Saturday, February 23, 2008

Baseball, veggies, & beer

Groundhog Day as a harbinger of spring?

Other than being a funny flick, the Pennsylvania ceremony makes little sense to me. (And yes, I realize the whole thing is tongue-in cheek.) When the groundhog saw his shadow, shouldn't that imply the presence of sunlight, and thus a promise of more to come —rather than continued winter's gloom, as the Punxsutawney critter's handlers proclaimed?

But when baseball begins its spring training: ah, that's a visceral indication that, yes, indeed, the hours of daylight are increasing.

Anyway ...

Last year, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers was the youngest player — at 23 years old — ever to have hit 50 home runs in a season. He is 6 feet tall, and weighs over 260 pounds.

And, he has announced —wait for it, wait for it, WAIT FOR IT— that he is a vegetarian. At least he has been since February 3rd, of this year. (Maybe Fielder should have a talk with Roger Clemens, who doesn't know what that is, nor other things, it turns out. But that's another story.)

Here's more:

Diet fit for a Prince
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
20 February 2008

And speaking of baseball, how about some good beer—good, local, fresh beer—at the new Washington Nationals Ballpark?

It has been a drought during the team's past two years at RFK Stadium. The concessionaire there —Aramarkdid not offer local, fresh beer anywhere in the stadium. Ironically, this very same concessionaire has been pouring local beer at the Orioles' Camden Yards, barely 40 miles north in Baltimore.

For 2008, the Nationals have hired a different group to handle the food and drink at their sparkling new ballpark: Centerplate of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Before I go further, I should point out, in the interest of transparency, that I have a potential pint to pour, so to speak, in this discussion.

If local beer were to be offered at Nationals Park—and specifically that of my employer, Clipper City Brewing Company—my sales commission might cover the cost of a nice new fedora or a Kent Wang pocket square. But this post today reflects my personal opinion, and not that of the Clipper City Brewing Company.

I have spoken with a Centerplate representative. And I believe that there may indeed be national (I know, bad pun) choices at the new ballpark other than Bud, Miller, Coors, and their international doppelgängers.

But will Centerplate bring in fresh, local beer? I don't know.

If you're a D.C.-area baseball fan and a fan of fresh local beer, why not call or write Centerplate? It can't hurt. Indeed, the company's website states: "Centerplate is in the business of creating something special for major and minor league sports facilities."

201 East Broad Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
The Washington National's Opening Day —at 8:15 at night— is Sunday, 30 March, against the Atlanta Braves. Opening day tickets—and all single home game tickets—go on sale 4 March.

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