On July 15th and 16th, I attended 2.5 Iowa Cubs games.
Monday night my sister and I were walking up to the ticket window but some dude gave us his internet tickets. "They're like front row or something", he said, and indeed they were - front row over the visitors' bullpen, which was one of those foul territory pile of dirt bullpens. So the pitchers kind of stand around in front of you and it really takes all you have to not talk to them. Well, for me it's hard. I kept looking them up and whispering to Sister.
"Psst - that guy's name is Steve!"
So the cool part is that I noticed a familiar face in uniform (the Round Rock Express, that is). It was Ron Jackson! I couldn't believe it! I yelled out "Papa Jack!" and waved to him. He smiled and waved back... I was so glad to see him. He was sorely wronged by Boston. They should have just paid him what he wanted! ("Somebody's gonna pay! Somebody's gonna pay!")
The Iowa Cubs won that game, 9-4. Or 10-4. Matt Murton made some great plays in right field. Other I-Cubs: Eric Patterson, Felix Pie, Carlos Marmol, Ronny Cedeno, Geovany Soto. Their manager? Former PawSox blowhard Buddy Bailey! I guess he's the Lou Piniella of AAA.
Tuesday was a suspended game make-up at five, followed by a second seven-inning game. After driving through cornfields all day, I got to the park just in time for the make-up game. It was cool because the Cubs became the visiting team and everyone was put back on base and a couple of outs were put on the board, just like the game was frozen in time in Texas and then resurrected in Des Moines. And it was so hot that day.
Round Rock started the game behind, 7-3, but managed to catch up to Iowa. Extra innings, then Iowa won. Game two: Extra innings AGAIN, but Round Rock got this one. What should have been seven innings turned into thirteen.
Principal Park's pretty nice. I'd post my photos, but they're not great.