Where I live, Citizens Bank Park is 20 minutes away. So yeah, in terms of Major League baseball, my town has its mind made up. However, when people around town feel like going to see a game that's like a Phillies game, only with more of a chance of losing, they go to see the Camden Riversharks, the local minor league affliliate. Which is exactly what I did last night, on a whim.
I've been going to Sharks games since I was very young. Matter of fact, the first time I ventured out to see a game there, I had an interesting encounter with a flying bat, which is a story for another day. But I've been there a million times ever since, from enjoying as a kid to enjoying it as a teenager.
What I love about these games now is the number of ex-major leaguers playing or managing. Last night, Ron Karkovice was managing, and among the players in the game were Reid Gorecki (former Tampa Bay Ray). They were playing the Long Island Ducks, and yes, those were the guys that had Rickey Henderson for a year about a decade ago. Before you ask, yes of course I saw him play, and it was awesome. He even stole a base against the Riversharks.
And the amount of stardom in the local division doesn't end there. Scott Kazmir, Armando Benitez, Timo Perez, Tim Redding and Brian Barton all lie on other teams in the division, and that's just scraping the surface. Of course, another team in that league is the Sugar Land Skeeters, and you probably know why I'm bringing them up. If Roger sticks around with that team I will snap up as many Sharks tix as possible whenever they're in town, just to see Roger Clemens pitch.
It was a fairly slow game, and it was nice because we had really good seats. Camden isn't the nicest part of Jersey to say the least, but the stadium's nice and the concessions aren't that bad. Besides, they have Chickie's and Pete's Crab Fries, a staple of Philly-area sports parks.
The Riversharks ended up losing 4-2, but it was still a great game. We got to see Ron Karkovice absolutely flip his lid when the pitcher was ejected for allegedly intentionally hitting a batter. Oh boy. It took three umpires to calm him down, but only one to throw him out, which didn't help matters. What a show. They should advertize that instead of the game. Of course, then it'd just be hockey (awaits boos from Canadians).
I go to the Sharks games to have a good time, and to spend my night watching players who roam the field simply just to play again. And it's pretty nice.