SECTION 331

Just a goth and her baseball team. And sometimes Daniel Carroll.


Leave a comment

Hisashi Iwakuma to Make Rehab Start in Everett

Announcement from yesterday:

Iwakuma Scheduled to Make Rehab Appearance in Everett
Seattle Mariners starter recovering from back injury
EVERETT, Wash. – Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to pitch for the Everett AquaSox on Saturday, June 20, as part of his injury rehabilitation, the organization announced today.
Tickets for the game can be purchased in the AquaSox front office or online at aquasox.com. The Saturday, June 20, game begins at 6:05 p.m. at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Iwakuma, a 34-year-old right-hander, injured his back earlier this season. He struck out 11 batters in three starts earlier this season, before injury held him out of the lineup. Iwakuma holds a 3.18 ERA in his MLB career, with 451 strikeouts.
A native of Japan, Iwakuma joined the Mariners via free agency in 2012, and has only appeared in one other minor league game. He threw a four-inning rehab start in 2014 for Triple-A Tacoma, striking out two batters.
Iwakuma will join an AquaSox squad that also features top prospects Alex Jackson and Luiz Gohara. The team opens play in the Northwest League at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Season tickets, group outings and mini-plan game packages are available now. Call (425) 258-3673 or visit the AquaSox office at 3802 Broadway in Everett for more information.

Unfortunately for yours truly, I have long-standing plans for this weekend and cannot attend; but if you’ve never been to Everett, it’s a great venue for something like this. Because of the small size of the stadium, you’re never far from the game at all, and if you love taking pictures like I do, you can get some nice ones at Everett Memorial. I understand that the AquaSox have done some food upgrading, too, which is my main complaint with their stadium, so that adds a little bonus to things.

I was going to attempt to get a post up about the game last night and the fantastic time Daniel and I had with Hunter Pence signs, but I was so busy at work I had to work through lunch just to catch up. I may try tomorrow, particularly if I can get some photos uploaded. It was a great night. The Mariners are finishing up their 4-game series with the Giants tonight, but I am about ready to go lay down and get some sleep, so I will not be able to watch. The weekend (and tomorrow’s Mariners Star Wars night!) cannot come soon enough.


Leave a comment

Aquasox Opening Day This Thursday

From the inbox about five days ago, I have just been too busy to post anything lately, Mariners, Aquasox, or otherwise…

First Everett Homestand Includes Father’s Day Giveaway, Bullpen BBQ Special

EVERETT, Wash. – The future stars of the Seattle Mariners bring baseball back to Everett Thursday as the AquaSox host the Eugene Emeralds on Opening Day. All gates will open at 5:30 on the 18th, with the first pitch at 7:05pm.

The AquaSox have a set of great offers and giveaways for the five-game opening homestand against Eugene. On Opening Day, the first 1,000 fans will receive a magnet schedule and kids in attendance will have the opportunity to run the bases after the game. It is also Tasty Thursday, with $2 hot dogs, popcorn, sodas and 12-ounce Coors Light. The second game, on Friday, June 19, will feature the first fireworks spectacular of the 2015 season.

Rosters for the upcoming season are still being finalized and will be available shortly before Opening Day on AquaSox.com.

“The staff has been working non-stop to prepare for Opening Day. The park looks great and we are very excited to welcome our fans on June 18th,” said AquaSox General Manager Danny Tetzlaff. “We have great giveaways and outstanding deals this season that will make a night at the ballpark a home run for everyone!”

Everett Memorial Stadium is the perfect place to bring dads on Sunday, June 21, because the AquaSox have neck ties for the first 500 fathers to come through the gates as a part of Father’s Day at the ballpark. For just $35 per person, fans can also bring their dads to a special Father’s Day BBQ before the game to enjoy an all-you-can-eat barbeque buffet, participate in a meet and greet with the AquaSox players, and receive an Upper Box ticket.

Tickets are on sale now at the AquaSox front office and online at aquasox.com. The AquaSox Home Opener is at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, June 18, versus the Eugene Emeralds. Season tickets, group outings and mini-plan game packages are available now. Call (425) 258-3673 or visit the AquaSox office at 3802 Broadway in Everett for more information.

 

Unfortunately, Thursdays are normally time spent with Tom prior to the weekend, and I have a game both tomorrow night and Friday to go to, so once again I will not be able to go up to Everett for this, but Aquasox home openers are always a lot of fun, and the weather has been great here lately, so it should be a great day for some minor league baseball, and some of our new drafts will also be up there….

EVERETT, Wash. – The Seattle Mariners’ top prospect, outfielder Alex Jackson, will join the Everett AquaSox to begin the 2015 season. The roster for the 2015 season was announced Monday, June 15, as players and coaches began arriving in Everett.

The AquaSox roster will feature one other player from the MLB.com top 30 prospect rankings. Left-handed pitcher Luiz Gohara, ranked No. 7 in the organization by MLB.com, joins Jackson in Everett. Gohara is an international signee out of São Paulo, Brazil, and Jackson was the top draft pick in 2014 out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego.

Andrew Moore, the Mariners’ second selection in the 2015 MLB Draft, will begin his minor league career in Everett. A 5-foot-11 pitcher taken No. 72 overall out of Oregon State University, Moore will be the top pick to join the AquaSox from this year’s draft. He led the Beavers with a 1.91 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 122.1 innings pitched during the 2015 season.

Sixteen other members of the 2015 draft class are anticipated to join the AquaSox to begin the season. Matt Clancy, Darin Gillies, Logan James, Anthony Misiewicz, Joe Pistorese, Dylan Silva, Lance Thonvold, Colin Tornberg, Art Warren and Kyle Wilcox join Moore on the mound. Catcher P.J. Jones, infielders Conner Hale, Drew Jackson, Logan Taylor and Ryan Uhl, and outfielder Braden Bishop round out the members of this year’s draft.

Four players on the anticipated 2015 roster have local ties. Bishop played center field for the University of Washington, and P.J. Jones and Joe Pistorese played for Washington State University in 2015. Jones is also from Vancouver, Washington, joining Covington product Jordan Cowan as the only players from the state.

And of course the Mariners take on the Giants again tonight in a four-game, split-location series in San Francisco. Daniel and I will be there tomorrow at Safeco Field to watch Felix go up against Madison Bumgarner, and then again for Star Wars fireworks night on Friday, which I have been looking forward to all season. Tonight, it’s JA Happ against Mariner fan heartbreaker Tim Lincecum, so it should be interesting to see what this current Seattle team can do against one of the other best pitchers in baseball.

 

 

EDIT; Oops! Game is going on currently. That’ll learn me to not pay attention.


2 Comments

McClendon, Zunino Get Ejected in Grand Fashion

I am going to have to go to sleep before this game is over, sadly, but so far Mike Montgomery has been quite a little firecracker against the Yankees, and ever since this happened, the Mariners hitters have had a spark lighted under them that appears to be helping them antagonize CC Sabathia. I probably have more to say, but really, the video at that link is kind of all you need to know about this game so far, and is going to be something I remember for ages. Mike Montgomery will probably remember it too.  I applaud both Mike Zunino and Lloyd McClendon for standing up against a system of authority that is often not held accountable for its errors. The game is in the top of the 5th and tied at 1-1 as I hit “publish” on this. I may make it another half hour, but so far this has been a fun game to watch.


Leave a comment

Mariners Best Cleveland, Fireworks Night On the Lawn

This last Friday night was the Mariners first Fireworks Night of the 2015 season. It’s something that I enjoy so much, that I have decided that pending other life events, I want to try and make it to every single one, much like Turn Back the Clock or the Train Car nights. While I was sitting at work Friday afternoon, however, I got an email reminding me that I hadn’t used any of something called “Mariners Memories”. This requires that I download a phone app, MLB At Bat. I don’t know how not to be long winded about this, so here goes…I dropped my phone down the elevator at work about a week ago. It was an iPhone 4, 8GB. I didn’t have the memory to download the program, and I just figured it wasn’t something I was interested in anyway. I got our carrier to put a new SIM card into Tom’s old 16GB iPhone, and have been using that. More memory = the ability to download this app. The email told me that I was missing out on the possiblity of being able to watch the fireworks from the field in the grass around homeplate. So out of curiosity, I downloaded the app, poked around, and managed to redeem the points that were given to me at the beginning of the season. I am not sure how one might accumulate more points, but I will poke around and figure it out eventually. So my friend Cynthia and I went to the game; she wearing her Indians shirt and me in all black because I felt like dressing nice that day.

We hung out down in The Pen until the loudness of the music started to really bother me (I get that they’re trying to create a party atmosphere down there, but if I have to shout at the person I’m standing next to, it becomes a lot less fun for me), and I wanted to go upstairs to take some photos of the bullpen happenings anyway, so we went up to the main concourse and found ourselves a nice little spot across from the Way Back Crab Shack (I have some more on this particular entity in the park, maybe tomorrow evening). The jersey dash was just getting started, and the Moose was out in center field with the family for the evening. They won, but they cut it very close; like last second close.

IMG_6542Meanwhile, Taijuan Walker was warming up next to them with Mike Zunino, and then into the bullpen they both went for more warming up.

IMG_6543IMG_6549IMG_6551That last one isn’t as good as I’d like it to be. I’ve had my current camera for quite a long time, and while I still like it and it does a good job, I haven’t been studying our pitchers as much as I have in the past, so my timing with my one-size-fits-all “sports” shutter speed isn’t maybe as good as it could be. I should spend more time upstairs taking shots from this angle.

The bullpen guys started heading across the field, amid cheers from the beer porch downstairs.

IMG_6560They put all their backpacks and assorted gloves and whatnot on the bench and then greeted Walker, Zunino, and pitching coach Rick Waits as the three headed out to take the walk back across the field to join the dugout to start.

IMG_6565IMG_6566IMG_6567IMG_6568After the starting pitching staff was gone, the bullpen started their own greeting, but it was short and difficult to get shots of because I am unfamiliar. This was the “best” picture I got of it, which clearly isn’t saying much, but I wanted to share it anyway:

IMG_6571I love our weirdos.

Cyn and I wandered up to our seats after the National Anthem, and we were on for baseball. Walker was brilliant that evening, which, given his previous few games, I had honest doubts about. But he went eight full innings, giving up only two hits with no runs attached, and obtaining eight strikeouts. The Mariners outhit and outscored Cleveland, who are currently last in the AL Central. Not by much, of course, but I won’t argue with it at all. It was a fun game to be at.

IMG_6574Logan Morrison, in the swing.

IMG_6575Nelson Cruz, walking back to second after an unsuccessful lead off.

IMG_6578The Indians discuss amongst themselves their terms of surrender.

IMG_6580Logan Morrison waits at second with Mike Zunino wandering at first as the Indians staff discusses replacements.

Around the top of the 8th, I got a little nervous because I wasn’t really sure about the procedure for the fireworks, so we went down to section 128 as my verification had instructed. We wound up with a group of people who were also looking for where to go and who to talk to. Guest Services was confused for a moment, then told us we needed to get wrist bands from a table on the actual concourse, so we did. We were then able to see some of the bottom of the 8th and top of the 9th. But only a bit.

IMG_6582I managed to record Fernando Rodney’s entrance, which was maybe one of the best videos I have taken of it to date, but I am currently watching the final game in this series and have a boatload of yardwork to do today still, so I am trying to get this post cranked out ASAP, so I’m not waiting for YouTube downloads right now.

IMG_6585Zunino behind the plate as Rodney warms up.

IMG_6586Unfortunately, I didn’t get to truly finish the game; we were instructed to go downstairs and were herded down to the press room for a bit to wait.

IMG_6590The game was being played on TVs down there, and of course the room erupted in cheers with the final out. We followed the crowd down the hall past the umpires’ room and onto the field…

IMG_6591IMG_6592Cyn and I got our spots on the grass, and sat down. It was very soft and very green and very comfortable. It also tastes like cucumbers, so there is something that you probably didn’t know before right now.

The fireworks then began. It was a salute to the 1990s soundtrack. The Mariners seem to do a lot of things recalling the 90s. If I was a gambler, I’d bet it has a lot to do with the fact that for a good portion of the decade, Seattle music reigned supreme and started entirely new genres of music that we are still hearing the results of today. It was good to be a musician in Seattle in the 90s, and a lot of fun too. I was never engaged in the creation of any of what one might refer to as popular music, but being a musician in that decade was kind of exciting. I don’t really miss 90s music now, but I remember it being a very exciting time to be a local musician.

IMG_6596IMG_6606I didn’t take too many photos of the fireworks this time, I was too busy watching them.

Afterwards, Cynthia and I went to a very crowded Hooverville and had a pint, then walked back to downtown to grab our respective buses home. It was a great night.

I will certainly be doing more poking around in this new application in the near future. It looks  like there are many other opportunities to do things out of the norm with it, and I of course welcome any situation where I can add to the experience of going to the game.

Now I am going to finish watching the Mariners and Indians battle it out in a one-run game in the bottom of the 6th. Tom Wilhelmsen has not had a good day, but JA Happ had a pretty good one. The next time I go to the park will be for the Lookout Landing/Cespedes Family Barbecue meetup on Dustin Ackley Train Car night. We’ll be playing the Tampa Rays, and I believe our seats are pretty good for this one. I have missed the meetups since staffing changes at USS Mariner and Lookout Landing have occurred. Should be fun.

 

 


Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Very Different Games

Sitting around this morning watching the Mariners play the Blue Jays. The roof on Rogers Centre is open for the sun – I always think Safeco’s roof is amazing until I see the weird clamshell thing on Rogers Centre – and the Mariners are, as of right now, in the lead of a one-run game in the top of the 6th inning. Willie Bloomquist hit an RBI double, so this game has been kind of bizarre. But good for Willie; old ball players can and do have a bit of spark left in them sometimes.

Last weekend was a busy one. On top of going to Tom’s DJ night at the Mercury, I had two baseball games to go to; Saturday’s Turn Back the Clock Salute to the Negro Leagues, and my annual Red Sox game with my friend Eric on Sunday. They were tremendously different games in just about every way.

Saturday, Su and I went to the park and I was just about starving. We met down at The Pen, and I made a beeline to the pizza and salad place down there. Word to the wise, their Caesar salads are actually really good, and freshly made when you order them. They have also got both with chicken and without for the same price of $6, which is a damn good deal for stadium food. Also, it was hot and I was complain-y, so a nice cool salad seemed like an excellent idea.

Neither of us had any use for beer that day, so we wandered up to the main concourse where it was a bit more quiet and far more open, and secured a bit of a spot above The Pen to drink soda and watch the Red Sox take BP for a bit while Felix came out to warm up with Jesus Sucre. The Mariners were of course wearing the (somewhat updated, I’d think) uniforms of the Negro League team the Steelheads. The Steelheads were here for one year, 1946, and played at Sick’s Stadium. The Red Sox were wearing the uniforms of the Royal Giants.

IMG_6494The Boston pitching staff walking towards their bullpen over left field.

IMG_6495Felix walking to the Pen in left center. As he approached, the hundreds of people who were in the Pen and over the center field wall cheered him. He waved at the crowd a bit and it sent them into near hysterics. It made me realize how much like an Elvis Presley or The Beatles he is here; all he has to do is acknowledge that fans are there, and they completely lose it.

IMG_6497Jesus Sucre, getting loose in the grass. You can see the pants stripe (which I loved, but a lot of others weren’t fond of) and his black gear just looked really slick over the white, which was an off-white and didn’t mess with my white balance at all; I think all current whites should be switched to this. It would stop baseball players from looking like ghosts, for those of us who don’t have professional cameras.

IMG_6498IMG_6499

The bullpen, with Tom Wilhelmsen doing some sort of dance. It looked like he was singing to them for a bit; there was a lot of gesturing and vaguely choreographed walking on the parts of the others. The bullpen is still weird. I will be trying to get some more pictures of this in the future this year.IMG_6502Dustin Ackley, ready for action in center field. And he did make some amazing plays out there that night, making a tremendous sliding catch out against the wall to save a base. He even got a hit that night, a rare occurence for Ackley, a player whose time a lot of fans and journalists alike seem to feel should come to an end here in Seattle.

IMG_6505Felix gets ready to pounce!

IMG_6506The screen last Saturday was done up in old school chalk style…

IMG_6510The hat  trick was black and white fedoras. My camera’s shutter is not as fast as the refresh rate on the big screen. The price you pay for updated technology.

IMG_6511The boat races, though? Done old school, like they did the other year while playing the Cubbies and saluting 1909.

The game, of course, was not great for the Mariners. We lost and we lost badly. It didn’t help that there was an Ms fan in our row who had been drinking a ton before he and his girlfriend got there, and didn’t stop all night long. They had to be talked to by ushers three times, and still continued being obnoxious, trying to pick fights with the Sox fans around us, and accusing David Ortiz of being a “cheater” while apparently forgetting that we have Nelson Cruz on our team. They were asked to leave eventually after multiple complaints (not from me, I wantd to see what he was going to get himself into), and they came back around the top of the 8th with fresh beer and behaved themselves for the remainder of the game. But the whole thing was a wash, and we failed to best the Royal Giant Sox.

Sunday, however, was a different story!

I met Eric at Hooverville where we had some ciders, and then went to the home plate entrance to get in and try to make our seats by first pitch. The weather had started out overcast, so I honestly thought we’d get rained on; but alas. The sun came out. I don’t wear baseball hats and I don’t own any hats with brims (I should really change that), so I ate my Thai food in tortured silence until about the third inning, when I just couldn’t take it anymore. A friend of mine works downstairs and has offered numerous times to let me sit downstairs – near the back, of course, so we’re not bothering anyone who has actual tickets – and I have never taken him up on it yet this year. I just can’t be out in the sun. Even with sunscreen, it is difficult. I burn like crazy with or without sunscreen (my life on the water in recent years has more than proven this to me), and even with my protective sunglasses, my eyes hurt for the rest of the day if I spend any longer than a few minutes here and there in direct sunlight. I considered Sunday an emergency, so I used my favor and we went to the lower deck, sitting in some unused ADA seats for the remainder of the game.

And what a game!

James Paxton did very well for himself, pitching 8 full innings and only allowing 5 hits.  Carson Smith didn’t give anyone any hits in the 9th, which is about what he’s doing to the Blue Jays right now as I am trying to wrap up this post. The Mariners position players owned Sox pitcher Steven Wright, and getting one hit from each of Wright’s three relievers as well. We won the series. Every year, Eric goes out to smoke at some point in the game. When this happens, every year the Mariners have hit a home run. I wish I were making this up, but it is 100% true. Eric’s team has beat us before during these games he and I go to, but always the smoking, always the home run.

IMG_6513IMG_6515I am starting to really like James Paxton. I wasn’t quite sure at the beginning of the year, but his 2-2 record doesn’t really give a good indication of how well he can pitch. If this continues, I’d like to see them lock him down sooner rather than later. We need a guy. Felix is the love of our lives, I know, but he can’t shoulder the responsibility every 5 or 6 days to make a positive impact for this team.

IMG_6516The Moose, doing what he does. The Moose is possibly one of the most accessible mascots in baseball. The Philly Phanatic has the best on-field presence that I have seen in my small baseball travels. I hope to be able to make better judgements about this in  future years.

IMG_6518Mike Zunino in action. He’s still my guy for the year. As I am typing this, he is currently on first base at Rogers Centre after a nicely planted left field single.

IMG_6520Shane Victorino heads to first base. Victorino is still one of my favorite players, ever since I first saw him with the Phillies. His defense is still amazing, something he proved on Friday’s game, actually, with an amazing run and sliding catch. I just love him.

IMG_6526IMG_6527IMG_6530Carson Smith, coming in for the kill in the 9th. We shut out the Red Sox, 5-0.

IMG_6532IMG_6533Everybody’s hugging!

As I am finishing up this post, a one-run game is taking place in Toronto, and Fernando Rodney is on the hill against Blue Jays Russell Martin, who grounded out to first. Danny Valencia was next, and Rodney got him out swinging, but not before some Jays fan threw something on the field, bolstering my low opinion of Jays fans. Look, I know you’re not all like that, but I have yet to run into the good ones, so my view is a bit tainted. Chris Colabello was Rodney’s next victim, and struck out swinging again. Rodney let the arrow fly, as he is wont to do, and it was well-deserved; that was an amazingly tight inning for him, and not scary at all.

Tomorrow is another early game, and the second day of a three day weekend, something I haven’t gotten a lot of in recent years. I love early games because I can still get in some baseball and still have my day left to do whatever I want. Whatever I want tomorrow consists of having a handful of people over and watching some bad movies, making some food, and having a few drinks, just a chill afternoon. Maybe I’ll mow the lawn, I don’t know. But I will watch baseball. Happy weekend to everyone, and please have a safe, good, and respectful Memorial Day.

 


Leave a comment

Brad Miller AL PotW, Aquasox Gear Up For 2015, And The Mariners Are For The Birds

First of all, many congratulations to Brad Miller for being the AL player of the week! Nelson Cruz was sort of expected back in April, but so far this year the only other team that has had two has been the Yankees. Brad Miller has done very well for himself this week, and it’s great to see.

The Everett Aquasox released their promotional schedule about a week ago, but I never got around to posting it here. I could link to it, but posting media is more fun. Opening night is on Thursday, June 18th against the Eugene Emeralds. Right around the corner!

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 4.57.29 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-18 at 4.58.17 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-18 at 4.58.57 PM

I need to make it to a few games this year, and I haven’t been to see a Rainiers game since maybe the final time I saw Jamie Moyer or maybe it was Eric Bedard’s rehab stint…it’s been a long time. The ‘Sox are also having a “30 Days of Opening Day”, which features the following events:

Everett, Wash. – Let the countdown begin! The Everett AquaSox are excited to announce “30 Days of Opening Day,” a preseason promotion featuring contests, giveaways, discounts and more every day to celebrate the upcoming home opener on June 18th.

Beginning Tuesday May 19th, fans are encouraged to check Facebook, Twitter, and aquasox.com for a chance to win tickets and autographed memorabilia, participate in trivia games and fan photo contests, be the first to see big reveals for the season and more.

Merchandise Mondays (5/25, 6/1, 6/8, 6/15) – Every Monday we will offer exclusive deals for our entire team store or exciting reveals of new merchandise for the 2015 season. Discounts will be valid online and in our team store so check our website, Facebook, or Twitter account on Mondays at 9am to get all the fun details.

Trivia Tuesdays (5/19, 5/26, 6/2, 6/9, 6/16) – Test your AquaSox knowledge on #TriviaTuesday! Visit our Facebook and Twitter account on Tuesdays at noon to answer a fun trivia question. The first fan to answer correctly on each will win a free gift card to Carl’s Jr. or Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse.

Weenie Wednesdays (5/20, 5/27, 6/3, 6/10, 6/17) – Get a free voucher for a ballpark hot dog, chips, and a drink when you spend $25 on tickets or merchandise every Wednesday at our team store (visit our front office at 3802 Broadway in Everett).

Theme Thursdays (5/21, 5/28, 6/4, 6/11) – Theme Thursdays will feature a theme night or promotion for the 2015 season and fans that comment and share the post on Facebook will be entered to win 4 Upper Box Seat tickets to that game!

Former Frog Fridays (5/22, 5/29, 6/5, 6/12) – Every Friday leading up to Opening Day, the AquaSox will feature a Seattle Mariners prospect that once played in Everett. Check in with your favorite former frogs on our website, aquasox.com.

Savory Saturdays (5/23, 5/30, 6/6, 6/13) – Prepare your palate for the 2015 season! Every Saturday we will reveal delicious new food served at the ballpark this season and two lucky fans that comment and share the post on Facebook will win a free voucher for the food item.

Share it Sundays (5/24, 5/31, 6/7, 6/14) – Share a photo showing your AquaSox pride and win an autographed ball! On Sundays fans are encouraged to post pictures from AquaSox games, wearing AquaSox gear or creatively showing their team pride on Facebook or Twitter. Tag the AquaSox in your post and we will choose one winner each week.

So head up to Everett and enjoy some minor league ball, and see some possibly future Mariners. If you’ve never been, it’s a fun way to spend an evening. The atmosphere is relaxed, families seem to have a lot of fun there, and the quality of the ball is not too shabby, generally speaking. Knowing these guys might some day be huge stars is a draw as well.

I have photos from the two weekend games I attended, but I think I’m going to wait until tomorrow to post them. The Mariners are headed to Baltimore to play my Birds, so you know I’m going to be attached to the couch for the early game tomorrow after work. The Orioles are struggling a bit this year, and are only a bit behind us, standings-wise. We are tossing out Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias and JA Happ against Miguel Gonzalez, and two other as-of-yet-unnamed hurlers.  The O’s seem to be dealing with a small plague of injuries this month, and given that and offseason moves, their roster is a little shaken up. Of course, these series are very non-stressful for me, as either team winning would make me happy, and I am looking forward to seeing OPACY on TV (I’d love to go back sometime soon). It will be a good baseball week!


Leave a comment

Some Sights From Tuesday’s Mariners Home Run Class

Things last night clearly didn’t go as well as the night before, so let’s not talk about last night.

Tuesday, Daniel and I went to the early entry game for season ticket holders. We severely mismanaged the time, which put us nearly at the front of the line, where we stood for about 45 minutes, rather than the 10 we thought we’d have to. It’s totally fine, though, because during our conversation, I found out all about Beat the Streak, and now I really want to play.  When the gates opened and we were searched, scanned, and had a 50% off food and drink ticket given to us, the evening was on.

I grabbed a beer and a red whip for later with my coupon, and we sat down over right field in the corner to watch the guys warm up and much around on the field. From the very beginning, Tuesday night’s game felt positive. The guys were out stretching, playing catch, joking around with each other. Felix, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz were smiling and chattering away in Spanish, and with the roof closed in the lightly humid but still warm stormy weather, and pop music playing over the PA, it was a very happy mood inside the park. Pictures!

IMG_3858IMG_6455IMG_6457IMG_6458

For as reasonably OK as I am at taking pictures of pitchers in action, I haven’t mastered group warmups yet, and it’s hard to get everyone in the frame with all the sudden stopping and starting they do. Everyone seems to have their own rhythm and pace of stretching, so some were way out in front of the pack, while others hung out and chatted with each other. But it was all very laid back and easy.

IMG_6459IMG_6460IMG_6461Jeff Phillips, the bullpen catcher, and Felix have a moment on the grass. If you’ll remember, a few years ago, Phillips got married at Safeco Field to a girl he threw a baseball to with his phone number written on it. It was a human interest story in the Seattle Times early during the offseason – if I remember correctly – and it was very sweet. Phillips was involved in the gladiator bullpen of 2009, and he still parttakes in the ‘pen’s shenanigans now. I do mean to get back down there and take some film and such of that. Tuesday would have been a great day to do it due to low attendance mid-week, but we had to go eat dinner.

IMG_6462IMG_6463IMG_6464Happy Felix is the best Felix! It was at this point that the position players and pitchers sort of went their separate ways a little more and spread out over the field to take some at bats and shag flyballs. The pitchers stayed in front of us, though.

IMG_6465Tommy and Mark Lowe. I’m glad Lowe is back – even though he is not necessarily 2009 Mark Lowe. It’s nice to see a familiar face in the bullpen, of all places.

IMG_6467IMG_6468IMG_6469Mark Lowe and Joe Beimel – aka Wolverine – taking some throws…

IMG_6470Not the best shot of Tom Wilhelmsen, I suppose.

IMG_6474The FernandoCoaster!

IMG_6476Chris Taylor, over in the diamond. I only took this picture because Daniel was trying to figure out who it was in stirrups that was not Brad Miller. It came out well, so here you go.

The following group of pictures were my favorite to take…

IMG_6478IMG_6479IMG_6480IMG_6481IMG_6482IMG_6483IMG_6484IMG_6486Now imagine a lot of laughing, dekeing each other with lazy throwing, and Spanish discussion, and you kind of have an idea of the atmosphere. Light and fluffy.

At around 5.10, the gates would open and any hope that Daniel or I had for catching a fly or dinger into the stands was going to be taken over by smaller and more aggressive fans than either of us (with the exception of a few that went over our heads or right in front of us against the wall), so we went to The Pen for a bit, then we went up to Hit It Here for dinner. This was dinner for me:

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 4.58.59 AM

My food came independtly rather than together; the waitress had misheard me and thought I had ordered a cheesesteak rather than a burger – and I should have, it looked amazing when it showed up – but I stuck to my guns. That is a raw jalepeno slice. There was a hefty amount of gorgonzola cheese on the burger and more raw sliced jalepenos inside. I am a huge fan of spicy food, but I had to scrape off maybe a tablespoon of peppers from the bottom bun, and there were still a good tablespoon of them left. It was really good, but if they had maybe given the peppers a quick sautee’ or something it would have been much better, and taken a bit of the sting out. The salad was great, for a substitution for fries. I am a huge fan of blue cheeses, and even moreso of that and bacon. Good dinner all ’round. Daniel had fish and chips, which is pretty much always a good bet at Safeco.

After dinner, we wandered to our seats and after and adorable National Anthem from a children’s choir, Felix receiving an honorary plaque for his 2,000th strikeout, and some other pre-game goings-on, it was time to play ball. And wow did we play ball. The Mariners took the Padres to home run school, hitting 6 dingers over pretty much every wall of the park, including one that we thought was headed right at us until weight, weather, and velocity sent it into the Ms bullpen below our section. James Paxton got himself into and out of some jams, and all told lasted 6 full innings before being pulled for Danny Farquhar, who didn’t do so terribly well and was replaced with Tom Wilhelmsen before the 7th inning ended.

IMG_6488Dustin Ackley, ready for action in center field.

IMG_6489Paxton, in the throw.

IMG_6490Justin Ruggiano, replacing Ackley late in the game.

IMG_6491Mark Lowe comes into the top of the 9th to replace Charlie Furbush. I really wish we could have Fernando Rodney come in to situations like this. When the place is already amped up, it would be fun to turn it up to 11, but not having a save situation would make that silly, and it was nice to see Lowe on the mound in person again.

IMG_6492Lowe and Mike Zunino discuss their finishing moves before taking the Pads down. Sort of. Lowe was shaky and allowed a run (to Abraham Almonte!), but things didn’t collapse into a fiery nightmare, so one run is fine for the game. Maybe not so great for Lowe.

But Mike Zunino! I don’t even know where to start. Zunino hit two home runs Tuesday. TWO! His batting average was sitting around some .154 when the game started. Due to last night’s abyssmal team showing, it didn’t get much higher, but it’s now at .188. If he has to keep climbing slowly, at least he’s climbing. And that first bomb went all the way over the heads of the crowd in The Pen, landing on the concrete next to where Brad Adam and company do the pre and post-game shows. Impressive. Maybe that pitch was served weakly, I don’t know; but it was great to see Zunino get some power on. I still hold out hope that he will improve over the course of the year. It was a good night for him, and a great night for everyone watching the game.

We are headed into a series now with Boston. Four games, starting tonight. I don’t know much about the Red Sox this year, only what my friend Eric tells me, and that was nothing good. But I don’t trust any opposition. I mean, we scraped the Padres off the highway at 11-3 Tuesday, and they beat us 4-2 last night. Baseball is a funny thing. But that’s also what makes it so amazing.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 736 other followers