SECTION 331

Like a Million Baseball Fans Cried Out, and Were Suddenly Silenced

Fridays at Safeco

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I have been working on a Citizens Bank Park preview this week, but again, I have been busy. For those who are unaware, my job is doing administrative work for a company that handles the tobacco quitlines for about 25 states, and multiple corporate contracts. The CDC launches a campaign at the beginning of each year to help encourage people to quit smoking. Last year it lasted until March; this year it won’t end until June or July. This week has been particularly difficult, so at the end of 8 hours of work, I really am too brain dead to do much writing or research. This weekly post I have been getting up an hour earlier to do when I can; otherwise, it’s posted on Saturdays. I don’t talk about my life outside baseball much, but felt I needed to explain the continued lack of activity here. Citizens Bank has quite a few interesting features to it, and the MLB.com site for the Phillies is Inception-like in it’s links to this or that, so it’s taking me longer than “normal”. Whatever that means. Anyway, on to the pictures…

IMG_2254A wee little Instagram picture I took last year, mid-season. One thing I absolutely love about our park is the view of the downtown area. When I chose section 331 for my first season, I picked it specifically because it was behind the plate and up high enough to get a view of downtown, the scoreboard, and the game. I like the closer view I have been experiencing with tickets in left field over the past few years, but there is something about the 300 level that is just wonderful. Every now and then, I’ll go up to the area over right or right center, and sit in those seats by myself and just take everything in. It’s especially nice on hotter days, because the breeze from the Sound kind of rolls around up there.

IMG_3113Hisashi Iwakuma, going in for the strike. One of the mysteries of pitchers, for me, is how they can throw so fast while winding up like this. If you’ve tried it (I have), you would notice that it is a completely unnatural motion for a human being to make to merely throw things. I get the concept of putting all your power behind the ball, but the coordination of lifting your lead foot while getting ready to throw in a straight line boggles me. I can either throw in a straight line like a person would normally throw something, or I can do something like this and the ball does whatever it wants. A friend of mine once tried to teach me how to pitch (he played in school), and he would instruct me from the plate on what to do. He is lucky to be alive, though I’m pretty sure a 30MPH pitch (and I’m probably being generous) wouldn’t have really hurt anyone. What I lack in pitching ability I make up for in gripping the ball. That, too, is unnatural, but if you need a grip on a forkball or a knuckler, I’m your gal.

IMG_2257I tend to overlook a lot of art in the park, as over the years, it has just become more of the scenery. This year, I want to get good photos of all of these, as they are everywhere. This one, in case you can’t tell, is behind center field. I was waiting for someone back there on a warm day and noticed that the fence separating Safeco from the rest of the world features these little plaques. Similar plaques can also be found on the front of the home plate entrance, along the gates. I am hoping I have the time and wherewithal to notice small pieces of art like this in the parks I will be visiting in a month (seriously, it’s in a month!), but I have the feeling I might be a little overwhelmed.

I have been watching a few Spring Training games here and there on TV when I can. Sunday and Tuesday I managed to catch the Orioles playing the Red Sox and Yankees, respectively. Tomorrow, the Mariners are playing the Dodgers (I think?) at around noon or 1PM, which will be broadcast on ROOTSports NW. Since work has been taking it out of me this week, I have not been able to get to the store to grab batteries for my little sport radio to listen, so I have been keeping a general eye on Ms scores, but nothing in depth just yet. I guess Fernando Rodney allowed a run and two hits the other day, not really something you want to see from your closer, but it’s still early. We had a four-run advantage prior to that, so I’ll cut him some slack, but given the Mariners propensity for creating 1-run games up until the 9th, I’d feel a lot better if Rodney was more stable.

Looking forward to actually seeing the Mariners tomorrow; I will be trying to get that Citizens Bank post up over the weekend as well. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Fridays at Safeco

  1. I have used your site to “sneak around” in the past to read the Times posts without paying. I really are beginning to enjoy your pics of the ball park I haven’t noticed. Great shot of downtown! Thanks from a reader from Vancouver WA. jerry

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