to break out the broom. They got shut down by Reds' starter Alfredo Simon who threw seven strong innings allowing one run. The Reds hung on to savage a game in the series by a 2-1 score. 

Stay tuned as I plan to do some special posts with more highlights from my month of April.

Thank you for reading ‎& following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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