We have a tradition in our family that we started three years ago. On Mothers' Day, we go to 9:00 Mass, then we have lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, and we take in an afternoon baseball game. Our local team, the Frederick Keys, are an affiliate of the Orioles and always draw good crowds to their home games. So this year was no different - we went to church, had a delicious lunch, and then went to the game. Minor league games are very fun for the whole family, and my kids (who aren't huge baseball fans), love going to see the Keys. Aside from the game itself, they have a moon bounce, a merry-go-round, and other games and activities for the kids. And in between innings, they always have some sort of contest on the field to keep the crowd engaged. We had front-row seats today right behind the Keys' dugout, so I was able to say hi to their manager, fellow Puerto Rican Orlando Gomez. He was very friendly, and even talked with us a little bit after the game. The game itself was fun to watch, with the Keys winning 3-2 in 13 innings. The one thing I did not like was the number of times both teams used the intentional walk. The Wilmington Blue Rocks (my kids agreed that this was a dumb name for a team - what does their mascot do; just sit there?), well they intentionally walked players at least four times. Like I've said before, I can't STAND the intentional walk, and it's the first thing I am going to eliminate when I become Commissioner of baseball. But the game moved pretty quickly, and despite going into extra innings, was finished in a little over three hours. The weather was great, the kids had fun and got some autographs, my son got a bat from center fielder Miguel Abreu (also from Puerto Rico), and most importantly, we got front row seats for only $11 a piece. Please support your local minor league team; you will have a great time with your family!
In the Majors, Justin Verlander threw his second no-hitter yesterday, walking only one Blue Jay. You've heard me talk about his first no-hitter several times before, so I won't go into how Iván Rodriguez caught that one. That's old news. But I was happy for Verlander, whose no-hitter was the second one in the Majors this week. The not-so-good news involved Andre Ethier, whose consecutive-game hitting streak ended at 30 games. His batting average is still great; he has nothing to worry about. As far as the Nationals, they beat the Marlins yesterday but were shut out by them today; the Phillies and Braves play this evening (now I know what I'll be doing tonight instead of the laundry!), and the Orioles were swept by the Rays. Oh, and the Yankees beat the Rangers 12-5 today with Derek Jeter hitting two home runs. He's now at 2,956 hits, number 30 on the all-time hits list.
What else?...Oh, Willie Mays turned 80 yesterday (George Clooney had a birthday yesterday too!), but he no longer likes being called "The Say Hey Kid." I guess if you're Willie Mays, you can decide what you want and don't want to be called.
I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful day, and may you all have a fantastic week!