I’ve never gone to a restaurant in order to watch a game on TV. Yes, I’ve watched parts of plenty of games in restaurants while enjoying a meal with family and friends. But I’ve never gone to a dining establishment for the sole reason of sitting at a table for three hours so I can watch a ballgame from start to finish.
The Rangers play Game Two of the ALDS at 11:45 this morning on MLB Network. Because neither the Rangers nor the Blue Jays have significant national followings and, therefore, do not command large national TV ratings, the first two games are relegated to (1) weekday afternoons and (2) on little known networks with limited availability. SuddenLink, our local cable provider in Amarillo, does not carry MLB Network. They don’t even offer it. I called them yesterday. Even if I drove to SuddenLink’s Amarillo headquarters at 45th and Bell and wrote them a $500 check, they can’t provide MLB Network. So, we’re going to Buffalo Wild Wings. About seven or eight of us are meeting there to cheer on Cole Hamels and the Rangers. I was wanting to meet early so we can pray first for Adrian Beltre’s back, but I think most everybody’s doing well just to make it for first pitch.
How does one do this? What are the obligations? Do I drink Diet Dr Pepper for three hours out of the same cup, or am I expected to pay for each refill? We’re going to tie up a table or two for the entire lunch shift — are we obligated to tip the waiter for four or five meals worth of time, or do they plan for super-low turnover? Can I order one meal during the fourth inning and not order anything else for the entire three hours, or am I expected to keep ordering and eating from the first pitch to the last out to hang onto my table? I know I can’t expect them to pause the broadcast while I visit the restroom or go back on the DVR so I can try to read a subtle glance between Andrus and Alberto following a fumbled exchange. But, is it OK to switch tables in the seventh inning in an effort to change mojo?
I don’t know!
I do know Beltre’s out of the lineup for today. I don’t know yet the condition of Bautista or Donaldson for the Jays. But I would be really surprised if Texas doesn’t take this game and fly back to Arlington up two games to none. These kids are going to play inspired baseball for their sidelined leader who, no doubt, will be a strong and emotional presence in the Rangers dugout. And this is not Hamels’ first rodeo. And I probably am not going to need any dinner tonight.
Let’s Go, Rangers.
Clap, Clap, Clap.