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


Fridays At Safeco: Bullpen Edition

The Mariners start a kind of weird four-game series tonight with the Rays before heading back to play the Yankees for three more games home here. Monday’s game starts at 10AM PST, but that is still a rigorous schedule, for any human being. I am beat after one day of flying for 5-6 hours. Commercial flight is more brutal than a charter, I would imagine (no layovers!), but wow. I don’t know how they do it. I am kind of happy, though, that the Yankees games are mid-week; I want to go next Saturday, and didn’t want to have to battle for decent seats in LF (or any seats at all, given that LF and CF sell out pretty quickly for the larger ticket games). Plus, I really don’t need to hear it from Seattle-based Yankees fans; so everything pretty much works out for me. I am also stoked that I can watch (or listen to) just about every game in this series due to earlier start times.

Anyway, here are some actually quite-recently-taken photos!

IMG_4848This is as close as you get to a still life in baseball. It’s not exactly a bowl of fruit on a table with sunbeams coming through a window somewhere, but it will do for me.

IMG_4851Roenis Elias is throwing a baseball right at you! This was taken during Salute to Sriracha Night, a game against the Astros that we won 3-1. It was my friend Allison’s first time at a game, and we were able to – with the help of fellow Ms fan Carla – get her a BP ball. Carla also helped my friend Alex get a ball just last Friday. I’m not good at being loud, nor do I know the bullpen staff downstairs, or the pitchers, but Carla is and does. If you remember, from 2009, she is one of the ladies that took on the responsibility for the bullpen’s gladiator helmets, once MLB told the team that such objects in the pen were forbidden. We are all fans in our own way, but Carla is undoubtedly one of the biggest Mariners fans I have ever met.

Speaking of the bullpen…

IMG_4883IMG_4885IMG_4886IMG_4887They are not the guys from 2009, but they still have weird little things that they do. In 2008, I don’t remember a lot of this going on; I also don’t remember how I got so preoccupied with the bullpen in 2009. Maybe it’s just my being still relatively new to the game, but I didn’t particularly notice the Orioles, Nats, or Phillies bullpens doing stuff like this. I’d like to think that this is just a little bit of John Wetteland that has survived through some sort of legend or word of mouth the past few years; in reality, it’s probably just something they do that I have missed due to the 2010 bullpen being so lackluster after Wetteland left, and we were headed once again for a 101-game loss season. Carla and I have actually talked about how we both miss Wetteland. He is retired now, which bums me out tremendously; and I guess I have Eric Wedge to blame for that. What a waste of talent. We should have kept him on for much longer; he was able to get a group of guys to be so cohesive they were considered one of the best bullpens in baseball, on a .500 team. Some of those guys included both Carlos Silva and Miguel Batista He Who Shall Not Be Named, pitchers who were generally considered to be middling at best, severely declining at worst; guys with attitudes so awful they made me loathe them just for that alone. But Wetteland and his quirks made them smile in the pen, and at least appear to be a happy, solid part of the team. And for that, I will always love him.

Well, it’s time for a slightly shorter work day for me, and then home to some baseball and tacos. Happy Friday, everyone!

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Thirty Minutes of Mariners. And A Bit of Coors.

As I clock out for lunch at noon PST, the Mariners have apparently beaten the Braves yet again, 2-0 under the watchful eye of Hisashi Iwakuma. I wish my building wasn’t so terribly full of electronics, and I could get an AM radio signal at my desk, rather than a high-pitched radio squeal that only I and dogs can hear. I miss listening to games on the radio. But we’re back up above .500. Whether or not that is sustainable, I don’t know. I sure hope it is. The 2014 Mariners may slowly be replacing the 2009 Mariners as my favorite team; that was a fun year, though, so it’s going to take a lot. Still a lot of ball to be played, we’ll see.

When last I was at a game with sometime-writer-here Daniel Carroll, we had discussed the situation with Miguel Olivo being let go by the Dodgers for biting off a part of a teammate’s ear. About 3-4 days after that, Ryan Divish posted this article, wherein he came to the same conclusion. There are cleared benches, beanballs, verbal spats, and a player can apparently attack a manager in the dugout, but cannibalism is strictly forbidden! I don’t wish Olivo any more luck. He made his bed, he can lie in it. I just find it funny that it was this – and not his actual ball playing skills – that was the last straw for the world of baseball.

Speaking of sometime-writer-here Daniel Carroll, he is currently on a small bowling and baseball-oriented trip with some friends, and is going to see both the Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants. He has already gone to Coors Field, and here he is doing exactly what I want to do when I finally get there, sitting above the mile-high seats:

dacarI actually want to sit in the purple row, because I’m a tourist that way, but that trip is still a ways off. If I’m going to keep checking out stadiums, I want to be able to do at least two at a time, and geographically, I don’t know how Coors will work. I do have friends over that way, though (just like a lot of major cities, I am very fortunate), so it might be doable. And I like Denver as a city in general, and would like to go back to hang out in Boulder a bit, so we’ll see what time brings.

While I would love to know what the expletive is that Lloyd McClendon uses in this article, that’s not the focal point for me. I am still trying to get a grip on McClendon as a manager. I have had a difficult time with that due to not being able to watch as many games or read as much news as I’d like, but I have found myself leaning towards liking him quite a bit. Whereas Eric Wedge rarely smiled and didn’t get results, McClendon rarely smiles and has taken the proper steps (in my opinion) to get the results he is claiming to be seeking. It seems like we used to let guys who weren’t doing well languish on the major league roster for far longer than they should, constantly making excuses for why they were still in the big club and using them in situations they should never be used. McClendon doesn’t seem to do that. Whether this team’s current success is due to the guys on the roster settling in, or McClendon’s management style, or the combination of veteran and eager young newbies, I really have no idea. But so far, 2014 has not been an awful season. I didn’t expect us to run away with a pennant or anything, but I certainly didn’t expect this. This Mariners team has been fun. They’ve been good, and while they don’t seem to be as maybe “fun” as the guys from 2009, they are clearly getting the work done, and I can’t argue with results. Nor do I want to.

And now I have to clock back in. Happy five-game winning streak, everyone!


Camden Yards, Part II: Not The Best Game

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!


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:


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 are  better photo days than others. We did have Dippin’ Dots, though – they were chocolate, which isn’t the greatest  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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Miguel Olivo, Recoveries, and Sriracha

It’s not a very clever title, but I’m in a rush…

Yesterday morning, I found out that former Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo had managed to get himself into a dugout altercation with teammate Alex Guerrero over a missed pickoff throw. That’s not really the interesting part, as baseball players do occasionally fight, and sometimes they fight people on their own team. No, the interesting part is that Olivo had reportedly bitten off part of Guerrero’s ear. Later yesterday afternoon, it was reported that Olivo had been suspended (at which point I figured that the ear part of that was likely no longer a rumor), and today, the Dodgers let him go.  Apparently, Olivo threw a bit of a fit early in the season, when he was reassigned to the minors, and he didn’t like that, either. Olivo may have just ended his playing career with this little stunt, but it seems to have just been a matter of time. If you’re 36 years old and won’t accept a minor league assignment and then wind up biting off someone’s ear, I figure surely your career is just about done. I don’t even want to know how angry a person has to be to take a bite out of another human being. I can’t imagine there will be too many other minor league players who will be interested in having him on a team. I pulled for him when he was here – with no real reason whatsoever, other than that he wore a Mariners uniform – but we need a little less crazy in the MLB.  Meanwhile, in Arlington, Hisashi Iwakuma spent some time besting the Rangers, with help from our offense. 6-2. Good job, boys! From what I understand, there was no biting in Texas that day.

In current-Mariners news, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker are getting better and may be able to return to the rotation soon! I would love to see both of them here before the season ends, and the simulated games this week seem to have gone well. I am of course wary; I hope they are not rushing recovery out of any sort of desperation (though technically speaking, we’re still doing OK, hovering only a little bit below .500), but I would really like to see them both come back sometime in June. At least before the All-Star Break. I’m actually a little sad to admit that I keep forgetting that Logan Morrison even has a Mariners contract. It’s been about two months, and it feels like forever. I don’t know how bad I should want Morrison back though. As much as I tried, it was difficult to get a feel for how he did in spring training, and I rather like the lineup as it is now, for the most part.

Tonight is Mariners Salute to Sriracha Night, and my friend Gray decided that he needed to go, so I am meeting Tom at Henry’s pub after work, with a co-worker who is coming along with us. Gray’s girlfriend had to cancel at the last minute, sadly. The weather looks great out at the moment, and if it stays warm out, I feel I must have the milkshake that is being offered, rather than the hot dog or fries. I am just glad to have a game to go to on such a nice day. Saturday should be fun too!

Lastly, I have decided that the Ms are doing so well so early in the year, that if they come out over .500 to finish, I will get a tattoo that involves a Mariners thing. I know what it is, but I am waiting until September to design it, so no pictures until then. Mostly, it’s an excuse to get some work done, but I think it’s about time. I’ve been a fan for long enough and that doesn’t seem to be going away, so I figure it’s about time. Go Ms!


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Fridays at Safeco, Late!

Chilling out at home watching the Twins beat the pants off the Ms, but still enjoying watching Justin Smoak rob Chris Parmelee of an infield single. And the subsequent Dustin Ackley-ing of Caleb Thielbar. And now another run driven in! Mariners baseball!

Anyway, I know it’s probably pretty late in the game (pardon the pun), but the Bacon and Beer Classic is happening at Safeco tomorrow from 12PM -4PM, then again at 6PM -10PM. It’s a $60 ticket, but that gets you all you can eat/drink. Designated drivers get in for half that price. I am actually hosting a sort of baseball-themed shindig of my own here, watching the 4PM Mariners game, and then Tom and I intend to make hot dog sliders (bunned dogs cut in half, with a massive condiment bar) for some 25+ people; so basically, I shot myself in the foot here. Hot dog party (that doesn’t sound quite right) will still be pretty fun, but I am hoping the Bacon and Beer Classic is an annual thing, because I’d really like to make sure I go next year.

In any event, I decided to take a look at some of my older photos, and came up with three that I liked for today. I didn’t have a theme in mind particularly, but it turned out to be past Mariners that I miss, which turned into past FanFests. So here we go!

IMG_0297Brendan Ryan at FanFest a while ago. I miss Brendan Ryan like there is no tomorrow. His defense during his time here was, bar none, some of the best I’ve ever seen. He had a glorious personality, he fit well here. I still miss him, regardless of his batting average or whatever other faults one might find. However, as I was mentioning to a co-worker today, I find Brad Miller to be an excellent defensive replacement. I am accustomed to getting out of the frying pan only to slip back into the fire with some of our position players; but I dig a Brad Miller. If he can get his bat up to speed while maintaining that defense, and do so for a few years? Ooooo doggies!

IMG_0319Brandon League and Casper Wells. So this was FanFest 2012. Even though that team really did little for me, it’s the personalities I remember most. League didn’t last the year – if memory serves, he wound up down in LA eventually, where he still hangs out with the Dodgers, and poor Casper Wells seems to have just faded into obscurity. I wish both of them had done better for us, but there is no controlling baseball. It just does what it does, and the best you can hope for is a few wins here and there.

IMG_0280Did you know that the roof does this? Well, you do now. I cannot remember exactly what happened, but it seems that it was probably raining because FanFest happens in January, and that’s how we roll here in Seattle; rain and five layers of clothing and two mittens. If memory serves (and lately it’s spotty at best), something mechanical actually went wrong. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even aware the thing came in sections to begin with, so it was a surprise all ’round.

Tom Wilhelmsen just finished up the 8th, and I just got notice that I’m going fishing tomorrow, so I actually need to start looking at bedtime right now, at not-even-8PM on a Friday. Hopefully the Ms are able to get past Glen Perkins and either tie the game or at least get a run ahead….


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Random Thoughts On the Last Few Games

I had to sleep early yesterday due to an awful night’s sleep the night before, so I missed the game, and now I’m totally kicking myself for that. I even had a small little chance that I could have gone, but by the time the offer was made, I was already falling asleep sitting up just about, so had I gone I would have been absolutely useless today. My allergies are also starting to come in with the hot weather and plants blooming, and I am a mess in the face from the nose up right now; basically, not sure that being outside at a grassy ballpark after walking through my quickly flowering neighborhood off the bus would have been the greatest idea. But when I got up this morning and checked out the box score, I was very pleasantly surprised. We are back over .500 again, and battling for first place in the AL West. I am trying to just take every game as it comes, for I fear getting too excited about things will create horrible disappointment as soon as tomorrow. And yes, I know 3.5 games back isn’t battling per se, but it sort of feels like it. Especially with the Angels and Rangers just behind us. Also, I guess Felix got ejected last night for the first time ever?! Wow.

I watched the tail end of the Mariners Saturday game, then the beginning half later on, after getting Tom from the airport later in the evening. We both sat in awe of what happened to Michael Saunders in the third inning as he chased down a ball that flew into the right field corner. That ankle twist resulted in a hyperextended knee. It’s probably the sciatica that is causing me to be far more sensitive to “smaller” injuries like this, because I cannot imagine trying to rehab something like that to get your way back to playing professional baseball, when all I’m doing as a regular citizen is attempting to get back to walking on a more regular basis. Saunders’ sometime-replacement James Jones (when he’s not replacing Abraham Almonte – pesky utility outfielders!) seems to be doing quite well for himself, which is nice to see in a rookie. I just love seeing him being taken care of by Robinson Cano, too. Cano seems to be serving a role here that guys like Griffey in his return for the 2009 season and part of 2010, or Raul Ibanez, or Chone Figgins could never quite fulfill. We have had a long string of short-term veterans that gave or tried to give some advice, but then they were gone. Knowing Cano will be here for a while is a positive in my eyes, because he can help prop up the next several generations of guys like Jones.  He’ll be here to talk to, encourage and teach our offense, something we have needed for a while now.

I was at the game last Friday, and forgot my camera (as specified in my last post), so no photos of Jason Vargas absolutely owning us through 7 innings, but I had a lot of fun anyway, and need to give a shout once again to upper deck crew supervisor Hap, for absolutely making my friend Dee’s night by giving her two throwback KC Royals baseball cards. She couldn’t stop talking about it all night long, it really made quite an impression on her. Thanks! Brandon Maurer didn’t do terribly well in my eyes, but he threw only 73 or so pitches over 7 innings and change, and apparently Lloyd McClendon was OK with it, so whatever. I got my tacos, the weather remained decent, and I was at the ballpark, so I can’t complain too much. Late in the game, the big screen focused on the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox game, where Yu Darvish was in the process of possibly throwing a no-hitter. But it was almost like we cast some sort of curse on the situation, because no sooner had the stadium tuned in, than David Ortiz smacked a single past second base to ruin it. At least Darvish has a sense of humor about his second attempt at a no-hitter, saying through an interpreter, “Someday, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll probably have another record of almost a no-hitter.” Sometimes you just have to laugh, I suppose. Darvish still shut Boston out, so he didn’t lose out on too much.

I have been only vaguely paying attention to the Tacoma Rainiers, but it sounds like they’ve been doing well enough lately. Over .500 like their major league big brother, and only one game back in the PCL Northern.  I guess they got clobbered by the Las Vegas 51s the other night, which is kind of a bummer, but fortunately the season is still young! I need to try and get down there a few Fridays when the Ms are out of town, or if I have a Saturday Ms game I need to go to, like the 24th 1970s Turn Back the Clock Night, that I am planning on attending. My next game is actually going to be the 22nd, the M’s Salute to Sriracha Night. Say what you want, it’s still one of my favorite condiments, and has been since before it became more widely popular. Yes, that is right, I just got hipster on you about sriracha. This going to games as they come up thing has worked pretty well for me so far, though I do really miss having the season ticket plan; but getting to do the Friday night thing works far better with my sleep and work schedule. If anyone from the front office happens to stumble over this post, maybe that is a good idea for a ticket package? Every Friday? Just a thought!

Alright, back to work, and spacey allergy meds. The invisible enemy needs to go back to sleep very soon. If it doesn’t, my summer – and baseball season – is going to be quite miserable.



Fridays at Safeco, Camden, and Elsewhere

I put a bunch of stuff in my bag this morning, totally not even remotely thinking about the game tonight, but harboring a vague feeling that I was missing something. Three blocks from home, I realized that the thing I had forgotten was, in fact, my camera. With recent transit drama, the buses around my neighborhood have become less and less reliable, so I stood there for a few moments, debating whether or not to go back home and get it, while weighing how I was also going to make it to work on time. The only option was to keep walking to the bus stop so I could get to work on time, which would enable me to leave on time and not leave my friends waiting this afternoon. Sadly, this means that I will get to watch Jason Vargas pitch, but will not be able to take pictures of any of it. I should note that my bag was already full of my lunch and a package I had to mail out, which would have made things difficult space-wise, but the camera itself was sitting literally right next to the bag. Sometimes I wonder how I tie my shoes in the morning. Sigh.

Anyway, I didn’t get up early enough to post a proper Fridays at Safeco, so I mined some pics from FaceBook from over the past few years at various games. These will be possibly unique for this space, in that I am in a lot of them. Prepare yourselves, hair dye cometh!

safeco7My friend Craig and I at a Yankees game a few years ago, prior to the bullpen remodel. Craig is a Yankees fan. He’s also what I refer to as “one of the good ones” (tongue in cheek, of course). What we lack in agreement on teams, we more than make up for in agreement that baseball is awesome, and so was Mariano Rivera. Craig lives in Boston now, which seems like vague karmic retribution, but he also spends a lot of time a stone’s throw from Fenway, so I’m sort of jealous.

safeco6My friend Julie and I at a Yankees game. Julie’s husband Jesse is a Yankees fan as well, but she is with me on the Mariners. I think I might have been waiting for Erik Bedard to come out and throw, but in the interim this picture was taken.

safeco5Sometimes-writer for this space Daniel Carroll, getting ready to run from first base during a game for his league at Cal Anderson park either last year or the year before. I don’t remember who won, but it was fun to watch him play, and the atmosphere there was nice; summery and urban-y, with basketball games, bicycle polo, and people playing Frisbee all around us. I like dropping in on stuff like this; I’d probably watch a little league game at the park across the street from my house, if it wouldn’t seem weird (because I don’t have kids).

safeco4This is Kevin, obviously on Brendan Ryan t-shirt day. He’s a Mariners fan from way back, and we have been to a few games together, he is a good friend. Kevin has had a rough time of it lately, and, not to bring the room down, but almost died due to an infection in his thoracic cavity. He now has titanium ribs. Like Wolverine. He’s my hero right now, because he went through months of hospitalization and nursing home care, and almost always with his sense of humor intact. He’s awesome.

safeco3My friend Rick and I (and TravelShark!) at the Saturday night Orioles game, my first visit to Camden Yards. As you can see, I’m rocking the O’s shirt and the Ms jersey, just like I do when the O’s come here. This photo was taken on my phone by the girls who were sitting in front of us. They were quite pleasant, and I believe they were O’s fans, even though we were technically sitting in the Blue Jays “section” above the visitor’s dugout. I got those seats so I could take some photos in the O’s dugout; I don’t think I took a single one, but they were excellent seats!

safeco2Me and my friend Cynthia. I got a new scarf the other night before the Sounders game and my friend Julie (same as above) wanted to take our picture all of a sudden. This was the result. Cynthia goes to Cleveland Indians games with me every year, and she takes me to Sounders mid-week games, as her husband works in Bothell and can’t make it downtown in time for the 7PM kickoff. I think it makes a good exchange, personally.

safeco1Proof that Rick and I were on TV! Daniel found a ton of stills via MLB.TV, and posted them to FaceBook for me. This was one of the clearer ones. I guess I’m like super serious when watching baseball. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but the guy to my right in the gray shirt was possibly one of the most unpleasant baseball fans I’ve encountered. Everything about his demeanor made me wonder why he paid so much to sit at a game he was clearly not enjoying. He kept leaning almost over me and paying an uncomfortably close amount of attention every time I put anything on Twitter, or took a picture – which was a lot, so I got tired of him pretty fast. The guy in the neon green sitting a seat away from Rick had moved down to the row in front of us, and Rick and I changed seats so I could get away from the gray shirt guy. So where the neon green shirt is sitting is where Edwin Encarnacion’s bat came through and hit the guy in the row in back of us; that gives you an idea of how close I came to taking a stick in the face. Gray shirt left before he had the opportunity to see his team lose in extras. Too bad.

Well, it’s back to work for the next three hours for me. Then down to our lovely Safeco Field for Kansas City at Mariners and hopefully another win. Maybe less close than last night? We’ll see!



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