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A Few More Thoughts...

... about yesterday.

I'm home now, arrived about an hour ago. I wish I could have stayed for the rest of the weekend, but I have to be at work Sunday morning and this was a quick way of seeing a ballpark I hadn't seen before, plus see two games at once. That sets a new personal record for road games attended in one season -- 15 (one in Milwaukee, three each in Baltimore and Toronto, the three at the Ballmall, the three in San Juan and last night's DH).

I hope there will be a handful more to add to that total.

Today dawned gorgeous in Pittsburgh, so I walked around downtown. Pittsburgh has a reputation as being an ugly city, but it's really not -- the old steel days are gone, and they've gone a long way trying to beautify the riverfronts, and keep the downtown clean and have activity around.

I learned the Pennsylvania lottery jackpot for next Tuesday's drawing is $55 million, so I bought a few tickets. Why not?

Then I walked all around PNC, which I didn't have a chance to do last night; it's all covered in yellow limestone, which looks wonderful and is in keeping with the character of the region, and as I mentioned last night, the park really does look like the city grew up around it rather than the other way around. There's also a Hi-Tops across the street, just like at Wrigley Field. There were a few fans waiting around (this was at 2 pm, five hours till game time) for player arrivals, mostly Cub fans.

A couple more notes on last night: Jason Bay, the kid LF the Pirates got from the Padres in the Brian Giles trade, looks like the real deal. His 8 RBI were the most by a Pirate in one game since Ralph Kiner in 1950, and the most ever by a Canadian-born player. The Pirates play a host of silly scoreboard and trivia games, but the goofiest one is a trivia contest, where the contestant gets a $70 Pirate pullover if they guess right, and a Pirates cap if they guess wrong. Kicker: a la "Let's Make A Deal", they then get to trade it for something inside a "Pirate Treasure Box".

Contestant #1, who guessed right, traded his pullover for the box. In it was a CD of "Jim Nabors' Greatest Hits". Too funny!

Contestant #2 hit the jackpot. He got the question wrong, but traded his cap for the box and wound up with two round-trip tickets on ATA. Good deal!

I may have been a bit harsh on ATA on yesterday's airport problem, where they refused to endorse my ticket over to Northwest, although NWA took it anyway. Two different supervisors refused. You know, that's why Southwest has such a good reputation, because their employees are empowered to make decisions like this, rather than fall back on "policy".

Finally! Good news! Albert Pujols homered in the bottom of the 13th and the stupid Cardinals beat the Astros 3-2 despite leaving the bases loaded in both the 11th and 12th. So, if the Cubs win tonight, they'll be half a game out.

Hope lifts up its head and smiles.