I’ve finally got a bit of time to sit and take care of this. The last two days have been a ton of fun, and a bit of a strain on my bank account, but I’ll live.
Friday night, Tom and I took our newly-replanted east coast friends Craig and Kathleen to SafeCo to see a Padres game. Craig is a Yankees fan, but he was rocking a Mariners cap, and thus was on the right side the other night. After getting tickets for the bleachers, we wandered over to Pyramid for a round, then to SafeCo when the gates finally opened. Beach towels were procured, and I’m very happy to announce that while they’re not the sturdiest material in the world, they are very much lacking in advertisement – just a simple white towel with the Mariners compass logo. Classy. I like it (for the record, I despise advertising; if I need your good or service, I am quite capable of seeking it out on my own). We agreed that perhaps more beer might be in order, so took a small walk around the concourse and down to the bullpen area. The members of said bullpen were in the outfield, waiting for hits to shag and goofing around in general, while the entire Padres team did drills before taking BP.
Once we got down to the pen area, Craig could not resist the lure of the fast pitch booth. He had thrown there the last time he visited, but had only thrown some 42MPH. This time, he made it to 79MPH. With video proof:
We got some beer, and Tom discovered a new hot wings kiosk, near the Center Field entrance. He is a connoisseur of hot wings, and is very picky about them. These met his standards.
When Josh Bard came back to the bullpen, we figured we should probably get the last food necessary (tonkatsu pork for me, thanks!) and head to our seats.
And let me just say that watching Josh Bard both catch and hit over the past few days has been marvelous. We’re quickly running out of catchers, though, so I for one would appreciate it if he’d stay as healthy as possible. I’m also glad someone’s rocking the hockey helmet for the Ms again. Love it. We got to our seats in time for the National Anthem, and then Cliff Lee started warming up. We were in section 187, which hangs over the Budweiser Landing, and is right next to the center field bleachers. It’s also a really good place to take photos of the bullpen from:
The moment Cliff Lee took the mound, all hell broke loose for 9 glorious innings. Everyone knows what happened by now; Mike Sweeney went absolutely crazy, and our offense made the Friars’ Wade LeBlanc look really silly. And their subsequent relief pitchers, too. The Mariners got 15 hits in one game, and generated 15 runs with them. The Padres got 15 hits, too, but only managed to get 8 men in. Sweeney hit two home runs, and Josh Bard hit one. This doesn’t get me on the Sweeney bandwagon, by the way; not quite yet. If he was maybe just taking some time to warm up and will start doing what he did at the end of last season consistently, then I’ll be happy to hop back on that train. For now, I’m keeping a lot of guys at arm’s length. It was a great game to be at, but I’m not trying to get my heart broken again here. I would like a few more wins before month’s end. Make me comfortable – then we’ll talk.
Jesus Colome, warming up. When he replaced Lee in the top of the 7th inning, I think I might have been one of the few people in my section who actually stood up and applauded Lee. Others clapped, but didn’t bother with the standing. I say Lee deserves all the proper ovations he ever gets. Oh, and I have to give mad props to Chris Denorfia, who in the 4th inning made a catch crashing into the back wall that was just amazing. I actually stood up and applauded that one, too. Some plays you don’t see in person too often. He robbed Jose Lopez of any sort of outfield hit, but it was worth it just to see that play.
I did not see the Jerry Hairston ejection. It may have been one of the few times I was not in my seat, but for whatever reason, I completely missed it. When Colome came onto the field, the PA started playing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies“, which was just odd. These guys were not impressed:
These guys, however, were really into it. I don’t know why I didn’t think to take video of their dancing, but together with a 3rd cohort, they were in the CF bleachers doing a vaguely coordinated dance to the song, with the beach towels on their heads. They didn’t manage to get on the jumbotron, which is a crime against all that is decent and good:
Brandon League was also involved in the last bits of the game. I didn’t get many great photos of him, but I’m also a little bleary this morning – just woke up and not nearly enough coffee in me just yet. My eyes haven’t quite adjusted to edit my pictures properly:
League finished the game. I was hoping for an appearance by David Aardsma, but you can’t always get what you want. It was a great game to be at, and I’m glad we decided to go. Totally worth it. Up next, my and Conor’s all-day Sounders/Mariners extravaganza. Not for the faint of heart. My lower back is still killing me. Eh, who am I kidding? I’d totally do it again.