On the weekend of July 13-14 a couple of friends & I headed to Miller Park in Milwaukee,WI to catch two Brewers/Twins games. Here is my account of the trip.
July 13, 9:25am
We hit the road - we are all in good spirits - the Twins crushed the Brewers 13-5 last night. Our guy, Jacque Jones hit two home runs - including his first career grand slam - the twins hit 7 long balls in all. Rookie pitcher Kyle Loshe improved to 3-0.
July 13, 2:30pm
We arrive at our hotel in Milwaukee.
July 13, 5:35pm
We head out to Miller Park after grabbing a bite to eat. We are fully dressed in our Twins gear ready for a good time. The top of the roof structure is visible from about 3 miles away on 94E - you would not have caught a glimpse of County Stadium from this distance.
July 13, 6:29pm
We finally arrive in our parking space - the Brewers abviously need to work the kinks out of their parking situation - we spent about 45 minutes winding around in what seemed like an endless trail of cars - it made us a little edgy.
EDITORS NOTE: SIMPLYBASEBALLNOTEBOOK.COM HAS BEEN INFORMED THAT THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS HAVE SOLVED THEIR PARKING PROBLEMS SINCE OUR VISIT - MORE LOTS & ACESS HAVE BEEN ADDED.
July 13, 6:52pm
Our frustration with the parking situation was quickly forgotten after looking at the marvelous strucuture. We arrive in our seats which are, fittingly enough, in classic Bob Uecker location - the top row of the fourth deck behind the right field foul pole. At least we should have a great view when they close the roof at the end of the game. Overall the park was great but you do not get the airy, outdoor feeling that County Stadium had - the only thing to remind you that you are 'oudoors' when the roof is open is the triangle of sky that is visible when you look up.
July 13, 10:49pm
We are back in the parking lot after stopping by the loading dock where the visiting team boards their bus. The players seemed suprised & encouraged by the group of Twins fans that had gathered there. While we wait for the cars to clear our we enjoy a few refreshments & talk about the game. Brad Radke did not have his best stuff giving up home runs to Richie Sexson & Ron Belliard. Geoff Jenkins hit a mammoth shot of Eddie Guardado powering the Brew Crew to a 6-3 win. Our guy Jaque Jones provided a bright spot homering in the 9th. Tomorrow will be different though - the Twins will win & our seats will be much better. We did have a great view of the roof closing, as expected, it was impressive taking about 6 minutes - it is good to see taxpayer money at work.
July 14, 10:17am
We are up & getting ready for the day. We have to check out of our hotel by 11am & the game starts at 6pm - so we will have some time to see the sights of Milwaukee.
July 14, 2:35pm
We are cruising downtown Beer Town - we see the Pabst & Miller breweries as well as the Bradley Center, home of the Milwaukee Bucks. We aslo cruise down water street & check out a part of Lake Michigan.
July 14, 3:50pm
After stopping by a local watering hole, Kelly's Bleachers, we head into the park to watch batting practice. During that time we spent about 10 minutes chatting with Brewers middle relief pitcher Ray King.
King, a former Cub, noticed a woman near us wearing a Cubs jersey. He talked to her for a few minutes, during which time I said, 'hey Ray serve up some home run balls for us tonight' - once he finished chatting with the woman he came over by us & asked if one of us had something smart to say - I repeated the my statement - he resorted to calling us bandwagon fans - we explained that we were not - i told him that i even worked part time for the Twins. He asked if i wanted a cookie - I said, 'hey, working for the Twins, pitching for the Brewers - what's the difference.' He laughed & responded -'I've got a few more zeros on my paycheck.' He had me there.
Ray ended up being really cool - he told us about when he had been traded to the Brewers in '99: he was out in the bullpen before a game when then Cubs GM Ed Lynch came up & told him that he had been traded to Milwaukee & that someone would come by & give him the flight information. Simply business - he said that he had just been called up from Iowa(AAA) & never saw it coming.
King, a Chicago native, said he like playing in Milwaukee better becuse there were too many day games in Chicago & that he had 20-25 ticket requests from friends & family every game - he didn't miss that hassle.
He has found a home in Beer town,'it has worked out perfectly for me,' said King, 'I made my 45th appearance last night.' He would make his 46th later that night - getting the Brewers out of a bases-loaded jam.
July 14, 4:30pm
The Twins come out for batting practice, they all seemed to be having a great time - chatting with the fans, signing autographs, & tossing balls to the crowd.
Twins 1B Coach Jerry White chatted with us for a couple of minutes as we stood by in the first row next to the visitors dugout. He said that they were still awaiting word on the status of SS Cristian Guzman's Shoulder (he ended up on the 15 day disabled list) & that he has been as suprised as everyone else by the Twins play this year. 3B Coach Ron Gardenhire also walked by & commented on how beautiful the stadium was.
July 14, 6:06pm
The game has just started - our seats are must better this time - we are in the first row right behind the visitors bullpen. It was very interesting seeing the game from the perspective of the bullpen:
Eddie Guardado & Hector Carrasco playfully fought with each other throughout the game - bumping & pushing eachother. Latroy Hawkins, Jack Cressend, Guardado, & Carrasco passed the time tossing pieces of bubble gum at each other. There was also a lot of spitting going on - sunflower seeds, tobacco, etc. When the phone rang, it was kind of funny to see all of the pitchers perk up. Travis Miller, for instance, seemed to know the call was for him in the 7th - he got up before the official word had been issued.
July 14, 9:36pm
We have just reached our car - We parked on the street in a nearby neighborhood this time - it was a longer walk, but no wait. The Twins won 5-3 thanks to some strong pitching by Eric Milton & a clutch home run by Corey Koskie - the Hawk shut 'em down 1-2-3 in the 9th for the save. We recieved several cheers & high fives from fellow Twin's fans as we left the stadium. There were definately more Twins fans tonite than on Friday.
We now embark on the journey home - we decided to do it all at once instead of staying the night at a relatives.
July 15, 3:00am
I arrive home - the trip wasn't bad - we rotated drivers - I'm about to fall into bed & crash - we had a great time.