Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.
We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.
The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.
To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.
My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.