Hello from Midland
After the ‘Riders and ‘Hounds played about as closely as two teams could in the first two series this season, the first couple of games in Midland have allowed fans to slouch back in their seats for the first time. Frisco fell in game one 9-2, and then rocked the ‘Hounds 13-6 last night, clubbing a season-high 20 hits along the way. No doubt the highlight was Mike Bianucci’s grand slam quickly followed by Jose Ruiz’s opposite field home run.
This is the second time the RoughRiders have made the trek to Midland this season. And as you can tell by these pictures I took after elbowing some tourists out of the way for a better view, Midland is a lush setting with great nightlife. Maybe that’s stretching the truth a bit, but in all seriousness, the RockHounds treat us well and run a good ship. After hosting the Texas League All-Star game last year, the RockHounds celebrate the 40th year of the franchise this season.
In the picture above you can see the long, horizontal building to the left. That’s the ballpark. In the picture below you can see the back of the team hotel. One of the great things about the ballpark here is that it’s in walking distance of the hotel (one of the best in the league). The only other park that can say the same thing is in Springfield.
Seems like when I take over the blog I tend to bring up the local eateries (you remember my Panera Bread kick in Tulsa). Well, here in Midland the options are slim. There are two restaurants in walking distance and one is a Japanese place. I’m a big lover of Asian cuisine, but the idea of Japanese food in Midland pushes my comfort zone. Maybe in the second half of the season I’ll give it a try (and of course a review would follow).
That leaves us with Clear Springs Cafe. All the players really like it and I understand why. They serve homemade classics and claim to have the best fried catfish around (although judging my the pictures above I’m not sure how much competition they have). It’s a good spot where I eat lunch literally everyday we’re in town. Below is a picture I took today in-between bites.
Tonight is game three from Citibank Ballpark at 6:30. Brandon Webb makes his second rehab start for the ‘Riders since his lost 2009 season. I interviewed him yesterday and that conversation will play today when Brian launches the pre-game show at 6:00 on the RoughRiders Baseball Network.
Talk to you then,