Peanuts and Cracker Jack
It’s time for the NOLA Baby Cakes
The heat has arrived and with it is the need to stay inside in the air conditioning, which is why I find it funny that I’m telling you to do something outside in the eternal hellfire that is the New Orleans summer, but, hey, let’s just sweat together and have a good time like always.
The New Orleans Baby Cakes (36-40) are playing decent baseball so here are more than a few good reasons to go check them out at the Shrine on Airline.
OK fine, there are better reasons than beer to go check out the New Orleans Baby Cakes or any team for that matter, but, if you’ve read my column, you know suds walk hand-in-hand with sports and the Baby Cakes know that as well.
As a matter of fact, you can watch the Baby Cakes take on the Iowa Cubs tonight and enjoy two-for-one beers at the ballpark. If that don’t float your boat, you can also get two-for-one hot dogs or Good Humor ice cream. See? I told you there were good reasons to get out to the ballpark.
2. Baby Cakes Aren’t Bad
I was going to right that the “proof was in the pudding” but the team did take their lumps this past weekend, losing three of four games. Despite that however, this team can play some ball. As with most teams floating around the .500 mark, the season has had plenty of ups and downs, but the current 10-game home stand should be a good test to see how far this team has come along. The Baby Cakes need to get those W’s against the Iowa Cubs (26-48), a bottom-dwelling team that unfortunately has had the Baby Cakes number so far this year.
After the Cubs leave town, the Baby Cakes will welcome the Oklahoma City Dodgers (43-28), a team the Cakes are looking up at in the standings. The Dodgers are the sort of team the Cakes have to be successful against to gather any sort momentum in the second half of the season. The Cakes have dropped six of seven games to Oklahoma City this year. Speaking of six, the upcoming series versus the Dodgers is a only-in-the-minor-league mind-blowing six game affair. Yowza.
3. Winning is Fun!
Even though this is the minor league, the Pacific Coast League is one that is national in scope. Point being, it’s not like we’re going to travel that often to watch the Cakes so, bully for you, the Cakes are an impressive 22-13 at home. That’s the third best mark in the league and should stomp any naysaying, “They don’t win enough,” pseudo-fan’s complaining ways into the AstroTurf. Even though the Cakes play on a natural surface.
4. Somethin’s Always Goin’ On
As a kid, every time I would go see the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium I would always think, “I wonder if they’re giving anything away.” Of course, I would never get there in time but it’s fun to dream.
Anyway, from “Our Hero” Mondays, where members of the service get $5 tickets to “Two for Tuesdays” where everyone gets bogo beers, hot dogs and ice cream, there is always something going on at the park. Possibly the greatest day ever has to be Thirsty Thursdays when domestic drafts will only set you back two bucks. Yet, it gets even better as Thursdays are also “Dog Day”! That’s right, cheap beers and adorableness abounds. Count me in.
5. The Party Shack
I once worked for some cookie-cutter tech company that forced everyone to play Laser Tag as a teambuilding experience. Our team definitely bonded, as in, every single one of us hated it and said adios to the company.
I assure you we would have preferred bonding over some cold beers in the Shrine on Airline’s party shack sitting right down the line in right field. I’ve never dipped in there but have looked longingly at the people enjoying their own private bar in the shack. One day…one day…
6. They have a pool
Speaking of dipping, the Cakes have a full-blown pool for you and your friends to chill in during the games. The prices are surprisingly well…cool for beating the punishing summer heat. Even the peeps that don’t understand infield fly rules or balks will dig on this. Just make sure you keep an eye out for those home runs.
7. It’s Triple A ball, y’all
This is the biggest show outside of “The Show” my fellow stitch heads. You get to see 10-year veterans like Eric Campbell (.332 batting average, 46 RBI’s) playing alongside second-year man Austin Dean (.309 batting average, 26 RBI’s). It makes for interesting dynamics and great storylines.
8. Yes, the name.
I feel like every time I mention “the name” I say this is my last time I’ll mention the name but here we are again. Yes, I was one of the throngs that was not on board with the name change but, you know what, it’s growing on me. Say it with me — Baby Cakes. Just admit it. It’s a fun name.
Baby Cakes. Baby Cakes. Baby Cakes. OK, I’m still trying to get into it but, hey, the age of intimidating names could be behind us. I mean, this team does feed into a MLB team known as the Marlins. Not intimidating whatsoever.
So, bring on the Baby Cakes! While we’re at it, props to the El Paso Chihuahuas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Albuquerque Isotopes, Akron Rubber Ducks, Hartford Yard Goats, Montgomery Biscuits, Modesto Nuts, Asheville Tourists, Macon Bacon and, hot damn, the Savannah Bananas!
Remember — sports are entertainment, folks. Go Cakes and take me out to the ballpark.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Service Brewing Co.’s “Savannah Banana” Mexican Lager
Playlist Recommendation: Matt the Electrician – “Baseball Song”
Around the Way
As the college baseball season winds down the accolades crank up.
Congratulations to Beau Bratton, Owen Magee and Bryan Warzek of the UNO Privateers and Grant Witherspoon, Jonathon Artigues and Trevor Jensen of the Tulane Green Wave for being named to the All-Louisiana College Baseball Team by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association. Good job, gentlemen!