Royalty Tours USA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Royalty meets up with Jacob Landis who's going to all 30 MLB ballparks this year for a special cause by riding a bike!

Jacob's Ride
On Friday, April 12th, when I was on my lunch break I saw a tweet on Twitter that a group called Ballpark Chasers that I belong to had retweeted. They were mentioned in a blog post about going to see live baseball games all around the country.

I glanced over the story titled Inside the Great American Road Trip. In the article, they mentioned some other roadtrippers that I've met in my travels over the past few years. In addition, they mentioned a young man named Jacob Landis who I never heard of until I clicked on his name which linked me to his website, Jacob's Ride. You can also follow him on Twitter. His handle is @JacobsRide2013.

By doing so, I found out that Jacob who resides in Annapolis, Maryland was deaf at age 10 received a cochlear implant which has allowed him to be fully functional in the hearing world.

Jacob decided to do something special in order to give back to others like him who have a similar disability in life. He hopes to raise $1Million dollars for others who could benefit from a cochlear implant but can't afford to get one.

In order to attempt to accomplish this feat, he's in the midst of riding a bike all over North America to see all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks this season. He's riding around with his cousin Jack Riddle.

They plan to do this if all goes according to their schedule that's posted on his website on September 24th in Miami at Marlins Park.

I realize it's a rigorous ride that they're taking on. I want to wish them all the best in trying to do this.

Ironically when I noticed their schedule I saw they were going to be at Yankee Stadium that night. I immediately contacted them so I could see if I could arrange to meet them before the game since I was going there too that night.

Jacob & I at Yankee Stadium
Thankfully they responded quickly to my e-mail and tweets on Twitter. By doing so, I had the privilege & honor of meeting and greeting them near the left field gate inside the ballpark where they were conducting a pre game get together for the special group of people who were partaking in their special visit with Dana Constantino who was there supporting them from an organization called Hearing Loss Association of America.

It was a thrill for me to meet Jacob who has a disability but he's been fortunate to overcome it and he's now trying to give back to others who are in a similar situation.

I hope that he does indeed find a way to make this happen.

I told him that a few years ago I met up with a young man named Darren O'Donnell who did a similar type trip of biking to all the ballparks. The difference was that Darren did it for his own personal benefit. He didn't even try to publicize it until a website in Tampa, Florida got wind of him in June 2011. As a result, I found out about him. I wound up meeting him at Citi Field in August when he rode through NYC. I thought what he was doing was beyond belief to be perfectly honest. Quite amazingly he did see all the ballparks as he planned to. He allowed margin for error so he could get from one place to another. It worked out for him and he has lived to tell the tale.

I hope Jacob can do the same later this year. In the meantime, I plan to follow his whereabouts as he tries to do it. I hope that people I know around the country can meet him at a game as well.

If you can't, that's fine. It's not easy for everybody to meet others on the spur of the moment and/or with plenty of advance notice. Every day we live is an adventure. These days you never know what can happen next.

If that's the case, I recommend that for as little as $10 you can donate to a very special cause by helping Jacob as he attempts to hit a home run for hearing.

If you can't afford to contribute I don't want anybody to feel obligated to do so. It would be a nice gesture but I don't want anybody I know to feel bad. That decision is totally up to you. I want to reach to my loyal readers and followers because you're special people in my life.

I greatly appreciate anybody who devoted any of their precious time to reading my blog.

I'm a kind hearted human being first and foremost. I personally feel for Jacob. If I was in his shoes I certainly hope there are good people out in the world that can help his cause.

Always remember life is too short, we all have to help each other make it better while we're here regardless of the cards we're dealt.

If you want to donate, please text JACOB to 50555 to give $10 to the Hearing Loss Association of America which benefits Jacob's Ride.


Text JACOB to 50555 to give $10 to the Hearing Loss Association of America benefiting Jacob's Ride

$10.00 donation to Hearing Loss Association of America benefiting Jacob's Ride.  Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: <> . Privacy Policy <>

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 4/29

Here's the game plan:

Monday April 29th Astros at Yankees 7:05PM

Tuesday April 30th Astros at Yankees 7:05PM

Wednesday May 1st Astros at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday May 3rd Athletics at Yankees 7:05PM

Saturday May 4th Athletics at Yankees 1:05PM

                            Marlins at Phillies 7:05PM

Sunday May 5th Athletics at Yankees 1:05PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 4/15 & w/o 4/22 in review. In addition, I plan to finish doing a series of special posts that will recap visits from some special people I got to see along the way. Please bear with me as I try my best to play catch up. It's going to take some time though. Trust me it will be worth the wait.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty sees a rare triple play turned at Yankee Stadium against the Orioles!

Friday night April 12th after work I went up to the Bronx. I stopped of at the Court Deli RestaurantCourt Deli Restaurant when I got off the subway. I proceeded to buy a corned beef sandwich that I ate when I finally got up to my seat in section 420B row 7 at Yankee Stadium after I made a special visit to see a young man named Jacob Landis who was at that game too. Stay tuned for the special post that I'm going to do that will go into further detail about him. It promises to be a great read.

Little did I know when I met him that we were going to see history that night.

Jacob wasn't the only one I knew that was at the game. We had a number of regulars in the royal court if you will that were on hand that night as the Yankees opened a three game series against their division rival, the Baltimore Orioles in what was a rematch of the 2012 American League Division Series in October.

I'm referring to Michael Abrams who has seen over 900 consecutive Yankee home games, of the course the King was present and accounted for as was, Bryan Gilligan, Vincent Ascanio and Pat Gorman. In addition, we had David Sack who was there with his friend Andrew.

As for the game we saw, the Orioles went ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning. The Yankees answered back in their half of the third as they tied the game at one. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Yankees took the lead, 2-1. The Orioles got even in the seventh inning when they capitalized on a Yankee mistake as former Red Sox Kevin Youkilis made an error as catcher Matt Wieters was the beneficiary of his blunder. He advanced to second on a balk by Yankee starter CC Sabathia. Two batters later he scored to tie the game when shortstop J.J. Hardy got a single to center field to drive him in. The Yankees once again wasted no time as they took advantage of an Oriole error by center fielder Adam Jones who appeared to have caught a fly ball but at the last minute the ball came out of his glove which allowed three runs to score after an intentional walk and a hit by pitch. That gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead going into the eighth inning instead of ending the seventh inning tied at two.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Orioles were all ready to stage another comeback as they got two singles to start the inning from Alexi Casilla and Nick Markakis. Then came the unexpected play of the game as third baseman Manny Machado hit a ground ball to second basemen Robinson Cano who threw the ball to shortstop Eduardo Nunez to force out Nick Markakis at second base. Nunez then turned and he got Alexi Casilla in a run down between second & third. Casilla was tagged out for the second out then low and behold, the Yankees managed to get the batter Manny Machado out too as he tried to go to second base but he was thrown out which completed the rare triple play which invoked me to imitate a classic call of the King as I blurted out he out, he out and he out. They were all out. Triple Play! With that being said, the Yankees behind CC Sabathia escaped further damage. That was music to my co-worker Dan Juvan's ears as he stopped by a few innings earlier to visit. He was joined by his pal Isaac who he refers to as his brother from another mother. They were also with their friend Jess who was at the game with them. I want to thank them for coming up to say hello.

As they departed to go back to their seats, it was time for Mariano Rivera to come on in the 9th inning. He proceeded to close it out as the Yankees beat the Orioles, 5-2.

It should be noted that the last time the Yankees turned a triple play at Yankee Stadium was on June 3, 1968.

As a baseball fan, it was great to witness history again.

Stay tuned as I will recap another memorable weekend the King and I experienced. Please bear with me as I continue to find time to play catch up.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, April 26, 2013

Royalty w/o 4/8 in review

Monday night after work I came home I ate dinner and relaxed for a change. Thanks to the baseball schedule makers, the Mets and Yankees were both on the road this week after they both opened the season together at home during opening week. As a result, I got an early break from baseball. The King on the other hand, rented a Toyota Corolla from Avis for 15 days so he could drive around the Northeast to see as many baseball games as possible.

Tuesday night after work I went to the Barclays Center for the last time this season since I didn't get the playoff tickets because the King & I prefer to go to see baseball instead. In addition, the prices for the playoff tickets were too pricey for our liking so we passed up the opportunity to get them.

I wound up going to McDonald's at the Atlantic Center Mall for dinner before the game. I ran into my pals Harry Schwartz and Dennis Barbera who were eating there too. Once we got done, we all walked across the street and we went into the arena to see the Nets host the Philadelphia 76ers. When I got to my seat in section 230 row 13 I met up with my friend Frank Anichiarico who was using the King's ticket. Frank is a 76er observer if you will.

As for the game we saw, the Nets made fast work of the 76ers as they built a big lead early and they never looked back as they defeated the 76ers, 104-83 much to Frank's chagrin.

Reggie Evans scored 17 points and he grabbed 24 rebounds while his teammate Brook Lopez added a game high 29 points and he pulled down 11 rebounds as the Nets cruised past the 76ers who had a disappointing season.

Wednesday night after work I went out to Newark, NJ to see the Devils take on the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center for the last time this season. I was joined by Vincent Ascanio and Frank Anichiarico who were also there. I decided to get an Angus burger that came with Nathan's fries for dinner at the arena per Vincent's recommendation. It tasted really good.

As for the game we saw, the Bruins raced out to an early 4-0 lead 3:06 into the second period. I was thinking of my pal Eric Hasseltine who happens to be a big Bruin fan. I updated him throughout the game. It appeared that it was going to be an easy win for his Bruins. It turned out not to be the case as the Devils finally awoke as they scored three unanswered goals to get within a goal 4-3 with 14:02 left in the third period. The Bruins responded right back as they added an insurance goal with 12:27 to go up 5-3. It turned out to be a huge goal because the Devils fought back and finally cut the lead to 5-4 with 37 seconds to go. Fortunately for Eric and the number of Bruin fans that were part of the sellout crowd of 17,625, the Bruins were able to hang on as they escaped the swamp land with a win. As a result, it hurt the Devils slim playoff hopes.

Thursday night after work I came home and I made myself dinner. Once I got done I went out and I did my laundry around the block.

Stay tuned as I'm going to do some special posts that we'll recap the memorable weekend I had. Please bear with me as I try to continue to find time to catch up.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Royalty meets up with Kurt Smith, author of Ballpark E-Guides at Citi Field!

Kurt Smith & I at Citi Field
Over the last few years, I've had the privilege & honor of meeting & greeting fellow roadtripper Kurt Smith  who happens to be the author of Ballpark E-Guides. He lives in Turnersville, NJ with his family. I've met him a number of times when I've gone to Philadelphia to see a sporting event. If he couldn't make the game I was attending, he's always willing to meet up to have a meal together so we could catch up if he was available to do so depending on his family needs.

This time Kurt decided to come to visit NYC to see the Mets play at Citi Field. In January, he booked a round trip ticket on Megabus which he took from Philadelphia to NYC for a mere $2.50 round trip. Since he bought the ticket so far in advance he was fortunate to get one of their advertised special fares for a dollar each way. Since they add a fifty cent reservation fee to all their transactions the grand total came out to a whopping $2.50. That doesn't even get you a gallon of gas if you drive a car these days he said. What a deal he got for himself. If you're familiar with his website you know this man knows how to get the most bang for his buck. As a result, he decided to start a side business a few years ago to help him make ends meet.

Kurt is a baseball fan and he decided he wanted to put his research skills to better use. By doing so, he has done extensive research to compile the essential information that people like you and I need in order to afford to attend a baseball game these days. Despite the bad economy we currently live in on a daily basis, the cost of living in general is still out of control. With that being said, more people than ever before have to resort to different ways of saving money just to make ends meet like Kurt. Once people have their necessities in order, they usually like to enjoy a luxury once in a while too. If you're a sports fan, you want to take in a live ballgame. In order to do so, I think it would be a wise investment to take advantage of getting a Ballpark E-Guide of your favorite team which can instantly save you money so you can afford to go more often to see them play when the opportunity presents itself.

With that being said, I strongly suggest and recommend that if you read and follow my blog that you take Kurt up on his special offer that he has made available to you. All you have to do is sign up for his weekly newsletter which will be delivered right to your e-mail inbox usually every Friday. A few minutes of your time will go a long way in making your life better in general because he includes other helpful hints that will save you even more. By doing so, you'll get a E-Guide of your choice for free.

Once you realize what a great deal is it you'll probably want to get more especially if you want to make a road trip. If you do, tell Kurt you're a royal reader so he can give you his version of royal treatment.

Kurt decided to revisit Citi Field so he could revise his current E-Guide so it's up to date especially since the Major League All-Star Game will be taking place at Citi Field on July 16th. As a result, anybody who plans to attend a Met game and/or the All-Star Game itself or the other festivities will have access to the 2013 edition. He continues to validate his credibility by doing that.

Please note that Kurt doesn't have E-Guides for all the ballparks just yet. He's done half of them so far. If and when time allows, he hopes to get them all done some day.

As for the game we saw, the Mets won in dramatic fashion as Marlon Byrd got the game winning hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins. What a way for Kurt to head back home.

I want to personally thank Kurt for joining the King and I as well as the rest of the Royal Court that was on hand that day. Among those who were with us on that cold, nasty windy day we're a few regulars in Bryan Gilligan and Vincent Ascanio. We also had Michael Carson who seemed interested in Kurt's E-Guides. In matter of fact, he gave him a business card so he can accommodate his needs & wants in the future.

Stay tuned as I continue to play catch up. I plan to do my w/o 4/8 in review. In addition, I will do some special posts that will recap that memorable weekend we had. Sorry for the delay. I do appreciate your patience.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Royalty does a Major League doubleheader and sees another roadtripper in the process!

Saturday afternoon the King & I took the subway to Citi Field to see the Mets play game two of their three game set with the Miami Marlins. Upon arrival, we greeted at the Rotunda gate by our pal, Sam Citron. Since Sam told me he plans to work every game this season, I will try my best to see him every time I go to a Met home game. He's such a down to earth human being who has nothing but kind words to say to me about my blog and my writing ability. I owe it to him to always give him the courtesy of a royal hello. As a result, he recognizes other members of the royal court when they come into the ballpark. He fills me in when I see him. He tells me who's inside already. We have a great rapport that continues to grow every game we see each other. He makes seeing the game seem secondary. More importantly, he adds instant credibility to whole royalty experience if you will.

After seeing him again, we went inside and headed up to our seats in section 516. Every game we have a number of regulars who attend. In addition, we have others we know that can only make the weekend games and occasional ones during the week. For example, I'm talking about Rich Wolber aka Staten Island Rich and William Frank Guthrie who were there. We also had a rare weekend visit from Mike & Sharon Jaffee who showed up. They normally attend the midweek afternoon games when I'm working so I usually don't get to see them too often. Furthermore, we had our pal Manny Morales and his buddy Marc Beck there. They have a Saturday plan in our section. Moreover, we had a visit from our friend Phil Butleman who was on hand with a young man named David Sack who's been coming more often. Since Phil's a Yankee fan he doesn't come to Citi Field that much. He likes to pick his spots.

Besides the King and I, the usual fixtures were present & accounted for. I'm referring to Ralph & Vincent Ascanio as well as Bryan Gilligan who like the King and I are full season ticket holders and they rarely if ever miss a Met home game. Among other regulars, we usually have Pat Gorman and Donald Cohen aka Fuzzy who has the distinction of being called a New York institution. Fuzzy's been going to sporting events on a regular basis long before I was even born. That alone tells you all you need to know about his legacy.

As for the game we saw, the Mets got a quality start from their starter Jonathon Niese who gave up two runs in six innings of work. Unfortunately he didn't get a decision in the game because the game was tied up at three after he departed. The Mets rallied to score three runs in the seventh inning and they tacked on another one in the eighth as they went on to beat the Marlins, 7-3.

When the game ended, Bryan Gilligan drove the King and I as well as Vincent Ascanio and Phil Butleman down to Philadelphia so we could all see a second major league game at Citizens Bank Park, which is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. They were hosting an interleague game against the visiting Kansas City Royals. Upon arrival, I entered the ballpark through the right field gate so I could see Lisa Wilson who is a supervisor that we've gotten to know from going there so often. She's always been so nice to us over the years. She always greets us with a big sincere smile. As a result, we get royal treatment at home and on the road.

In addition, we got an added bonus when we were standing behind section 319 which is where we hang out and hold the royal court if you will. Our pal Chris Coats aka KC Superfan was on hand with his lovely girlfriend, Brittani Murphy who joined him for this road trip. Brittani like Chris is a big Royal fan. In matter of fact, Chris has a streak of seeing over 700 consecutive Royal home games in person. He also sees a number of their road games when he can get the time off from work. He works for the United States Postal Service in Missouri near his hometown of Raytown which isn't far from Kauffman Stadium which is the home of the Royals.

Brittani, Chris & I at Citizens Bank Park
It was great to meet and greet Chris again as well as his better half, Brittani who I met for the first time. They appeared to be very happy together. We got to chat and we caught up since we last saw Chris in November at a Missouri Tiger football game. Chris plans to come back East a few more times this season which was music to my ears. He's going to the All-Star Game at Citi Field in the middle of July as I'll be his personal tour guide. In addition, he said he plans to come back to Citi Field again the first weekend in August with Brittani so they can see their Royals play again on the road. I will see to it that it's a great adventure for both of them. By then, Chris should be a veteran of NYC.

As for the game we saw in Philadelphia, it appeared that the Royals were going to beat the Phillies again. They whipped them on Friday afternoon which was the Phillies' home opener, 13-4. This time the Royals lead, 3-1 going to the bottom of the ninth inning. They brought in their closer Greg Holland to close it out. He was very wild when he came in. He wound up walking the bases loaded before he recorded an out. He then struck out Domonic Brown swinging for the first out of the inning. He proceeded to get John Mayberry Jr. to strike out for the second out as he looked at a third strike. It appeared he was going to get of the jam he created for himself. It wasn't meant to be as pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen batted for catcher Humberto Quintero and he delivered the big blow as he hit the ball in the gap in right center which cleared the bases to give the Phillies an improbable 4-3 come from behind victory. Chris & Brittani were disappointed but they weren't surprised being Royal fans. As for the majority of the near capacity crowd of 39,475 they walked out of the ballpark in total elation as a result.

Stay tuned as I'm going to write another special post that will recap how that Sunday afternoon turned out as another special guest joined us for the festivities.

Thank you for reading and following.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, April 22, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 4/22

Here's the game plan:

Tuesday April 23rd Dodgers at Mets 7:10PM

Wednesday April 24th Dodgers at Mets 7:10PM

Thursday April 25th Blue Jays at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday April 26th Phillies at Mets 7:10PM

Saturday April 27th Phillies at Mets 1:05PM

                               Blue Jays at Yankees 4:05PM

Sunday April 28th Phillies at Mets 1:10PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 4/8 & w/o 4/15 in review. In addition, I plan to finish doing a series of special posts that will recap visits from some special people I got to see along the way. Please bear with me as I try my best to play catch up. It's going to take some time though. Trust me it will be worth the wait.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Royalty welcomes Roadtrippers to NYC for Opening Week at Citi Field & Yankee Stadium!

Scott Bultman, Steve Fekete, Tike Narry, Vincent Ascanio, Me King & Bryan Gilligan 
Tuesday night after work I came home. I made myself dinner then I went out & I did my laundry. While I was doing that the King was entertaining fellow roadtripper Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk who was in town to see his Padres play the Mets. Since the Mets and Padres had the day off, they took public transportation out to the Nassau Coliseum to see the Islanders play the Winnipeg Jets.

Wednesday night after work I arranged to meet up with Scott Bultman, another ballpark chaser who now lives in the Twin Cities. He flew in from Minneapolis to LaGuardia Airport earlier in the day and Steve Fekete who was staying in New Jersey. They wound up meeting me by my office in Midtown Manhattan at 5:30PM. We greeted each other and we proceeded to walk over to the subway so we could go to Citi Field. Quite amazingly, the plan didn't go as expected. Due to a stalled train at Queensboro Plaza, we had to take an alternate route which wound up costing us 10 minutes. As a result, instead of going to Taste of Dolly's for dinner, we decided to go to Subway instead. It should be noted that's Steve's restaurant of choice no matter what part of the country he's in. In that regard, things worked out well. Scott is also a fan of Subway on a lesser scale he said. The same can be said for me. Luckily I was ready for the alternate plan as I dug out some Subway coupons which came in handy as we all benefited as we were able to save some money. It was part of the royal treatment they expected and deserved. In addition, we got to meet up with my pal Vincent Ascanio who was on the same train as us. He joined us for dinner. After we ate, we all got back on the 7 train at Junction Blvd. and we took it one more express stop to Citi Field.

We got off the train and we proceeded to head into the ballpark. We did so in royal fashion as we saw my pal, Sam Citron who greeted us at the gate. Sam was so happy to see me. I introduced him to Scott & Steve. As for Vincent, he's a regular so Sam knows him well.

We proceeded to go up to our seats after I contacted another roadtripper who was at the game with his wife and son. I'm referring to the Narry family that is Tike, Dawn and their seven year old son Patrick who came in from the Bay area. They have San Francisco Giants season tickets. They wound up getting great seats way downstairs. They did so because they were all seeing Citi Field for the first time. More importantly they all were seeing their last current ballpark together. Tike told me he would come upstairs to where we were sitting in section 516 after a few innings. Since it was just before 7PM, we got on the elevator and we went up to see the rest of the royal court who were present & accounted for. We had the King, Bryan Gilligan, Pat Gorman & David Sack on hand on a cold windy night. We also got a quick hello from another person we know as JeanAnn Harrison came up to see us. She was also seeing Citi Field for the first time. She happens to like multiple teams. Two of them are the Mets & the Padres. With that being said, regardless of the outcome she couldn't lose. It was nice to see her again.

A few innings later Tike and his son Patrick came up to join us for part of the game. We all congratulated them on their personal milestone. It was great to be part of their special occasion. We all enjoyed each other's company. We all hope to meet again at a ballpark somewhere in the country in the future.

As for the game we saw, the Mets got seven shutout innings from their starter Matt Harvey who left the game with an 8-0 lead thanks to two run homers by Lucas Duda, John Buck and Ike Davis. The Met bullpen did their best to make it interesting in the late innings as they gave up four runs but they managed to prevent the Padres from coming all the way back as the Mets won, 8-4.

Thursday while I was at work I asked the King to take care of my Cousin Andy who was off from work. My Cousin asked me if the Mets or Yankees were playing. I told him they both were. The Mets had an afternoon game and the Yankees had a night game. Since I was working during the day, I arranged for him to meet up with the King. I told him I would see him at Yankee Stadium for their game after work.
In addition, Scott Bultman and Steve Fekete also did the doubleheader. This time it was Scott's turn to get closer to a personal milestone as he was seeing new Yankee Stadium for the first time. It was his 29th current ballpark leaving him with just Arizona which he plans to get to sometime in May so he can finish seeing all the current stadiums. I was happy to join him for the game.

As for the games that day, the Mets dropped their first game of the season, 2-1. As for the Yankees, they beat the Red Sox, 4-2 to earn their first win of the season after they got beat the first two games. Andy Pettitte allowed just one run over eight innings to earn his 246th lifetime win.

Friday night after work I wound up meeting Scott Bultman by surprise because he originally planned to go to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks who were hosting the Bucks. He contacted me during the day and he said he changed his plans. As a result, we arranged to meet up at my office again at 5:30PM. Scott spend the day sightseeing. We wound up taking the train to Citi Field without a problem this time. We stopped off at Taste of Dolly's and we each had a few slices of pizza.

We found out on our way to Citi Field that Steve Fekete who was suppose to go back home to Anaheim, California decided to stay in NYC another day because his flight got delayed. As a result, he wound up going back to Citi Field too as the Miami Marlins were in town to play the Mets.

After Scott & I finished eating, we took the Q48 bus that was coming. It dropped us off right across the street from Citi Field. We got off and we walked over to the Rotunda area where we saw Sam Citron again. We proceeded to go in & we went upstairs where we met up with the King and the rest of the royal court which consisted of Bryan Gilligan, Vincent Ascanio, Frank Anichiarico, Pat Gorman and Michael Abrams aka the Yankee emperor who has seen 909 consecutive Yankee home games.

As for the game we saw, the Marlins built a 6-0 lead as the Mets bullpen imploded after starter Jeremy Hefner only allowed a run over the first six innings. The Mets made a comeback as they cut the lead in half, 6-3 after seven innings. After a scoreless eighth inning, the Marlins tacked on a run in the ninth. The Mets responded with two more as they threatened but they fell short as they lost, 7-5.

After the game, we went to Donovan's Pub in Woodside for a post game meal. Scott decided not to join us since he had an early flight back home to the Mini Apple Saturday morning. Steve decided to join the King, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico and I. We got to have a nice meal together despite the Met loss it turned out to be a fun night out.

Stay tuned as I finish recapping the weekend as our visiting roadtrippers departed NYC.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty sees hockey after Mets Opening Day on April Fool's Day!

Prince at Prudential Center
After the King & I saw the Mets crush the Padres, 11-2 on Opening Day at Citi Field we went to see the Devils play. Thanks to our pal Bryan Gilligan who was kind enough to drop us off at home in Astoria after the Met game so we could make it happen. Team work makes the dream work. This is a perfect example. We had to put our luggage in the house. With his assistance we were able to do so. We then went back out and we took the subway and the Path train to Newark, NJ since he decided to go home. We arrived at the Prudential Center which is the home of the Devils with some time to spare as we got in the building to see the players warm up before the game started.

On this night, the Devils were hosting the NY Islanders. After we went to the concession stand and bought chicken tenders and fries to eat, the King & I went up to our seats in section 226 row 6 and we relaxed and watched the game.

As for the game we saw, the Islanders got on the scoreboard first just 52 seconds into the game as Josh Bailey lit the lamp to give the Islanders an early 1-0 lead. Later in the period with 12:46 to go, the Islanders went up 2-0 as Travis Hamonic scored. In the second period, the Devils finally broke the shutout as Alexei Ponikarovsky found the net with 11:59 to go to slice the Islander lead in half at 2-1. In the third period, the Islanders added an insurance goal as John Tavares scored on the power play with 10:47 to go in regulation time to make it a 3-1 game. That's how it ended as the visiting Islanders came away with a road win.

They announced another sellout crowd of 17,625 which consisted of some Islander fans who left the building happy after they saw their team win.

Stay tuned for a bunch of special posts that I'm going to do that will recap the rest of the week that we spent at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia with some very special people. Please bear with me as I continue to find the time to play catch up.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Friday, April 19, 2013

2013 NFL Schedule

Please see the link below for all the details.

If and when you need my expertise in planning your 2013 football road trips please feel free to contact me.

Please note the games times are listed in EASTERN TIME.

I plan to dissect the schedule to put together the most creative trip plans that the schedule allows.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 4/15

Here's the game plan:

Monday April 15th Rays at Red Sox 11:05AM

                              Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Pawtucket Red Sox 6:15PM

Tuesday April 16th Diamondbacks at Yankees 7:05PM

Wednesday April 17th Diamondbacks at Yankees 7:05PM

Thursday April 18th Diamondbacks at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday April 19th Nationals at Mets 7:10PM

Saturday April 20th Nationals at Mets 3:05PM

Sunday April 21st Nationals at Mets 1:10PM

                            Cardinals at Phillies 8:05PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 4/8 in review. In addition, I plan to finish doing a series of special posts that will recap our amazing opening week to the baseball season. Please bear with me as I try my best to play catch up. It's going to take some time though. Trust me it will be worth the wait.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Royalty returns to NYC to see the Mets open up their season on April Fool's Day!

First & foremost, if you're a regular reader and/or follower of my blog you know I don't joke around too often on here. I'm a person who keeps it real every day of the year even on April Fool's Day.

With that being said, here's the way we spent our first day of April.

Since we had to get to George Bush Intercontinental Airport early to catch our flights back home to the NYC area, so we didn't have time to get a great night sleep. Of course that was part of the game plan in order to make this tight schedule work out. Thankfully we stayed close to the airport so we went to the car rental center and we returned the car we rented for the weekend from Alamo first. It wound up costing a mere $36.97 for the two days. A royal deal indeed. I couldn't believe it when I had booked it. Other companies wanted double or triple that price for the Easter weekend. I wound up driving 550 miles safely.

We proceeded to get on the shuttle bus that took us to the terminal so we could catch our flights back home. Since our pal Bryan Gilligan used frequent miles he had to fly back to Newark, NJ while the King and I flew to LaGuardia Airport. Bryan's flight left at 6:17AM and our's left at 7:25AM. As a result, Bryan who left his car in Newark by the airport got back first. By doing so, he said he arranged to come to LaGuardia Airport to pick us up. He got in early which worked to our advantage. He contacted us and he left us a voice mail so we knew when to expect him. Luckily the King & I also got in early thanks to United Airlines who made our lives less stressful on this day. As usual, we had no margin for error so we needed any break we could get. In addition, there was another twist to the story. Our pal Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk arranged to come back to NYC too. He flew back on his own on US Airways to LaGuardia Airport and he had a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina. His flight out of Houston left at 5:20AM local time. He was scheduled to land in LaGuardia at 11:51AM which was five minutes earlier than the King & I. Since US Airways is located at a separate terminal, we told Bryan to get him first. Bryan got to LaGuardia really fast and he rode around. He wound up picking us up first since we got in 15 minutes early. We then circled back around to get Steve. We wound up waiting a few more minutes. Shortly thereafter, the Padre Punk dressed up in his Padre jersey came towards us. Just before he got in the car he put his hand up to stop a local car service car so he could get into Bryan's car. Needless to say, the driver had something nasty to say to Steve. Steve gets in the car and says doesn't that guy know who I am. I'm the Padre Punk. It was hilarious.

Bryan proceeded to drive us over to Citi Field which is right nearby. We wound up parking the car on 114th Street just before Northern Blvd at 12:20PM. We walked over to the ballpark with plenty of time to make it there for first pitch at 1:10PM which wound up being at 1:13PM. We passed by the left field gate which was pretty empty. The King & I decided to keep walking to the Rotunda area which is behind home plate where we usually go when we get off the subway when we take the 7 train to the game.

Sam Citron
The main reason we did that was because we wanted to see our pal and avid reader and follower of my blog, Sam Citron. To be perfectly honest, that was the highlight of the day. The last time we saw him was at the end of September. He told us he had a rough winter. He had some health issues but thankfully he's back and ready to work all the games this year at Citi Field. We were so happy and elated to hear that. As usual, he greeted us in royal fashion. He said and I quote "it's always a pleasure." We told him the same. With that being said, baseball is now officially back at home for us.

My ticket to Mets Opening Day at Citi Field
We proceeded to walk inside at 12:30PM which gave us plenty of time to get upstairs to our season seats in section 516 row 3. We were greeted by some familiar faces as people who have had season tickets like us since Citi Field opened in 2009 were on hand. It's always nice to see people we recognize by face not necessarily by name.

Prince at Citi Field in time for Opening Day
In addition, we received visits from people we know. I'm referring to Ralph & Vincent Ascanio, Cory Zimmerman, Andy Weinstein who we met back in March 2000 when we were sitting next to him on our flight to Tokyo, Japan to see the Mets open their season there.

Speaking of openers, the King has been at every Met opener since 1977. As for me, I've been to every one since 1982. This time we really cut it close but thankfully it worked out for us. Andy Weinstein chimed in that this was his 40th consecutive one. We're all true die hard Met fans if you will.

Furthermore, we were also joined by our pals Eddie Pelle & Fredy Sanchez. They had offered to pick us at the airport before the game. Thanks to Bryan we didn't need to take them up on their generous offer.

Moreover, I saw our pal Alan Gimpel who also has season tickets for the Mets as well as the Jets, Knicks and Rangers. He helped me make it possible to get a Ranger ticket for another buddy of mine, David Curtin who's a firefighter and a big Met and Ranger fan. Thanks to Alan I was able to fulfill my promise of securing a Ranger ticket for their game that night against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden for David who got to see his favorite teams play and win the double dip. I wound up getting the ticket from Alan who held it just in case I had a problem getting back from Houston. Luckily everything worked out as it was scripted by me.

As for the game we saw, the Mets looked like World Champions. For whatever reason, they usually do on Opening Day. In matter of fact, they have the best record of any team since 1970. They rarely lose when they open the season home or away.

It should be noted since their inception in 1962, they had lost their first eight openers. In 1970, they finally won their first opener in Pittsburgh at Forbes Field.

This time they had their hitting shoes on as they beat up the visiting San Diego Padres, 11-2 much to the Padre Punk's chagrin.

The Mets were backed by a solid pitching performance by Jonathon Niese who went six and two thirds innings to pick up his first victory of the season. He was supported by plenty of timely clutch hitting as the Mets got five two out hits and newly acquired outfielder Collin Cowgill hit a grand slam to round out the scoring. As for the Padres, Yonder Alonso hit a solo home run.

Stay tuned for the next installment of that day as the King and I went out to Newark, NJ to see the Devils play.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Royalty officially opens the 2013 Major League Baseball season in Houston, Texas on Easter Sunday!

Live Peacock on Easter Sunday morning
Sunday morning after getting a much needed good night sleep, the King, Bryan Gilligan & I checked out of the Motel 6 we stayed at in Cedar Park, Texas. We were 175 miles from our final destination for the day that being Houston. We made some pit stops along the way before we arrived there.

Being it was Easter Sunday, I thought to myself earlier in the week that maybe I'll see a bunny hopping around for the occasion. Much to my chagrin, we had no such luck. Ironically though as we were walking out of the hotel to go to the car in the parking lot, all of a sudden we saw a peacock with a very long tail wandered around. We were in disbelief. What a way to start the day.

After we took pictures of it, we lost track of it as it disappeared into grassy area which was somewhat hilly. It was quite a scene to say the least.

After that thrill, we put our luggage into the car and we went on our way towards Houston. We drove down the road about 7 miles until we got to Interstate 35. Once we got on there, we saw an IHOP so we stopped off to have a royal breakfast. We weren't alone as there were a bunch of people waiting to be seated. We went inside and I gave them my name. They said it will be a 10 minute wait and that's what it wound up being as we finally got a table. I decided to have their split decision breakfast which consisted of two eggs, bacon, ham which I was able to substitute for sausage, a few slices of french toast and a few pancakes. It turned out to be a sound choice. It was excellent. After we finished eating we got back on the road. Shortly thereafter, we stopped again because we were right outside of Round Rock which is where the Texas Rangers' Triple A farm club plays. They're known as the Express of the Pacific Coast League nowadays. They play at a ballpark called the Dell Diamond. Back in May 2000, the King and I saw a game there. At that time, the Express was in the Texas League which was Double A ball.

After we took a few pictures and looked around, we got back in the car and we continued towards Houston. We arranged to meet up with our pal Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk Punk who was already there because he went to the Rocket game after we met him in San Antonio on Saturday afternoon. We told him we'll meet him around 4PM by Minute Maid Park which is the home of the Astros who now play in the American League. They spent their first 50 years of existence in the National League.

As we were driving we decided to stop off at our hotel, Days Inn, which was located in a town called Humble which was 4 miles from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and about 20 miles from downtown where the ballpark is. We wound up getting there around 2PM. Luckily our room was clean so we were able to check in early. It worked out well. We were able to get situated. Once we were done we got back in the car and we drove to downtown. Steve said he was already there hanging out in the center field area where a fan fest was being held on the street right the ballpark. They had different stands set up and there was musical entertainment for everybody to enjoy.

We wound up parking the car on the street for free like Steve did. We were a short walk from the ballpark. We went to the box office first to see if they had any tickets available for the game since we decided to wait until we arrived there since the ticket prices were rather steep online. Steve had bought a ticket online from Ticketmaster for $50 he said a month in advance. We wound up getting three tickets for $20 each that were way out in right field. They were also selling standing room for the same price which was anywhere on the first level. All we cared about was getting into the ballpark as cheap as possible.

We were all excited & relieved once we had our tickets in hand at 3:30PM. We got in contact with Steve and we met up with him. We all decided to take a walk around to see if we could get something to eat for dinner before we went inside the ballpark.

Royalty collides with Qualty Tours
After passing up a few places, we wound up going to a restaurant called the Hearsay Gastro Lounge. We all decided to get burgers for dinner. It turned out to be a sound decision after all.

Once we finished we had to dodge some rain drops as we walked back to the ballpark to go see the game. We split up once we got inside. I decided to hang out with Steve who calls himself, West Coast Quality Tours. He lives out in Anaheim, California. He's in the midst of trying to get to all 122 current venues in the four major sports that being baseball, football, basketball and hockey. He just went passed the midway mark during the week while he was in Texas. I was happy to be apart of his quality experience. We walked all around the first level and Steve took numerous pictures which he's going to share on his Facebook page. He also likes to tweet on Twitter. His handle is @rstones199 in case you want to follow him as he continues to complete his quest for 122.

Prince looking out from Crawford Boxes 
After taking the quality tour, we went upstairs to the upper level where we met up with the King. Steve went to his seat in section 420 row 1 and I joined the King who found a few empty seats in row 11. We lucked out as people didn't show up for the seats so we got to sit behind home plate like we always do.

National Anthem
We got settled in just in time as they announced the players during a special pre game ceremony, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Shortly thereafter, American Country singer Lyle Lovett sung the National Anthem. He later sang God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch which was followed by a Lone Star State favorite called Deep in the Heart of Texas. I love hearing that tune when I go to Texas. It's a local tradition.

Bud Norris delivers first pitch at 7:08PM CT
As for the game we saw, the Astros got off to a good start as they beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 8-2 to win their first ever American League game which was historical in more ways than one as the Astros also got their 4,000th franchise win before a sellout crowd of 41,307 which was comprised of fans of both teams as people made the trip to see their Rangers play.

Some of the highlights for the Astros included Bud Norris picking up his first victory. He allowed two runs in five & two thirds innings of work. Erik Bedard got a "real" save, the first of his career as he wound up pitching the last three and a third innings of shutout relief to help secure the win. Center fielder Justin Maxwell led the way as he hit two triples & he drove in two runs. Rick Ankiel made his Astro debut in style as he hit a pinch hit three run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning which put the game away right after the Rangers cut the lead to 4-2.

Stay tuned for the next installment as we made our way back home Monday morning in order to get to Citi Field to see the Mets open their season against the San Diego Padres in their home opener. Please bear with me as I try to find the time to recap the adventure in detail. It will be worth the wait.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

 Gary Herman

Monday, April 8, 2013

Royalty goes to Cedar Park to see Texas Stars play hockey!

Prince at Cedar Park Center
After getting a taste of baseball in the afternoon in San Antonio at the Alamodome, I drove the King and our pal Bryan Gilligan another 100 miles to Cedar Park, Texas which is located about 20 miles northwest of Austin, which is the state capital. By doing so, we got to see AHL hockey as the Texas Stars, the Dallas Stars' affiliate, were taking on the Grand Rapids Griffins, the farm club of the Detroit Red Wings which happens to be the King's favorite hockey team at the Cedar Park Center.

As for Steve Fekete, he left us and he drove back to Houston where he went to see the Rockets play the Clippers at the Toyota Center in downtown.

Before we got to the arena, we stopped off at a Whataburger that was seven miles away to have a pre game meal since we were starving from not eating much all day due to all the traveling we did since we left home early in the morning.

As for the game we saw, the Griffins scored the first goal of the game as Jan Mursak lit the lamp with 5:44 to go in the first period to make it 1-0. The Stars got the equalizer as Justin Dowling scored to tie the game at one a minute and 27 seconds later. The Stars got a late goal with just 8 seconds to go in the period to take a 2-1 lead thanks to Travis Morin who redirected a beautiful pass from Colton Sceviour to change the complexion of the game. In the second period, neither team scored. In the third period, Matt Fraser of the Stars added an insurance goal which made it a 3-1 game with 6:23 to go. That's how it ended thanks to goaltender Jack Campbell of the Stars who made 42 saves which enabled his team to emerge victorious as the sellout crowd of 6,462 went home happy.

After the game, thankfully I booked rooms at Motel 6 which was only three miles from the arena since we were all exhausted. With that being said, we were able to get a much needed good night sleep.

Please stay tuned for the special post that will detail how we spent our Easter Sunday in the Lone Star State.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Royalty goes to the Lone Star State to see baseball & hockey over Easter weekend!

After I went to see the Knicks beat up the Bobcats at Madison Square Garden Friday night, I came home to get some sleep. By the time I got myself packed and ready for our getaway to the Lone Star State, the King came home from Philadelphia just before midnight. Our friend Bryan Gilligan drove him there & back. Luckily they saw a very fast game which allowed them to get back so quickly. Despite that, the King decided he wasn't going to go to sleep. While he stayed up, I went to my room to get a few hours. He woke me up shortly after 3AM so we could get to LaGuardia Airport to catch our 5:30AM Eastern time flight to Houston, Texas on United Airlines.

We walked over to the bus stop which is about a mile or so from where we live in Astoria. We didn't want to risk waiting a while for the N train to go two stops to Astoria Blvd. Shortly thereafter, we caught the M60 bus that took us to the airport. It worked out well as we got to the gate after going through security with plenty of time to spare. We met up with our pal Bryan Gilligan who joined us for this royal roadie. He wound up leaving his car at Newark Airport in New Jersey because he was flying back there on Monday morning. Stay tuned for further details in a later post as I recap the rest of our adventurous weekend.

Thanks to United Airlines we got in earlier than scheduled. We arrived around 20 minutes early at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston around 8:10AM Central time. With that being said, we had some margin for error. Based on the tight game plan I made, we needed any break we could get in order for this journey to be a complete success.

Once we got off the plane and into the terminal we walked around for a while following the signs to ground transportation, we finally got the shuttle bus to the car rental center which is located just outside the airport area. Upon arrival, I proceeded to go to Alamo to pick up the car I reserved for the weekend. I went right to the kiosk so I could serve myself because there were a few people on line waiting to see an agent for assistance. I didn't want to waste the time we made so I took matters into my own hands. A few minutes later, we walked out to the area where the cars were and I got to pick out a mid size car. I decided to take a Chrysler 200 that was available. It worked out well since it only had 898 miles on it. In addition, it was equipped with a Sirius satellite radio which was a royal treat.

Once we left the airport area, we proceeded to drive just over 200 miles to San Antonio where we were going to see an exhibition baseball game at the Alamodome. The Texas Rangers were hosting what they called Big League weekend as they were playing the San Diego Padres in a few preseason games. They played Friday night and Saturday afternoon. By doing so, it gave us a reason to take a three hour ride to see a baseball game even if it was indoors. We arrived within walking distance of the Alamodome around Noon. We proceeded to drive around the vicinity to see if we could find a place to park for free. After riding around a short time, we achieved our goal. We passed a number of parking areas that were charging $20 to park. Thankfully we lucked out on the street.

After we parked the car, we walked over to the Northwest gate area and we wound up meeting up with our pal Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk. Steve was already in San Antonio because he flew in from his home in Anaheim, California earlier in the week so he could see a slew of sporting events all week long in the Lone Star State.

Derek Holland delivers first pitch at Alamodome
As always it was great to see him again. We all got tickets outside and then we proceeded to inside to see the game and the first pitch which was delivered by Derek Holland of the Rangers at 1:07PM local time.

Ironically the last time the King and I went to the Alamodome was back on April 3,1999 when the Spurs played the Clippers while they were waiting for their new arena to be built. Quite amazingly, it was part of Easter weekend that year too. After that game, we drove back to Dallas so we could catch a flight to Monterrey, Mexico Sunday morning where the King & I started the baseball season as the San Diego Padres opened up playing the Colorado Rockies who had the late Darryl Kile on the mound that night. Unfortunately we didn't know Bryan or Steve at the time. We also flew back to Dallas that Monday morning so we could go to Arlington to see the Texas Rangers play the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day. By doing so, we saw the first National League and first American League game of the season. That was a very memorable weekend to say the least.

This time around was memorable as well. You'll see how it unfolded as I continue to write a few more special posts that will sum it up.

As for the game we saw in San Antonio, the Rangers wound up beating the Padres much to Steve's chagrin, 5-2. Like Steve said it doesn't count, it's exhibition. Third baseman Jeff Baker gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a two run double to right center. The Rangers extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when second baseman Leury Garcia hit a three run home run to right field which was only 285 feet away down the line due to the configuration of the building. Outside of that, the dimensions were very major league like. The Padres broke the shutout in the top of the fifth inning when lead off hitter Chris Denorfia hit a solo home run to right center with two out to make it a 5-1 game. He also lead off the eighth inning with a solo shot this time to right to round out the scoring in front of an impressive crowd of 40,569 which was slightly more than the 34,000 plus they announced Friday night for the first game. With that being said, this Big League weekend idea turned out to be a huge success.

Stay tuned for the next segment of our excursion as we drove another 100 miles to see a minor league hockey game in Cedar Park, Texas.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 4/8

Here's the game plan:

Tuesday April 9th 76ers at Nets 7:30PM

Wednesday April 10th Bruins at Devils 7:30PM

Friday April 12th Orioles at Yankees 7:05PM

Saturday April 13th Braves at Nationals 1:05PM

                              Akron Aeros at Bowie Bay Sox 6:35PM

Sunday April 14th Richmond Flying Squirrels at Trenton Thunder 1:05PM

                            Orioles at Yankees 8:05PM

Check back to see how it played out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 4/1 in review. I'm planning to do a bunch of special posts that we'll recap our amazing start to the baseball season which started in the state of Texas. Please bear with me as I try my best to play catch up. Trust me it will be worth the wait.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Royalty w/o 3/25 in review

Prince at MSG for Knicks & Grizzlies

Monday night after work I went home since they were no local games going on in the area. It was nice to be home so I could make myself dinner and relax.

Tuesday night after work I wound up meeting up with the King, his mother, Bryan Gilligan, Frank Anichiarico, Phil Butleman and Al Linderman for dinner at Donovan's Pub. Since there were no games again in the area we all decided to meet up so we could do our annual baseball picks. We all took turns reading off our division winners for all of the six different divisions, three in each league. In addition, we all ranked how we thought the American League East and National League East divisions would finish at the end of the season. Furthermore, we all picked the team we thought will win the World Series.

As for me, I showed off my Natitude. With Stephen Strasburg ready to go the full season this year with no restrictions, I firmly believe the Nationals have a realistic chance of getting back to the post season in October. In addition, I expect my boy Gio Gonzalez to continue his climb to stardom like he did last year. He finished his first season as a National with a league leading 21 wins. I don't think he'll duplicate that this year but he should win his fair share to help the team reach their ultimate goal. We'll see how it plays itself out over the next six months.

Wednesday night after work I went to Charley's Subs in Penn Station for dinner before I headed upstairs to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks host the Memphis Grizzlies who were making their only appearance at the World's Most Famous Arena this season.

With that being said, I got to catch up with my pal Eric Hasseltine who is the play by play announcer for the Grizzlies and he has been for every game since they moved to Memphis back in 2001. He was joined by former NBA player Elliot Perry who was does some of the games as the color commentator. Ironically it was the night before Elliot's birthday. I told him I hope the Grizzlies win so he gets an early birthday present. He said that would be nice. Socks as he was known during his playing days, is a great guy. I got to speak to both of them for a short time before they went on the air to call the game back in Memphis on 92.9 ESPN Radio. That station is also the home of the Eric Hasseltine Show which airs M-F 2-4PM Central time. In the Eastern time zone I tune in online from 3-5PM. I've become a regular listener since the beginning of January once I figured out that I could tune in and listen to him online at work. Eric does a tremendous job. He has me hooked every afternoon in the office. It truly is the best two hours of my work day. I try my best to pay close attention to the show hoping that my work load isn't too distracting for me because Eric really knows his stuff. I'm not just trying to toot his horn. I'm a tough critic. When I really like something, I like to give credit where it's due. I sincerely love his show. When I spoke to him I told him how much I enjoy it from his opening introduction with his producer Ben Hogan aka @notthegolfer on Twitter, the Analyst Tuesday segment each week to the rapid fire that he does in the last segment to end each show. In between, he usually has a number of guests that come on and when time allows he takes calls and he reads off tweets from his followers on Twitter. To follow him, go to @EricHasseltine. As for Socks, he can be found at @ElliotPerry34. Tune in for yourself and I think you'll become an avid listener like me.

As for the game we saw, the Grizzlies played with Marc Gasol who was a late addition to the line up. Unfortunately he didn't inspire his teammates who got off to a 3-0 lead but it was all down hill from there as the Knicks shot the lights out from all over the court especially from behind the three point arc where they made 13 treys for the game. Most of them came in the first half when they scored 69 points to go into halftime up by 28, 69-41. The Grizzlies were literally blown out of the building. Their grit grind style of basketball didn't exist in the first 24 minutes. In the second half, they finally woke up but by then it was too little too late as the Knicks escaped with a 108-101 victory. The Grizzlies cut the lead to 5 late in the game but they just couldn't overcome the hole they dug for themselves as they split the season series with the Knicks. The King and I were at the FedEx Forum back in November for that Grizzlie win. This was payback time for the Knicks.

J.R. Smith led the scoring assault as he lead all scorers with 35 points. Carmelo Anthony added 22 of his own. It should be noted that Iman Shumpert was the real difference maker especially early in the game as he hit six treys as he finished with 16 points that was pivotal in setting the tone for the night for the Knicks. It helped that the Grizzlies' defense couldn't keep up with the Knicks who had one open shot after another.

As for the Grizzlies, Mike Conley had a team high 26 points while Jerryd Bayless had 24. It should be noted Tony Allen played well in the lackluster team performance. Marc Gasol playing due being hurt finished with 13 points.

Eric Hasseltine & Elliot Perry doing post game show

After the game, I said my farewell to Eric & Elliot after the disheartening loss. Eric said they have trouble playing well on the road.

Thursday night after work I came home again. The timing was good because I needed to get ready for my weekend getaway.

Friday night after work I went back to the Garden to see the Knicks take on the Charlotte Bobcats. The King and our pal Bryan Gilligan drove down to Philadelphia. They went to see the Phillies play the Blue Jays in an exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park.

Bryan said and I quote "this was probably the best game I'll see all year." It's funny since the regular season hadn't even started yet. It's hard to argue with him. They saw a 1-0 Blue Jay win that took a mere 2 hours and 5 minutes to play even with numerous changes.

As for the game I saw, the Knicks played a game that was eerily similar to the game they played against the Grizzlies. This time they put up 69 points again in the first half as they lead by 22 at halftime, 69-47. They only made nine shots from beyond the arc for the game this time. In the second half, the Knicks slacked off as they knew they had the game in hand since the Bobcats aren't nearly as good as the Grizzlies. They were right as it turned out. The Knicks went on to beat the Bobcats, 111-102.

Once again J.R. Smith led all scorers. This time he poured in 37 points. Carmelo Anthony contributed 32.
As for the Bobcats, Gerald Henderson led the way with 35 points. Kemba Walker who's from the Bronx had 16 points in his homecoming.

Stay tuned for the special posts I'm going to do regarding our Easter weekend getaway. Please bear with me as I try to find time to do them.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

Monday, April 1, 2013

Royalty schedule w/o 4/1

Here's the game plan:

Monday April 1st Padres at Mets 1:10PM Opening Day

                            Islanders at Devils 7PM

Wednesday April 3rd Padres at Mets 7:10PM

Thursday April 4th Red Sox at Yankees 7:05PM

Friday April 5th Marlins at Mets 7:10PM

Saturday April 6th Marlins at Mets 1:10PM

                             Royals at Phillies 7:05PM

Sunday April 7th Marlins at Mets 1:10PM

Check back to see how it turned out.

Hope all my readers and followers have a great week.

As always, if you need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Stay tuned for my w/o 3/25 in review. In addition, I plan to do some special posts that we'll recap our adventurous start to the baseball season.

If you like to tweet you can follow me on Twitter too. @royaltytoursusa

Furthermore, we can hook up on Facebook and/or Four Square as well.

With all the ways to communicate these days, we should always be in touch.

Remember team work makes the dream work.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman