They drink beer in the Northwest League? (but not in Vancouver)
There are things that go on in every ball park in America during the summer – hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cold beer for the fans. For the players – the daily grind of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Power Bars for a pregame meal and a trip to Denny’s after the game (maybe an Applebee’s if the group is lucky).
For the coaches and staff (and I get in on this one) – most teams provide some sort of postgame spread. Typically it is hot dogs and hamburgers – Yakima busted out some of their outstanding Teriyaki Chicken, Spokane will have a chicken sandwich or two, and here in Vancouver, they have foot-long Nathan’s hot dogs.
But with all of us staff members well over 21 years of age, the best thing to wash down the meal is with a cold beer – especially on those nights on the road when it is 100 degrees, the press box is 120 degrees and after an hour pregame show and a three hour game.
Unfortunately – it is something that we had to figure out on our own here in Vancouver, as the Canadians do not supply the visiting team (and I am guessing they probably do not supply their own team) with suds. Which saddens us, because Canadian beer is VERY good – especially the two breweries that are sponsors of the club – Whistler and Granville Island.
There was a time in which they did – and I remember it vividly. My first three years in the league, not only did the C’s provide beer to the clubhouse, they provided beer to the pressbox (of all places). I was talking with longtime C’s scorer, Pat Karl, yesterday about the old days, when following the game, we’d crack open a Molson and talk about the game. It was never abused by the pressbox or the media – a kind gesture for the hard work we all do for 76 days during a summer.
Not anymore – as our trusty bus driver Hal got to visit a local Liquor/Wine store (they do not sell beer at groceries in Canada) and purchase a 15-pack of Coors Light (have to stick with our sponsors), which cost $28.99.
The rest of the NWL takes a different approach. In Yakima, Budwiesers and pale ales from their local brewery are consumed, in Tri-City, the kind clubhouse attendant brings a pitcher of beer for the staff. Spokane, Everett, Eugene, and Salem-Keizer have a fridge with bottles or cans of their sponsors beer for the staff. Nothing is abused, just a beer to celebrate a great win or to help take away the bad taste of a loss. In Vancouver, though, we settle for the crystal canadian water (or the watered down Canadian version of Coors Light that we had to buy ourselves).
ROSTER NOTES: Prior to this afternoon’s game, the Cubs announced that left-hander Austin Kirk has been promoted to Class-A Peoria. Kirk, the third-round pick from 2009, was 4-5 with the Hawks, including a victory on Wednesday night vs. Everett in his final start of the season. He will join the Chiefs starting rotation. Matt Loosen will take the place of Kirk in the rotation. Juan Serrano made his scheduled appearance in Mesa last night, tossing three shutout innings, while Tarlandus Mitchell made his second rehab appearance, tossing two scoreless innings. Larry Suarez rejoined the team in Vancouver prior to last night’s game after his visa issues were resolved.
BATS ERUPT: The Hawks bats erupted last night, pounding out 16 hits in the 9-3 victory over the C’s. Pierre LePage had his first four-hit game as a professional and is now 7-for-9 in the series with a double, two triples, and three RBI. Micah Gibbs logged his third-straight multi-hit game, climbing his average to .155, while Alvaro Ramirez lined a single in the eighth, ending a season-long 0-for-11 slump.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Yesterday was also the 21st birthday for shortstop Elliot Soto, who was kept busy in the win, converting seven infield assists flawlessly. He also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
PAST FIVE INNINGS: For the first time this season, a Boise pitcher broke past the five inning barrier – and kind of by necessity. Cam Greathouse was nearly unhittable, allowing just two hard hit balls in six innings (one a double by Nino Leyja in the third, the other a fly ball out by Ryan Lipkin in the sixth), working to just two two-ball and one three-ball count. After five innings, Greathouse had thrown just 52 pitches (well below the 75 pitch limit Boise pitchers are on), so instead of wearing out the bullpen, the lefty went out for the sixth and retired the side in order on 13 pitches.
LOOKING AHEAD: Look for pictures from what was the Olympic Centre – the 2010 Olympics Curling venue, which is no longer a home for curling.