SECTION 331

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

Camden Yards, Part II: Not The Best Game

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Sitting around watching the Mariners play the Braves in Atlanta. I have no thoughts one way or the other on the Braves as a baseball team. They exist, they’re a thing, that’s kind of the end of it for me. But I have been sitting on this post for a while now, so I figured that I would toss on a little baseball atmosphere and get to it. I may have to finish it Wednesday, as it is going to be fairly picture-heavy. At this point, I am wishing I had just sucked it up and taken care of it after the game once I got back to Springfield VA, but I really needed a break from slow internet, constant travel, and yes, even baseball to a point. So blog content suffers for my desire for leisure time. That said, here we go…

So as mentioned previously, (I think), I went to two games at Camden Yards; one with tickets I bought via StubHub before leaving Seattle, and one that I got tickets for the upper deck that following Sunday. I didn’t know if I would be able to see and do everything I wanted to in one night, and I was right. So we got up, packed the car, and headed back to Camden from the hotel Sunday the 13th of April. My goal was to eat at Dempsey’s, and we had been told they opened at 11 daily, so we went earlier than I might have chosen to otherwise.

Once the car was parked, we went along the right/center field wall on the outside of the stadium, and found the door to Dempsey’s. It specifically said open at 11, yet was most definitely not open. We couldn’t find anyone to ask, so we went back to the Eutaw Street entrance and waited. The security at Camden does this weird thing with zip ties at the gate, and I’m not sure what it’s about; the previous night, I was carrying my camera bag and purse, and didn’t get a zip tie. Sunday, though, both Rick and I got zip ties; one on my camera bag, and one on my laptop bag that he was carrying so we didn’t have to leave it in the car. I have no idea what they’re for, or what the color indicates, but I’m leaving mine on forever!

Once we got inside, we made a beeline to Dempsey’s, and were told that the 11AM opening time was on non-game days; so helpful to know if I’m ever able to go back. We were also the first in line, so we opted for outdoor seating, as the weather was quite nice out, and why not? We got some drinks and I ordered bacon on a stick for both of us ,and then we sat around people-watching, chatting, and I took some pictures.

IMG_4572IMG_4574And the bacon!

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IMG_1550Six pieces for twelve bucks, and worth every penny. They’re very thickly-cut pieces, and brushed with a smidge of maple syrup. I don’t know what they did to the meat to get it this way, but the fat just about melts in your mouth. Even Rick, who generally hates meat fat, ate everything but two very large rinds. A must-try if you’re there.I had something called the Black and Orange burger, that has a lot of sauteed peppers on it and is quite good. I got it with crab chips, firmly believing that they would be simply potato chips with Old Bay seasoning on them – and they are….but…there is also a very distinctly crabby taste to them as well, and I don’t think I am a fan.

IMG_1551Of course, your mileage may vary. The guacamole I stole from Rick, who has a problem with avocados because he’s crazy.

They also have sticks of bacon with 2-3 pieces for $5 at various kiosks around the park. We ate our breakfast/lunch, paid our bill, and took off toward the center field sculptures. On the way, though, some home run balls were hit at various places over the wall. I’ll start with the most famous one, on the actual wall of Dempsey’s, over part of the outdoor seating area:

IMG_4575I saw quite a few others I wanted to take pictures of, but a lot more fans were starting to filter in, and I didn’t want to disrupt foot traffic, so I just read them and moved along.

We made it to the sculptures, and I had to maneuver around other fans also taking pictures; it’s a terrifically popular spot. People were very respectful though, some even offered to take my photo with some of the large bronze statues, but I declined, because this blog isn’t about me; so I waited my turn, snapped the shutter when I could, and wound up with all of this:

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.06.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.00.37 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.54.48 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-03 at 5.57.43 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-03 at 6.02.31 PMAfter admiring these as much as humanly possible (and finding myself abruptly worn out in the oncoming heat and humidity of the day), it was time to star walking around the other side of the main concourse, the side we had not quite made it to the night previous. Also, I was quite keen on getting my first-timer’s certificate from guest services, since I had paper tickets from the box office; my plan is to frame all of it eventually. Rick and I were the oldest people in line actually getting a certificate, so the staff asked me where I was from, and I let them know. They asked if I was a Mariners fan, and I gave them an enthusiastic yes. I was then asked how long I had been an Orioles fan, so I gave them that answer as well, and told them they got the better end of the Jones/Bedard trade, at which they all laughed and agreed. I was given my certificate in a manila folder with some paper schedules and coupons and such, and sent on my merry way.

Our seats that day were in the upper deck, and this was our view:

IMG_4591And the bullpens from that vantage point:

IMG_4592Adam Jones and Nick Markakis (or “Nicky Singles”, as he was known by a particularly loud fellow in our seating area the night before)!

IMG_4593The matchup that day was Ubaldo, Jimenez and Mark Buehrle. I had high hopes for the Orioles, as I had heard nothing but positive things about Jimenez from his time on the Rockies’ roster, and while I knew he had some injury issues, he was back in the O’s lineup, so I figured surely – surely – this would be a good game. And it was!

For the Blue Jays. The final score was a horribly painful 11-3, with Jimenez giving up hit after hit, his first offense a home run to Colby Rasmus, in the number 2 slot for Toronto. It was absolutely ugly. I could spend some time describing it, but it would break my heart to have to relive it too much, so here is the recap. Read at your own peril!

I did, however, get some decent shots of the afternoon…

IMG_4600IMG_4601IMG_4605IMG_4609Matt Wieters and an ump carefully watch the plate…

IMG_4611Adam Lind takes a ball in the dirt:

IMG_4612The Orioles bullpen starts to panic a little, while the Jays bullpen relaxes and enjoys their afternoon:

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The Orioles have this fellow Jonathan Schoop (pronounced “Shcope”, sort of) that I am really looking forward to seeing when the O’s come here. I can’t remember offhand what made me notice him, and his stats are pretty middling, but I have high hopes for him.

IMG_4619JJ Hardy makes a run for an infield ball:

IMG_4621Hard hitter Chris Davis and Brett Lawrie hang out for a bit on first:

IMG_4625While Ubaldo gets a talking to, prior to soon being removed from the bump:

IMG_4626The Jays bench (complete with Brandon Morrow, in the glasses):

IMG_4629And Matt Wieters swings away, probably unsuccessfully.

IMG_4634Nicky Singles, avoiding a ball that likely looks like it might be too high for hitting:

IMG_4639Josh Stinson, an attempt to stop the bleeding, is asked to leave so that Brian Matusz can come in. Stinson didn’t stop anything, sadly, and was actually maybe more detrimental to the O’s for that game, giving up some 7-8 hits, and allowing five runs to score (only two of which were his own earned runs, but still).

IMG_4640I didn’t get many decent shots of Matusz, unfortunately; the light in the sky was hazy and reflective, and I couldn’t make my white balance work so that guys weren’t washed out. Some days areĀ  better photo days than others. We did have Dippin’ Dots, though – they were chocolate, which isn’t the greatestĀ  in super hot weather, but they were all out of the rainbow kind (because other smarter people ate them all before us), and beggars can’t be choosers…I just snapped some random shots as the game was winding to a close:

IMG_1552IMG_4660Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 7.09.23 PMAnd then it was over, far sooner than I wanted it to be. Esmil Rogers came out for the Jays, in the 8th, did a pre-throwing ritual and took care of the remainder of his Orioles pretty quickly to end the game.

IMG_4661IMG_4664I watched the whole mess while wearing my new socks:

IMG_1553Steve Clevenger did get a chance to do this in the bottom of the 9th:

IMG_4671And also this:

IMG_4672But sadly, neither of those things wins ball games. The last one doesn’t even help; Clevenger went down swinging for the final out, and I sat there for a few moments as people started filing out of the stadium, not wanting to leave, but knowing I had to, and looking forward to a nice relaxing evening in another Motel 6.

Some day, I will go back to Camden Yards. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I might even do it next year, if I can find decent airfare. The trip really was all that I had hoped for, and so much more than that. I am hoping to get my video post up soon as well.

As I close, the Mariners have just polished off the Braves, and Brad Adam is interviewing John Buck, who is being cheered heartily from fans in the stands. After last night’s Felix victory over the Yankees, this is a nice continuation of our winning. I think the next game I’m going to at home will probably be the Train Car Night coming up; I’ve been collecting them for a few seasons now, might as well keep up the tradition.

I am, as always, hoping to keep writing more frequently. Until then, just remember, THE SIGN IS A LIE!

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2 thoughts on “Camden Yards, Part II: Not The Best Game

  1. That picture of the Hilton blocking the Bromo Seltzer clock tower just breaks my heart. Otherwise, I enjoyed the snaps and commentary. Thanks for sharing.

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