On The Road With the Isotopes… To Memphis (Day Four)
It is an absolutely gorgeous day for baseball in Memphis. The temperature is 86 degrees with a light breeze under a brilliant mid-south sun. Things are bit less sunny for the ‘Topes, who are in the midst of their first three-game losing streak of the season. Not only have they been losing, but each loss seems to be closer and more excruciating than the last. Case in point last night, where Albuquerque keep scratching back only to ultimately fall 5-4 when the Redbirds broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Still, it’s early and nobody is particularly concerned about the quality of this team long-term. Today’s starter Josh Lindblom was joking around in the clubhouse with catcher J.D. Closser and the overall mood of the team seems to be pretty light. Lindblom is one of those guys who is impossible not to like. He has an easy-going manner and an off-the-wall sense of humor that keeps everyone in the clubhouse laughing. Plus, he is remarkably down-to-earth despite the fact he’s considered one of the best young pitchers in the Dodgers’ system and is in Triple-A in just his second full professional season.
Since today is a day game following a night game, most of the players didn’t have to be to the ballpark until around 10:30 AM for some optional light work in the cage if they needed it. That left me time to dart across the street to The Peabody Hotel to catch the famous marching ducks. While I knew the ducks were a big deal, I was nevertheless surprised to find the lobby of the Peabody PACKED with people as early as 15 minutes before the ducks would take their walk from the elevator to the lobby fountain. As the elevator descended from the ducks’ penthouse home on the roof of the hotel, the lobby was filled with dramatic music until the doors of the elevator opened and the ducks, in what can best be described as a “duck jog,” marched along the red carpet to their awaiting fountain. Needless to say, due to the number of people and the pace of the ducks, getting a picture of the famous fowls proved difficult (see below) Once all five ducks had reached the fountain and were swimming comfortably, the entire lobby erupted into a raucous, yet respectful, applause that normally greets war heroes or astronauts. Scratch one more thing off the bucket list.
After today’s game, the ‘Topes will pack up and head to the airport for a 7:05 PM flight, which should put the team back in Albuquerque around 10:50 PM.
By the way, it’s time to get a win. Lindblom’s going to get it done.