Kevin C. hits the Emerald City

Well, I?m in Seattle and I?m not exactly sleepless. Actually, I?m a bit over-tired, having gotten up this morning at 3:30 a.m. New York time to catch a 6:55
flight to the Emerald City. But tacked onto the flight was a 90-minute delay on
the tarmac at Newark because of mechanical problems, so I would up spending
seven hours on a plane before I even touched down in the Pacific Northwest.
 
I was clearly not in the best frame of mind as I headed into Seattle
proper. But I have been looking forward to this trip for weeks. Having never
been to Seattle but having heard such great things about it, I couldn?t wait to
see what all the fuss was about. Sure, I?m here for work. I?ll be in Everett on Friday night to watch the AquaSox and in Tacoma on Saturday for a little
Raniers action before heading to Vancouver on Sunday to do a series of stories
on that franchise.
 
Keep an eye out for all these over the next week or so. I?m sure they?ll be
gems.
 
But, in between working on these trips, I have the pleasure of seeing so
many different parts of the country. My colleagues, Lisa Winston and Jonathan
Mayo, are always talking about putting together some kind of page detailing
different cities and what makes them fun or unique. That includes baseball and
non-baseball stuff.
 
So it is with that in mind that I decided to give blogging a serious try on
this trip. Now, if you?ve read the two or three blogs I?ve posted in the last 12
months, then you know I like blogging about as much as Hilary Clinton would like
to have dinner with Karl Rove. But I guess if I can get over my belief that no
one really cares about what I have to say, this can be a handy little tool.
 
So here goes. I have found, in my first afternoon here, that this town is
quite remarkable. Let?s start with the fact that I walked much of the area down
by the waterfront and around my hotel and found it to be clean and pleasant and
not nearly as crowded as New York. There was a cop on almost every corner, one
for almost every Starbucks I saw. [How can two Starbucks exist within 100 yards
of each other? It makes no sense.]
 
I ate lunch at a snappy little place called Elliot?s Oyster House. It was
right on the water and I got to sit outside, enjoying my sole stuffed with
Dungeness crab and shrimp. The rice rocked and the broccolini was outstanding.
So, here?s to making Elliot?s the first entry in Jonathan and Lisa?s guide to
fine eateries and sites to see when touring the country looking for Minor League
Baseball.
 
A quick walk through Pike?s Place Public Market and the Farmer?s Market
followed. This is a great place to hang out and meet people, have a cup of
coffee and relax. Since I am the anit-Lisa [I pretty much keep to myself] I even
surprised myself today talking to several people in the market, one woman in
particular who commented on the book,  ?The Judas Strain? by James Rollins, that
I was carrying. Since I usually travel alone, I read a great deal and it was
nice to meet someone interested in an author I enjoy.
 
Tomorrow before heading over to Everett I?m hoping to get up early enough
and check out the space needle. Seems like a plan. When I get to Everett, I?m
planning on doing a story on AquaSox pitcher Nicholas Hill. What a great story
he is. He?s a recent graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and
he?s playing ball while serving on active duty.
 
I live about a half hour from West Point and in another life, spent three
seasons covering Army football. There?s nothing like Michie Stadium in the fall
for an Army football game. But I digress. I have the utmost respect for Hill and
he deserves some attention.
 
Saturday at Tacoma I?m hoping to speak with Wlad Balentien, a phenomenal
prospect with a huge upside. And, if time permits, I?ll speak with Raniers owner
Nick Lachey, a pop singer whose greatest claim to fame is that he married
singer/actress Jessica Simpson. Now, I don?t care for the whole tabloid thing
and what Nick and Jessica went through. Actually, I don?t know why anyone would.
But he does own a Minor League team, so if we can swing it, we?ll try and get a
story done.
That should keep the plate full for a while. I?ve written more in this blog
than I have in some stories. Let?s hope someone?s interested.  — Kevin Czerwinski

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