- Epiphany this morning; if @seattletimes had JUST a printed sports section, I would totally get a subscription. 15 hours ago
- Plans for Fenway in 2015 starting to form. All I need is some money and some time. 1 day ago
- Ian Kinsler says he hopes Texas will go "winless", calls manager Jon Daniels a sleazeball, and says he was taken out of context. wut. 1 day ago
- Whoever is 24 on the Yankees has a SWEET swing. Damn... 2 days ago
- Fun fact; Brendan Ryan used to refer to Eric Wedge as "Wedgie". My year is complete. 2 days ago
Pushing a Giant Baseball Up a Hill and Watching It Roll Back Down Since 2008
February 28, 2014Posted by on
I did manage to listen to yesterday’s game, and loved everything about it. Hearing the mysterious trumpet guy in the background of the broadcast for the first time every year is always a treat. It may grind on the nerves after a full month, but it is always a hard and fast reminder of the fact that baseball is nearly here. I am not of the impression that the game will be broadcast today, but will look into it later today while at work. Our firewall blocks a lot of stuff, and some websites work oddly because of it; I should have been able to use the link from Shannon’s page with no problem, but the link I would up using was from the ESPN site directly. I never claimed to be good with IT. Anyway, I digress. We beat the most hated Padres (sigh) 7-1, and oh, it does my heart good to be able to see this again.
Jack Zduriencik was in the booth for an inning or two, talking about how the guys were looking. Apparently, there were some intersquad games on Wednesday, and the fact that nobody had been hitting home runs pleased him greatly. He acknowledged that the fans like the long ball, but said that moving guys around the bags was what matters fundamentally. I don’t care how they do it, I just want them to do it. Home runs are exciting, sure, but I’m not a proponent of them by any stretch. Small ball does just fine by me. I’d rather have a tiny victory than a glorious defeat.
With that, here are your three photos this week!
Ichiro sizing up Felix in a Yankees uniform. I think my heart died a little typing that sentence. I know it’s super uncool in a lot of circles to admit this, but I still and will always love Ichiro. Along with JJ Putz, he helped cultivate my love of the game. The more I found out about the way Ichi plays the game, the more I loved the game itself. Very few players today exude the kind of calm and concentration that Suzuki does at the plate. Infield singles for everyone!
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam plays the National Anthem before a game. I believe this might have been at one of the games vs the Cubs that I went to; I wound up at two last year because fireworks night was on a Friday, and it was followed by Turn Back the Clock Night on Sunday, which I try always to go to, particularly if it’s throwback to like the 20s or 30s.
One of my favorite pictures from fireworks night. I went with friends Gray and Ethel, and we had gotten left field seats, but of course had to leave them prior to the game ending so we didn’t incur the wrath of sparks. We wound up at the top of section 315 and had an excellent view. I have it on my calendar at work, but there are at least three of these nights again this year. An excellent move by the marketing folks, in my humble opinion.
And bonus material for today, a video!
Mike Zunino, on fireworks night, hitting the walkoff for the Ms. I remember feeling happy that we won because last year was so dismal, but being simultaneously sad for the Cubs. The poor Cubs. I have made a personal promise to myself that if the Cubs ever make it to the playoffs and the Mariners are not a factor in that, I will very much root for the Cubs. But let’s get the Mariners on top, first; I can only handle so much at once.
Have a good weekend, everyone!
February 27, 2014Posted by on
My mother got me this nice iPod bench with an AM/FM radio switch and an antenna that should have allowed me to listen to games without having to fight the numerous electronic devices in this building that kept me from being able to listen clearly a few years ago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do what it should and I still cannot hear the games in this building. Either that or I’m doing something really wrong by turning the thing on; I literally cannot figure out why it would not be working. But whatever; as soon as I get some triple A batteries, we’re going to do this the old fashioned way again and hope that the fact that I no longer sit near a server room helps. What a mess.
In order to play catch up this week, since no amount of trying to sneak around The Times’ privacy filters seems to be helping me to actually read the articles there (and I have not yet gotten around to paying them, I swear I will), I have been checking out Shannon Drayer’s blog for the first time in a long time. I’m a bad fan, I know. She has today’s lineup as this:
Abraham Almonte, 8
Kyle Seager, 5
Robinson Cano, 4
Logan Morrison, DH
Justin Smoak, 3
Michael Saunders, 9
Dustin Ackley, 7
Brad Miller, 6
Mike Zunino, 2
Honestly, I only vaguely remember Almonte from last year. You can’t really forget a name like that, but then he just sort of disappeared. I am going to try to make sure I get the game tomorrow at noon. I am glad to see Cano further down in the lineup than 2. Might actually like to see him at 4 or 5, but that’s only going to be helpful if the others are hitting, so as McClendon says in the article linked above, they have a month to figure this out. Hopefully they do. I really want this to be a big year; at least, bigger than others so far in the past 6 years.
OK, off to harass someone on Twitter to keep me up on how everyone is looking today. Go Mariners!
EDIT: Twitter success! For whatever reason, the link on Shannon’s blog didn’t work, but the one I was just given from ESPN does! Baseball! IN MY EARS!!!
February 22, 2014Posted by on
Yeah, I’m late. Again.
So things for the trip east are slowly but surely shaping up. I managed to find a decently-priced battery case for my phone the other day and that is on its way. It will be great for games here, too, since stadiums really tend to suck the juice out of the phone and often I find myself unable to take pictures or text due to the phone dying. Not normally a huge deal, but if I need a ride home, texting/calling is sort of necessary. The only thing I really have to do (but really don’t have to do) is get my jersey lettered. I’m not sure if I’m going to take it on the trip with me or not, but I would like it for the home opener here. This is all precariously dependent upon money right now, and weather; unlike my Putz jersey, my new one actually fits me, and there is no room under it for hoodies or other warm clothing. Doesn’t seem like much of a point to rush to get it lettered if the lettering can’t be seen. And if it seems like I’m nitpicking on any details, it’s because I am. This trip is a pretty big deal for me, and even seven weeks away, I’m really sweating the small stuff.
Well, since I’m headed off to Birds territory soon, let’s kick it off with everyone’s favorite MarinerOriole:
As odd as it may seem, Adam Jones still feels like a major loss for us. I don’t know if others have had any benefit of time healing some wounds, but I’m still feeling it. If Chad Bradford started my interest the the Orioles, the Adam Jones/Erik Bedard trade was what cemented that interest, and part of what keeps it alive today is Jones’ continued presence on the team. That and after 5-6 years, you just don’t abandon what you love, even if it’s far away and you don’t get to see it but only a few times a year. I am looking forward to seeing him play on his home grass.
The blurry, delicate ballet dancer that is Hisashi Iwakuma. This is not a good photo, but I love everything about the way he pitches. As everyone is aware by now, Iwakuma’s not going to be ready for the start of the season. This seems like a very Mariners thing to me by now, but I am concerned because starting pitching has really dried up in the free agent market, and I don’t know how I feel about our other current in-house options for the remainder of the rotation. Between this, Taijuan Walker’s “shoulder soreness”, and a look at our 40-man, my hopes for the beginning of this year are not terribly high. I’m not really complaining though. I miss baseball so much that even bad baseball is better than no baseball at all at this point. I’m not try to cast any aspersions, just being realistic.
This is the last photo I took of Mariano Rivera, outside of some really bad pitching shots from left field. It was the last time I saw him in person, and when he came out of the bullpen, my friend Jesse and I stood up and cheered. I was looked at by Mariners fans who likely thought I was a Yankees fan, but no, of course not. Just a fan of the game where things like retirement and awesome players are concerned. I like to pay respect where respect is due; and it was definitely due. I kind of wish we had played Enter Sandman, but at the same time realize that would have totally gone against all of baseball’s codes regarding, y’know, the home team. Ah well. You will be missed, sir.
Sometime between when I started writing this post and, well, now, the Seattle Times started requiring a payment of $0.99 a week to read their sports articles (the articles I posted above in links were easily read with a click earlier this morning, and I took some time out to eat lunch and such before I continued writing here). Since this is pretty much all I read from their paper, this is very disappointing to me. I will debate paying because it’s a small amount and I like our sports beat guys, but frankly, I don’t read stuff every day, and sometimes the articles that come into my inbox aren’t even about baseball or Seattle sports, so it will have to be something I think about. It’s probably more of an option after April and May, when I will be done with my current financial obligations.
One of the reasons this change is disappointing to me (outside of being so abrupt), is that there is an article here talking about Jesus Montero’s weight that I had hoped to read today and now can’t as easily. Quoted in the daily email is the tagline: “It’s up to him,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.” Ouuuuuch. Ouch. That stings. As much as I feel badly for Jesus Montero, and having things like this said about your performance and general being out in public for the world to see must surely be disheartening, Montero has nobody to blame for his present condition other than himself. I understand that there was also a recent sad press conference regarding his links to the whole ARod/steroids thing and his suspension. Unfortunately, this is the price you pay. The price we pay is Jesus Montero on the Mariners. I hope for all our sakes that he gets it together and surprises everyone, but I guess this is why we have John Buck now.
Last weekend, we had a party and a friend of mine and I were discussing the possibility of Ubaldo Jimenez making it to Seattle, and some of the gossip surrounding Mariners’ interest in Nelson Cruz. Well, all of that was for naught, because both players wound up in Baltimore, and now we have come full circle to April’s trip! I think the O’s paid probably about $3-$4M too much for Cruz for the time (I am cheap, cheap, cheap! and therefore, probably unrealistic about money), but that is neither here nor there; he’s not going to be Seattle’s issue, and it seems like a lot of people are happy about that. Jimenez, on the other hand, I would have loved to have here. Oh well. The Orioles’ roster is now chock full of players I like, which will make watching them more fun. A few days ago we were rumored to have been looking at Chris Capuano. Now we’re not anymore. Ervin Santana is still up for grabs, but there is not much left for free agents anymore. Due to Robinson Cano being here, it looks like Nick Franklin is likely mostly out of a job, so perhaps he can be used to trade for an arm while the remainder of the pitching is sorted out. I don’t really want to lose Nick Franklin (yet another case of “wow, look at this guy!” turned into “well, now we trade him.”), but I also don’t want to compromise our SP, and Cano’s contract sort of wins here, I’m guessing.
So that’s it for today. Have a good weekend!
February 18, 2014Posted by on
So a few weeks ago after seeing the headline of this article, I made a snarky comment on Twitter about it taking longer to get into Safeco now than it normally does due to having to wait not only for bag checks, but also to get through and possibly be rejected from metal detectors. At least at the left field gate, there were detectors being used during FanFest, and while I cannot vouch for whether or not they were responsible for holding anyone up (since the lines were so long, it could also have been the numbers of people, of course), I can say that they did not hinder me. My main worry is that there are very few pieces of outerwear that I own that don’t have some sort of buckle, chain, or some other bit of metal on them; I almost always get stopped in airports because I left a belt or something else on, and I am accustomed to that level of metal detection because I really have nothing else to compare it to. But if FanFest was any indication, it should be rather smooth. I anticipate Opening Day to be a bit of a mess, but it usually is anyway, so I’m not too concerned.
I don’t really think I said much about this when it happened because I wasn’t sure what to think (it all seemed so surreal), but I am glad we rid ourselves of Carlos Peguero. He (and his wife) can be the Royals’ problem now. I don’t know from Scott Baker, but hopefully there won’t be any members of Baker’s family willing to take advantage of any members of the rest of the players families on this team. I wasn’t shocked when it was announced Peguero was being DFA’d, and I never once assumed we’d attempt to assign him to Tacoma or anywhere else within the organization. Outside of the problems it could have potentially caused in the clubhouse to have him here, I’d like to think that fan backlash would have been outrageous. I’m sure he has his own issues to deal with at home, but after the Josh Lueke situation, the last thing we need here is a mediocre position player whose wife has stolen from our most beloved pitcher’s family. I’m not blaming Peguero for his wife’s transgressions, certainly, but it’s negativity and drama I just don’t want on my baseball team. Personally, I have no tolerance for people who steal from others, or who take advantage of other people in such an underhanded and cruel way. She has plead guilty recently, and will be sentenced in May.
Late January, MLB approved of protective headgear for pitchers, some of whom may be wearing it as early as this year (though I haven’t heard anything further on it since this article was posted). You can see a picture of the prototype at that link. Yeah, it looks about as ridiculous as you might expect. What I’m wondering about (and what is not really addressed in the article), is why, if there was really a call for such a thing, are pitchers not opting instead for wearing double-sided batters helmets? More protection would be afforded, certainly, and it is a product that has already proven itself in the line of duty. This thing is heavy, and it makes the wearer look like a little kid wearing an adult’s hat. I realize appearance isn’t everything, and am well aware that the game has a history of criticism over its safety wear every time something new was introduced – the first catcher’s glove was not looked upon kindly at its inception – but this seems a bit of overkill, when we already have batter’s helmets, an item that most pitchers are already more than familiar with wearing. I am sure I must be missing something, it just seems like a horrible waste of money and research.
The Ms recently gave Fernando Rodney a two year contract for closing duties. Rodney is a veteran but he has been pretty much lights-out for the past two years. I don’t know a whole lot about Rodney, who spent the bulk of his career in Detroit, but I remember playing close games against him and realizing that we were screwed when he came out onto the hill. I think I might have been confusing him with Francisco Rodriguez due to his time in Anaheim, but the photo in that link above made me remember all the times I’d stayed up late for games, only to have that sinking feeling as Rodney took the hill, dusted himself with rosin, and faced our sad little offense with that hat crooked to the side. I’m glad he’s with us now. I love Tom Wilhelmsen and always will, but it was breaking my heart to see so many games just slip out of our fingers when Wilhelmsen threw a handful of decent fastballs then immediately gave up his command. Rodney’s numbers may have gone down over 2013, but 37 saves in 45 chances is nothing to shake a stick at. Am looking forward to seeing what his walkout song will be; at 9.55PM, after a full day of work and full of beer and tacos, I found it really difficult to get jacked up over Jimi Hendrix. I appreciate Wilhelmsen staying true to himself, though, and I’m glad he’s still here.
February is killing me. The weather in Seattle has been the awful windy and rainy weather that we normally get during the month, and it’s been dark a lot. If I think about it, I can sort of smell grass and see the sun and taste the Mac & Jack’s Amber (my default, until they start carrying Newcastle; I won’t hold my breath)…but then I look out the window behind my desk at work and see the dark and gloomy and realize that even though we’re closer to baseball than we were yesterday, we still have a bit of time to go. My main concern right now is being rained out of the east coast games I am planning on attending; if nothing else, it will make me far more appreciative of Safeco Field.
February 14, 2014Posted by on
I need to get on the ball soon and start listening to sports radio again. It is difficult at work because my radio is stationary, and I have to be up from my desk a lot, but I’ll figure out a way to make it work. So far, I hear that Spring Training isn’t going so great for the Mariners; we’ve got an injured Hishashi Iwakuma who will miss pretty much all of Spring Training with an injured tendon in his throwing hand, a slightly overweight and profusely apologetic Jesus Montero who has only a fraction of a chance at even making the team out of spring, a Franklin Gutierrez who is feeling so awful that he has already let the team know he just can’t play at all this season (hail to our Canadian overlord Michael Saunders), and from what I understand Taijuan Walker has some issues as well, though I have not been as up on the news lately as I’d like to be. EDIT: a bad shoulder that is “nothing major“. Oh, boy…deep breaths, deep breaths…
In any event, pitchers and catchers have reported, the rest of the team is not far behind, and I am currently planning on attending what will be my first baseball “event” of the season, with a few folks from Lookout Landing at a little joint called Gastropod in March. I have actually been wanting to try this place, since my bus goes past it just about daily, so what better opportunity? I hope to find some good beer, some great food, and some excellent baseball conversation. Or at the very least, a group of people with whom to yell at the TV when everything goes horribly, horribly awry.
Now for the good stuff, pictures!
Brad Adam and Dave Valle get ready for a little pre-game broadcast shenanigans on a nice sunny day. Valle has recently been appointed to take over as manager up in Everett for the Aquasox, and I could not love that news harder if I tried. Now that I have a better work schedule that allows for things like Friday night games and easy travel up north Saturday, I will have to see about going more frequently. Lead them to single A short season victory, Dave!
Tom Wilhelmsen, doing a bit of pre-game (not pre-9th) warm-up. I have recently started collecting MacFarlane baseball figures here and there when I find one I like particularly, and have a few extra dollars. They sit on the corner of my desk at work. One of them is Cliff Lee in a Phillies uniform, and it is posed almost exactly like this. Planted foot twisted inward, back foot up in the air, arm flexed across the body, leaned forward. Lee leans much more forward than Wilhelmsen does, and Lee’s throwing arm is bent at the elbow, but that front foot is what I love about the figure (all the ones I own have a specific feature to them that makes me think the manufacturer really got it right), and it’s what I love about this photo. That and the fact that it’s Tom Wilhelmsen, who I hope to see plenty of this year. I also hope to see plenty of Fernando Rodney, who passed his physical and is coming in to help the bullpen this year.
Words cannot express how much sadness I have over Franklin Gutierrez’s health issues. I feel tremendously awful for him and for his family (he will not be paid this year for having to opt out, of course), and I feel just horrible for What Might Have Been. To see such a light stomped out so soon is heartbreaking. He is 30 now, and sadly I have known people with IBS and Crohn’s Disease. It doesn’t go away, and it doesn’t get better. It can be managed, but Gutz will probably never be the same as he was in 2009, when the late great Dave Niehaus named him Death to Flying Things. I wish him much health and healing this year, and do hope he can play again; preferably in Seattle.
Other than all of this, my plans to head out east are still shaping up nicely. I plan to make the jump to the three-hours-ahead future with purple hair, and am still trying to scrape up the money to have my jersey lettered at STT Sports in SoDo. I am hoping to stop by their office next Friday after work and see what they can do for my plain navy blue. Baseball starts in only a few weeks, folks! Time feels like it’s dragging, but we’ll be there before we know it. Have a great weekend!
February 9, 2014Posted by on
Forgive me for re-hashing the past. A lot of Mariners fans on the Internet I know feel tired of the reminders of the Mariners glory seasons of 1995 and 2001, perhaps in part because while both teams were incredible, they didn’t win the big prize at the end. That said, I keep thinking about The Double, and just how remarkable an event it was in the scope of baseball. Let’s set aside some of the items that people always note: I’m not going to spend much time here to talk about how it was the Hit That Saved Baseball In Seattle, and I’m not going to talk much about Chris Donnelly’s book about the whole thing, titled “Baseball’s Greatest Series.” I’m just going to talk about The Double itself.
Well, that’s not exactly correct. I want to talk about how unlikely The Double was in the first place. I mean really, why on earth would you pitch to Edgar Martinez with the game on the line?
Martinez was having an absolutely monster series, hitting 11-for-20 with two doubles, two homers, and nine RBI, and if you’re not a fan of the small sample, just take a look at his regular season: his .356 Batting Average, .479 On Base Percentage, and 52 Doubles all led the American League.
Maybe then-Yankees Manager Buck Showalter believed in his pitcher’s ability to go get Martinez out? Personally I’m not a big fan of individual player splits, but Martinez was 10-for-33 against Jack McDowell in his career before he came up in the bottom of the 11th with Joey Cora on third base and Ken Griffey Jr. on first. It’s certainly not like McDowell owned Gar, and it’s not like the Yankees hadn’t considered putting him on before – in the 6th inning of Game 3, McDowell gave Martinez four wide ones to load the bases with the Yankees down one, opting to face Tino Martinez instead.
That plan had backfired. Tino led a string of three Mariner singles capped with a Luis Sojo sacrifice fly for a four-run inning to give the M’s a 6-1 lead. In this game, however, Tino had been lifted for a rookie pinch runner by the name of Alex Rodriguez.
The question remains to Showalter: You did it before, why not do it again?
Seattle had already used their entire bench, so it was a sure thing Rodriguez (who had a .232 BA in 149 AB that season) would be the next batter. Behind Rodriguez was Jay Buhner and backup catcher Chris Widger. Clearly Buhner was the biggest threat of the three at the time; and he was having a great series as well (11-for-24 with 1 HR), but he’d just wrapped a season where he posted a slash line of .262/.343/.566, with the BA and OBP both being down from the previous two years. He also had the 9th most strikeouts in baseball with 120. At that point in the game you wouldn’t be worried about his power, you’d be hoping to strike him out or double him off if you got through young A-Rod.
It strikes me as a special thing that Edgar that not only was given the chance to hit by the Yankees, but that he happened to be the batter coming up with the winning run aboard in the first place. One of the unique things about baseball is that you don’t get to put the ball in your playmaker’s hands. There is no baseball equivalent to a Two-Minute Drill led by your star quarterback or letting your team’s leading scorer put up a buzzer-beater for the win. Even when you do get your guy up there in a key situation, he’s liable to be walked like Barry Bonds in the 2002 World Series (where he was intentionally put on seven times, including twice in the first inning!). David Ortiz and Derek Jeter have created reputations out of making it happen at key moments, but for every one of them there’s a Cody Ross or a Doug Strange or a Sid Bream who comes out of nowhere to deliver. Suffice it to say, the Mariners could have won the series in other ways.
The M’s had two on and two out for Vince Coleman in the bottom of the 10th. The Win Probability at that moment was 62% for Seattle, just a few percentage points lower than the 68% it was when Martinez came to the dish in the 11th. If Coleman had collected a hit, Strange would have been the winning run and Rick Rizzs would have done the play-by-play of the action. Aren’t you glad we got The Double instead?
Alternatively, A-Rod could have done it. A walk to Edgar would have put the series-deciding run in scoring position and put the Mariners at something like an 80% Win Probability. If Rodriguez had broke through with a hit to win the series instead, would the Mariners front office have paid him the $252 million to stay in Seattle after the 2000 season so he didn’t go to Texas? Would he have gone to Texas anyway and changed our entire perception of Mariners history? Would he have become a better human being? Well, let’s not get carried away.
What we got instead was something special. A series delivered by a clutch hit from a career-long Mariner. It was the defining moment of a career and a franchise, from a guy you want to go out and name a street after.
February 8, 2014Posted by on
Actually, this may take on a whole new meaning this year; since it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to afford a lump sum for season tickets like normal, I hatched a different plan, to possibly go to every Friday home game; spreading out the expense, and giving myself something to look forward to several times a month. We’ll see if it works with money and such, but that is the current plan for now. I can’t spend a summer not going to the park.
Today, I’m going to take a different approach. I know I haven’t acknowledged the SuperBowl like at all, and I don’t mean to let it go unrecognized. I know very little about football; I have actually probably forgotten more about baseball than I know about football. But the Seahawks did an amazing thing this year, and I watched it on TV and watched it on the streets below while I was 20 floors up this last Wednesday. Fair warning, these photos were taken on a camera phone through a window, so they may not be the greatest. But this is what I saw on Wednesday.
A small plane flies the 12th Man flag around the city. It had to change its flight pattern quite a few times, due to news helicopters and police helicopters flying around the area, taking pictures and keeping an eye on things.
These people must have been freezing! They were not the only ones, however; pretty much every building within my line of sight had at least a couple of people on the roof. Our building is 44 stories tall, so attempting the roof (if I’m even allowed to get up there) would have set me back a lot farther from the scene than I already was.
The reroute of traffic caused quite a mess on 3rd Ave. Drivers didn’t seem quite sure what to do with themselves, and the weird street angles near Yesler and Jackson probably didn’t help a whole lot, especially as the parade was nearly at the stadiums.
I got off work at 3.30PM, just in time for a lot of the fans who had been at Century Link and Safeco to be swarming the bus mall looking for transportation home. I was able to grab my bus before an onslaught of fans followed me, and got a seat. By the time my route got to its last two stops in SODO, the driver had to tell people waiting that she didn’t have any more room. We were standing room only all the way up to the driver’s cab. I heard stories of people missing up to five buses trying to get to work in the morning because of people coming into town. Early estimates placed the crowd at 700,00, but later this week, they were guessing it was actually around 450,000 on the street. Some of my co-workers went out to brave the elements and take pictures, but I was not in the mood for such shenanigans. It’s been cold in Seattle the past two weeks, and the more I can limit my time out in the weather the better.
Congratulations, though, Seahawks. Ya done good!
February 6, 2014Posted by on
Monday, I found out quite abruptly that single game tickets for the Baltimore Orioles had gone on sale. I thought I was subscribed to their mailing list, but now that I’m thinking about it, I may have unsubbed due to too many emails. Figures. Lower deck tickets were mostly sold out for the April 12th game I am planning on attending, but StubHub came to the rescue, and I now have some pretty decent seats. I probably won’t be completely relaxed about it until I am able to print them (the seller has not yet placed the actual tickets on the site yet, I only have the section and row I am sitting in), but I have gotten them and that is a step closer to being there. Coincidentally, my Mariners home opener tickets arrived in the mail the same day. We still have some days until pitchers and catchers report, but we’re getting closer and closer to the beginning of the 2014 baseball season.
Part of my trip, of course, involves a 4PM game at Nationals Stadium on Thursday April 10th. The game is against the Marlins, so I’m not sure how excited about it I can be, but neither the opponent nor the home team are the whole point of this journey; I just really want to go see a ball game in DC, and investigate a new park. To this end, I’ve been doing a bit of research online to find out what I need to know about Nationals Park and its surroundings.
Everything I have heard or read so far from various sources says that the best way to get there is a public train line that arrives near or at the stadium. I am not sure how we will accomplish this, but am relying on my friend to know more of his way around the area than I currently do (my knowledge of DC is limited to driving mostly in the dark, and mostly in the worse areas of town, where nightclubs I have played exist or existed. I have zero directional knowledge of the city). My goal is to take in a museum somewhere in the city earlier in the day, though I have not decided which one. I am anticipating a bit of jet lag given my early morning departure time the day before, so I am guessing that will impact whether I actually make it to a museum, or spend the whole day eating everything at Nando’s. As it is, I plan on grabbing dinner there the night before, if GPS and my friend’s driving are both successful in getting us there. In any event, I’d far rather just drive to the stadium and find parking if possible, but if not, I’ll hop on a train, sure, why not? Nothing quite as comforting as taking public transportation in an unfamiliar city. Parking, however, is a bit expensive. That train looks slightly more appealing now!
I will also be in DC just as the cherry trees are blooming, by happy coincidence. The Stadium has “fourteen Kwanzan Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees” within the stadium; eight in the Center Field Plaza, and six more on the main concourse in left field. I find myself wondering if the field is kept free of pink “snow”, and looking forward to how beautiful the city will be at this time of year.
Nationals Park also has statues:
World renowned husband and wife artists Omri Amrany and Julie Rotblatt along with Jody Rotblatt, Sean Bell and Oscar Leon, worked hundreds of hours to bestow on Nationals Park the likes of Josh Gibson, Frank Howard and Walter Johnson in white bronze. These Negro League Baseball, Major League Baseball and D.C. sports icons have now staked claim to the Center Field Plaza where they can be seen, admired, discussed and argued over by all who enter the gates of Nationals Park. Known for many types of art mediums, the team from the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany in Highwood, Illinois has created such artistic immortalizations as Michael Jordan, “Magic” Johnson, Gordie Howe, Ty Cobb and – Mr. Take Me Out to the Ballgame himself – Harry Caray.
You would think that the MLB.com team websites would all be set up quite similarly to each other, but unfortunately that is not the case. While the Orioles and Mariners sites have A-Z guides that are pretty inclusive of all the things to see and do in both parks, other teams’ sites are not as cut and dried. The Red Loft and Red Porch are mentioned in their A-Z guide. These sound very similar to the Hit It Here Café and Lookout Landing, though the Loft and Porch are above and below each other. I have posted a picture of the field below, and indeed, there they are in center field. A little more poking around and you have an absolutely insane list of concessions. If you click on that link, your head might explode, and you will definitely be hungry. The options are wide, and unlike things we have here in Seattle. Of particular interest to me:
Features traditional Italian gelato in a variety of flavors
Features an assortment of gluten free food items as well as beer
Field of Greens
Featuring some healthier options at the ballpark, including salads, wraps, sushi and fresh fruit and vegetables
Features Kosher Hot Dogs, Knishes, Falafel and Shwarma. Under the Supervision of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington
Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Features sno cones in a variety of different flavors and sizes
Curly W Pretzels
Featuring the “Curly W Pretzel”, slushy puppies, and pretzel dogs
Samuel Adams Brewhouse
Featuring an assortment of Sam Adams Brews
Are you kidding me with all of this?! I’ll never make it out of there alive! Or, at the very least, I’ll gain an additional 10 pounds! This is totally nuts. I think I may be shooting for a falafel and Curly W pretzel, with a battle between shave ice and gelato to top it off. If you’ve never had proper Hawaiian shave ice (and there is a massive difference between that and sno cones, so I’m hoping that the Nats do it right), it’s just wonderful. If you’re in the city here, you can try it out at the Marination Mobile in West Seattle, and there is a cart that shows up to some of our local street festivals that also has it. Get it with ice cream, you won’t regret!
I have been told by a few people now that the park is just beautiful, and everything I have seen online makes it look very clean and pleasant. The seating chart may take some studying. Whereas Safeco has three levels, and a few sections that are pretty easy to figure out, Nationals Park has more sections at a bunch of different price points. I generally think of Safeco as having three levels with price points that aren’t all that different from each other, but I think that’s mainly because it’s so familiar. Nationals Stadium looks like this:
The main concourse seating area is divided up around the middle, making the more choice seats behind the plate a little more roomy than it is here at Safeco. It will depend greatly on my finances over the next few weeks (holy cats it’s a matter of weeks now!), but the nicer seats might be fun to check out. I am still waiting for single game tickets to go on sale.
So I know literally nothing about the Nationals as a team except that Mike Morse did pretty well there, Doug Fister was sent over recently, and they’ve got Bryce Harper. And, of course, Stephen Strasburg, Mariners fans’ favorite thing to moan over a few years ago, when we were battling the Nats to the bottom of the barrel for a first draft pick. I would love to see either Strasburg or Fister start, but I’ll take what I can get. The gates open two and a half hours prior to game time, so I am hoping to have a lot of time to check things out, take pictures, and walk around. And yes, I will be rooting for the Nats to win. I might even buy a shirt.
January 31, 2014Posted by on
It’s going to be a busy day for me, so trying to squeeze this in before heading to work. Our building is going to be a mess of Seahawks partying today; we have a giant “12″ in green and blue projected on the wall downstairs so big you can see it from the street, and Fatheads Seahawks figures on the wall. This is the first time I have worked in a building that has supported a sports team to this extent, even the last time the Seahawks made it to the Superbowl in 2005, and even when the Mariners made it to the playoffs in 2001. I am but a tourist here. Will try to enjoy the ride.
So let’s start off with the best thing (or one of the best things) the Mariners have to offer the world of sports:
In my mind, I keep referring to this as a “hubcap”, though I don’t know why, as it is clearly made of license plates and bottle caps. I love it. As I mentioned last week, I don’t go through the right field entrance usually, so this was one of my big discoveries early last season. I’m sure it is old news to everyone else.
This is center field. Or more accurately, the stairs leading up to and the underside of the bleachers in center field. When I was doing a lot of art back in college (mainly painting and sculpture), lines of things fascinated me. There is just something about the juxtaposition of green on gray in this area of the park that I love. Plus, it’s nice and quiet back there, and if I’m waiting for someone, I’ll often head over to this area and make a phone call or just chill with my beer and people- (and sometimes Moose) watch. It’s especially nice when it’s hot outside, as there is a breeze that often blows through this part of the park.
Daniel told me he might have a slightly controversial post coming up, so I am waiting for him to submit it for my approval; not that he needs my approval, really, he is an excellent writer, but I am looking forward to seeing what he has to say. Until then, I guess I’m going to do the Seahawks thing this weekend. I am not a Seahawks fan particularly (certainly nobody would accuse me of bandwagoning, I save that for end-of-season baseball), but seeing how excited the whole city is really makes me happy, and it’s been a lot of fun. So for my friends, go Seahawks!
January 29, 2014Posted by on
Going over some old news, just because I haven’t yet…
Franklin Gutierrez was offered and accepted a one-year contract with performance incentives to stay here in Seattle. According to Ryan Divish, he had other offers but decided to stay with us in the Pacific Northwest. I love this because I love Gutierrez, but it makes me sad because I really miss him and the way things were before he started having injuries and intestinal issues and Michael Saunders took over in center. I love Saunders in center, too, but it feels like the days of Death to Flying Things are over. I have no criticism for Gutz, I have nothing but love and sadness for the way things could have been before he ran into that wall in Cleveland; it seems like that started the long road downhill, even though the IBS and ankylosing spondylitis would have happened with or without injury. Right now, I’m just happy to watch him play if he can, and not to spend a ton on him if he can’t.
As I mentioned the other day, I was glad to see Raul Ibanez able to continue his career another year, Yeah, he’s in LA now, and yeah, we all hate the Angels, I know. But Raul is always going to be a Mariner to me regardless of where he plays, and for him to pick up a possible regular DH shift down in Anaheim at the age of 41 is not too shabby a deal. I’m glad for him; and if he likes it down there, so much the better. It make me sad to have to say goodbye to him again, but at this point we need to. The organization is still working towards staying young, and the roster needs room.
So Lloyd McClendon has been quoted as wanting to enforce a team “covenant“, which seems like an ominous word for “cohesion”, but I can deal with it. I haven’t really seen much of McClendon to get an impression of him, and I didn’t feel like I was able to get a complete feel for him at FanFest this past Saturday. He seemed very level-headed and keen to get started, and friendly without being a pushover. It will be interesting to see if he uses our bullpen (whatever it turns out he’s given there) in a different fashion than Eric Wedge did. I never really had a huge issue with Wedge’s lineups at all that I can particularly remember, but our relievers have been kind of a mess for a while. McClendon is a change, and we need a change, and I’m hoping that maybe the fact that he’s new at this manager thing will create some new ideas and ways of handling things that maybe a more seasoned leader wouldn’t see or get into. It could also create a huge backfire, but I’m trying to keep positive for this season, so yay, change!
Speaking of FanFest, I’m just going to come out and admit I kind of phoned it in this year. I had a blast and we were there for a good three and a half hours or so, but sadly the super-long lines limited our capacity to be there for as long as I usually like. I went down with my friend Jessica, and when we saw crowds of people wrapping around 1st Ave S and down Royal Brougham at 10.30, we decided to kick it for a bit at Jimmy’s across the street until 11. Sadly, things didn’t move quickly, and after running to the Team Store to pick up a ticket for her, we still wound up not being able to get in until almost 12.30. I really had wanted to see Robinson Cano, but they had him speak first, which I feel was a huge mistake; there were hundreds, maybe thousands of people outside still after the season ticket holders got in early, and none of them got to see or hear him speak, either. Because of this, the wind was out of my sails for taking notes at Dugout Dialogue, and I just decided to chill at Edgar’s with Jess and then a certain Mr Daniel Carroll and his mother showed up, and we watched some of the interviews on the CC TV while we ate tacos and drank beer. It was probably one of the most relaxing FanFests I’ve been to, but any reporting I might have done on it suffered due to late entry. I simply cannot stand in lines for long periods of time, it kills my back. I’m glad that there were so many people there though (there were two ziplines this year!); it is clear that people are excited for baseball, and given all the Seahawks jerseys running around, I’m thinking football probably has a little bit to do with that. I’ll take it; any enthusiasm contributes to mine.
We did get to see Logan Morrison speak, which was entertaining. As we were standing in the bar, Morrison was asked by a female fan how he got so good looking. He responded with an expression that was half embarrassment, half ego, and said something about his genetics, and his Macklemore-esque haircut. Daniel leaned over and said “He is such a bro.” And Morrison is total a “bro”, but because he’s got an Ms uniform on, I don’t even care. Erik Bedard was a bro, too, but he was a silent bro. I have the feeling we’re going to get a lot of interviews out of Mr Morrison this year. He will fit in well here, what with Tom Wilhelmsen’s odd sense of humor, and it really makes me wish that Munenori Kawasaki was still with us (other than the fact that I love Muni to death). If the team does badly this year, I am hoping that at least we have a bit of character.
In personal news, I finally have my trip shored up a bit more now. I have tickets for the Mariners home opener, and will be up in Section 341 with Tom. I plan on going home after and trying to crank out a photo post, and then depending on what time it is, either trying to get in a quick nap, or just staying up for my flight, which leaves for San Francisco and then DC at about 6 in the morning. Yuck, but my choices were limited. I have an evening in DC to try to acclimate, then Thursday, a Washington Nationals game at 4. After that, my friend Rick and I will be driving up to the Philly area for whatever it is that happens in Philly on a Thursday night. Friday will be a Phillies game at Citizens Bank, then Saturday we head back down to Baltimore for an Orioles game. Sunday will be another Orioles game if I feel I haven’t squeezed enough out of Camden Yards the night before, and then Monday is a free day to do whatever in the DC area before I have to get on a plane back on Tuesday. I have been stalking Orioles tickets online for weeks now, hoping that they will go on sale soon. I am paranoid that I will miss an announcement! In any event, I am terribly excited about this trip. It will not only be chock full of baseball, but will be the first time I have flown by myself. Ever. I am positive that I have mentioned my fear/dislike of flying before in this space, so this is kind of a big deal. To give myself a little padding in that area, I chose to pay more to fly Virgin America. I hear it’s like a space disco. A space disco to baseball. Of course, I will be doing plenty of Twitter and blogging about the experience, and if anyone has any questions or photo requests for any of these three stadiums, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to make it happen.
In the meantime, we wait for the Superbowl to be over, and Spring Training to begin…
EDIT: Apologies for the formatting issues, I started this post in Gmail and it seems to have caused some trouble between that and my work computer.
January 25, 2014Posted by on
Yeah, I know, I’m terrible at this. Going to crank out a bit before I go down to Safeco for FanFest today. I wait for this day every year during the offseason, and even though I don’t do the catching in the outfield, or the zip line, and I’ve seen the clubhouse, and I’ve watched the players and coaches talk a bajillion times, it never gets any less exciting. There are people in line already as I’m starting this at 9AM, season ticket holders who get in early. Lucky, lucky.
So what we have for the three photos today…how about a picture of a burgeoning King’s Court prior to a Felix start? That should get you in the mood for a little baseball!
Clearly, this was prior to a game with the Detroit Tigers, but these guys and their photographer friend are ready for the game to start because it’s Felix Hernandez and how are you not excited about that?
Last year, I attempted to notice more things, smaller details of the park. I don’t know if I succeeded, but I did see a lot of things I had never seen before, which makes me realize how truly easy it is to be so involved in the game itself that you miss the tiny beauty of the stadium, the parts of it that make it whole, but that aren’t the really big bits. A lot of my friends were surprised to learn that I had never really paid much attention to the license plate art over right field; but the fact of the matter is, until the Mariners started doing the season ticket holder early entry (which sadly, I will not be able to participate in this year), I simply never went into the field through that entrance. Glad I did, as I now know more than I did before about the place I like to refer to as my summer home.
I hate the fact that I have to miss this guy again. I hate even more that he’s been picked up by Anaheim, but what’re you gonna do? Glad he can extend his playing career, and glad he could be back with us for one more year. He might be declining and he’s certainly no Robinson Cano, but he’ll always be a big name to me.
Now I have to go get ready and pile on the layers and hope this morning fog gives way to some sun and maybe a little warmth. Today is the official “start” of the 2014 baseball season. Oh, and if you haven’t already (the list is definitely small), feel free to follow MarinerBasho on Twitter. Daniel Carroll and I are trying our hands at writing haiku. Just for fun; I used to be decent at it in high school. For the purposes of this particular Twitter account, however, I have to be super thankful that we don’t have to deal with the word “Saltalamacchia”.
January 17, 2014Posted by on
I am up at 4AM for absolutely no reason. Might as well post some photos.
This is the side of an aisle-side seat in the lower bowl at Safeco. I don’t know why I had never noticed these before, but I was sitting watching batting practice once last year, and randomly noticed that what I had originally dismissed as a random imprinted design on the seats was actually a pitcher, winding up to throw. This may be old news to a lot of other Mariners fans, but it was like that first scene in Indiana Jones where he gets the weight of the sand just right enough to take the idol for me. Then a giant rolling ball shaped like the Detroit Tigers came in and destroyed everything, but I digress…
Jen Mueller, interviewing a newly-Tigers’d Doug Fister. Fister didn’t pitch that evening, but it was still nice to see him, “wrong” uniform or not. I remember him when he was just a wee baby, coming in to pitch the 9th in his debut. Ah, the good old days… Fister was traded away to the Washington Nationals this offseason, which brings me to…
There were some non-baseball things I wanted to do while I was over on the east coast in April, and I was having a difficult time figuring out how to cram everything in and still see enough games to get the most out of my travel. One of those things was kindly deferred by my host, which frees up a lot of time and, indeed, money for me. So it looks like I will be attending a Nationals game Thursday, April 10th. I will also be doing a stadium preview on that stadium soon, along with a preview of Citizens Bank Park, as I will be in Philadelphia the following night for a game there, as well. My original plan was only to see an Orioles and a Phillies game, until I started thinking about how close everything is, and how easy it might be to see more. Now I’ve got three at least, and an extra afternoon in Camden Yards if I feel like I didn’t see or experience quite enough the night before. This is all working out rather swimmingly for me, and I’m getting more and more excited about this as the days go by.
Mariners Fanfest is getting closer by the day as well, and it looks like they have actually gotten themselves quite a good lineup for this year. It makes me happy to know that Robinson Cano is cool with this. To me, FanFest is like a community outreach the Ms can do; it’s cheap, fans get to go places they don’t normally, and it generates (at least for me) a lot of excitement about the upcoming year. The fact that they do it two days in a row is just gravy. From what I can tell, a lot of other teams don’t. I am looking forward to hearing Lloyd McClendon speak so I can get a bit of a feel for what he thinks he can do for the team. I am hoping that it will not be business as usual. I really had no problems with Eric Wedge in general, but I with change, I hope, comes actual change. I want to be dazzled by McClendon; I want to leave that stadium having a true sense of hope for 2014. Maybe not World Series hope. But hope would be great. I have missed it.
The other players I’m looking forward to seeing are, in no particular order, DJ Peterson, Logan Morrison, Mike Zunino, and Michael Saunders (Cano goes without saying).
DJ Peterson, if memory serves, did pretty well up in Everett during the one game I was able to make last year (hoping to correct that situation this year, but I say that every year). Logan Morrison I commend for showing up to a public forum where literally anything can be asked of him. Last year, one of the players (I cannot remember who) was asked a rather jumbled and awkward question about some girl he had met or gone out with or something; the girl asking the question was asking for a friend, and clearly trying to pin said player down (if anyone remembers this, please refresh my memory on which player it was?), but failed to do so, and was dismissed easily with a non-answer. Logan Morrison has had some, er, questionable moments on Twitter, saying a lot of things that probably don’t really earn him any points within the general paradigm that is Seattle, and all it’s going to take is someone far more intrepid than I to ask what could be some very awkward questions. I hope this doesn’t happen, as witnessing something like that very much plays on my own fear of speaking in public, but I applaud Morrison for coming out and braving the possibility that it might. I want to like him, I really do. Let’s hope he doesn’t make it difficult for me. And of course the two Mikes, because I adore them both. Michael Saunders just recently avoided arbitration, and got himself a raise in the process. I hope to see Mike Zunino up here again after he works a little more on his batting, pretty please?
The zip line is also making a reappearance. Again, I will pass, but instead will enjoy the screaming from the safety of my seat, blanket, and five pairs of socks. Now, I have to go slog through the last day of this awful work week (we’ve been really busy with coworkers out due to illness and vacation), and prepare myself for the ridiculousness that is this upcoming Seahawks/Niners game. Happy Friday!
January 16, 2014Posted by on
I don’t normally do stuff like this in this space, but this is important, so here we go.
Kevin Schumacher, a fellow Mariners and Seattle sports fan, is in Harborview ICU right now with a pretty serious infection. He had what he originally thought was just a bad tooth, but was instead a dental infection that then spread down his neck and into his thoracic cavity, and targeted his lungs. He has had surgeries, and a bunch of other procedures done (I am only getting secondhand information from a closer friend of his at the moment), and is in pretty bad shape. What this will mean for him, after he is better, is a metric ton of rehab and recovery, and likely financial hardship. Kevin was employed as a lead or manager at Home Depot in SoDo, but if you’re a citizen of this country, you’re well aware of how sketchy health insurance can be these days. So he needs financial assistance, and lots of it.
If we all drop a little cash, it can go a long way to helping a fellow human being recover. A donation site (with more details about his situation) is located here. I’d like to go to more ball games with Kevin, and I know he’d like that too. So if you can donate, please do. If not now, next week, or the week after. If you can’t donate, please feel free to spread this post around to people who can. Let’s help him get better soon. Also, he clearly has excellent fashion sense – that’s gotta be at least worth $5, right?
January 13, 2014Posted by on
This weekend has gone by way too fast, starting Friday night at around 4.30 or so. Didn’t get home until late, hosted a party over some football yesterday, and adopted a new cat today. So I’m a little off my game this weekend. Better late than never, eh?
Charlie Furbush contemplates his next move. Furbush managed to avoid arbitration this year and still got a raise and a one-year contract to stay in the relief corps. I am glad. He has remained solid for the most part, and his projections look alright for next year, so I’m happy to have him back in our bullpen.
Just a bunch of guys, stretching. This was taken at one of the Tigers series earlier in the year during a season ticket holder early entry day. I met my friend Jennifer down there, and tried to get a Prince Fielder autograph, but anyone that knows me knows I’m not “that guy”, and a horrible autograph hound. I did get a lot of photos for her though, so it sort of evened out.
Recent Mariners news has it that to fulfill the role of President in place of newly-retired Chuck Armstrong, the organization is looking to hire within. A lot of names are thrown around in this article, but I have also heard of the possibility that Kevin Martinez might be a candidate for the position. Martinez is currently the VP of Marketing, and I can say from personal experience that he is a hell of a guy. On the few occasions I have talked to him, he has been nothing but cheerful and full of energy, and it is very clear that he loves his job. He was even kind enough to get me the Safeco wireless password during last year’s Opening Day open house at the park. Kevin is also younger than a lot of the candidates mentioned in that article, and it sure might be nice to get some younger blood in the old boys’ club. I know that a lot of those other guys might be attractive names, but my vote is all for Kevin Martinez. Fingers crossed!
January 9, 2014Posted by on
My mom taught me how to keep score at Mariners games in the Kingdome in the ’90s using the dollar scorecards that you can buy from the team. Somehow, despite all odds, they’ve been untouched by inflation; you can still buy those scorecards from the team for a dollar. However, my understanding of baseball has grown so much since then that it just can’t be captured in the small boxes those cards have to offer.
After spending years reading articles at USS Mariner, Lookout Landing, and Fangraphs, just making note of the conclusion of a play just doesn’t do it much for me anymore. Many scorecards these days also include a small pitch-count indicator, usually a set of two boxes for strikes above three boxes for balls like the Grand Salami’s scorecard does, and that’s a start, but it still didn’t satisfy me, so I started working on my own design.
My scorecard may take a minute to explain to most people due to its complication, but I’ve also given myself enough space for nuance and detail. Instead of the regular 10 innings that most scorecards offer, mine go past 11 all the way to 13. I can also keep a pitch count for a 12-pitch at bat and not get cramped. I like having this level of detail so I can call out information as we get to the later innings like they might recall on TV or Radio.
As an example, I framed the scorecard I kept for Felix’s Perfect Game. Based on all the information I take, I can tell you that Felix struck out the side in the 8th against Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, and Carlos Peña with 13 pitches, just three balls, two fouls, and six swinging strikes including all three strike-threes.
John Jaso famously said at the end of that game that he had a good idea of Tampa Bay’s game plan against Felix, saying that they weren’t going to try to hang around into deep counts. Sure enough, of the 24 pitches Felix threw his first time through the Rays order only four went into the book as called strikes, with two fouls, three swings and misses, and seven balls put into play. One of those called strikes was a 3-0 pitch to Zobrist, too (one of three 3-ball counts the entire game, I might add). In total, seven Rays swung at the first pitch of their at-bats, including four of the first nine. That’s more detailed information than you’re going to get off of Retrosheet or the Baseball Reference Play Index, and I have this information on-the-fly at the game.
Logging information like this keeps me paying attention to every pitch and can make the game more interesting as trends start to emerge during play. While Safeco Field’s LED ribbon on the façade of the second level will tell you a pitcher’s balls and strikes, as well as his first-pitch record for the game, that information is somewhat limited in its predictive power. Keeping track of pitches like I do is my way of measuring if a pitcher has his “stuff,” if he’s getting batters to swing and miss. I don’t get a really good idea if a breaking ball is biting from 400-plus feet away in the right-center-field seats, but logging swinging strikes can certainly tell me if a pitcher has been effective in this outing.
The scorecard also serves as an interesting interaction piece with other fans. Those who are around me but don’t know what I’m doing do ask from time to time what this page I’m working on is all about. I can also refer to it when interacting with opposing fans and get a quick retort to any heckling or use it to help educate newer fans or people who don’t have a good handle on understanding of the nuance of the game. Let’s face it; baseball games are three-hour marathons for people who aren’t as into it. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t have Hat Tricks and Hydro Races. By paying close attention to the game and keeping score, I may be able to turn fans attention to a crucial moment on the field or let them know that an interesting or unusual event just took place like a swing and a miss by a guy with a high contact rate like Dustin Pedroia.
I keep my scorecard in .pdf format, and if watching sometimes awful baseball intently and trying to avoid bathroom breaks sounds fun to you, I’ve be happy to send a copy your way and explain the unusual features about my design if you’d like a little help.