It’s not the Hilton, but it’s close
I thought today would be the perfect day to give a quarterly update.
The best stories more or less tell themselves. I’m just the guy pointing this one out because, really, isn’t the whole point of the internet to tell dumb stories and stalk quasi-friends on social networks?
So last night, the TinCaps were playing the Burlington Bees at Parkview Field, one of the nicest parks in the Midwest League, if not all of the minor leagues. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Burlington made a defensive switch in their outfield, which is a little weird because teams usually don’t take position players out of the game unless somebody is hurt. Unbeknownst to us (but knownst to the Bees), there was an unbelievable story brewing. I’ll get to that in a minute.
The game continued until the middle of the seventh inning, when lightning started striking pretty close to the park. The umpires pulled the teams off the field, the grounds crew pulled the tarp over the field and rain came. During the rain delay, three or four firefighters came walking across the field and into the Burlington dugout, carrying Paul Bunyan-type axes and Peter Gabriel-type sledgehammers. We figured it wasn’t a total emergency because they weren’t running, but it piqued our interest.
Next thing I know, we hear loud banging noises coming from that direction. About 10 minutes later, Tony DesPlaines comes walking into the radio booth and says he has a sneaking suspicion that the defensive substitution and the firefighters were related events. Needing eyewitness confirmation, I went to the source for some of the most ridiculous stories I’ve ever heard: Chris Watson. Sure enough, he delivered the goods.
Apparently what happened was this: Hilton Richardson, who was playing center field, grounded out to lead off the top of the fifth inning. He went into the bathroom behind the visiting dugout and locked the door behind him. When he tried to get out, the lock apparently jammed and he was trapped in the cave-like bathroom. His teammates heard him pounding on the door, but there isn’t a keyhole on the door, so there was no way to get him out from the outside, other than to basically disassemble the door handle. Tim Burkhart tried for about 20 minutes to pick it open with a screwdriver, but no luck. Meanwhile, with his center fielder trapped in the toilet, Bees manager Jim Gabella had to put nine guys on the field, so he made the defensive change. Burkhart called the fire department and they used everything they had to free Richardson from the bathroom. When they finally got the door open, Richardson was standing there, done for the night, propped against the sink, arms folded, soaked in sweat (it was humid and the heat index was about 102 at game time), thoroughly disgusted with life.
And that’s the story of how the bathroom at Parkview Field is a home-field advantage.
Also on this homestand, Jonathan Galvez hit three homers in a game to tie a franchise record (and has been overswinging ever since) and the TinCaps came back from a 7-1 deficit to win.
Today, Sugar Ray Marimon is pitching for Burlington. Nothing would surprise me at this point. As the great Clark Griswold said, “Eddie, if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am right now.”
Your Dave Hutte status update: Dave Hutte needs a haircut. Woke up today looking like a mad scientist.
And now, musical guest… Sugar Ray!