Last night as I was scrolling through channels looking for an episode of Iron Chef or some other such thing to kill some time before the 8.30PM start of the World Baseball Classic, I stumbled upon a Spring Training contest between the Pirates and Red Sox. Normally, I would have kept scrolling because for the most part, I care about neither team. But I stopped, and I watched the remaining few innings before changing the channel to anything else, and it turned out to be far more enjoyable than I would have ever thought. I wasn’t riveted, but I was paying attention, especially when I saw familiar face Mike Carp step to the plate. I don’t know what Carp did off the top of my head, because I was so distracted by the fact that he just doesn’t look quite right in a Boston uniform; but I watched the remainder of the game and it just felt right…like sinking into a big vat of warm pudding, or sleeping on Memory Foam (for those of you who don’t like pudding). I think I missed baseball a hell of a lot more than maybe I originally thought.
The World Baseball Classic started on the MLB Network last night between Chinese Taipei and Australia. The stadium was small but very modern looking, and the crowd was not a sell out by any stretch, but the stands were pretty full (20,000+ fans), and the home crowd was enthusiastic. The umpires, however, were not. I do not have time to do more research (you guessed it, writing from work on lunch again), but there was a blatant awful call in either the first or second innings against Australia where the runner was called out at first, but appeared to have come in quite safely. The cameras panned to the Aussie player being quite vocal about the call, but there was no replay, so nothing could have been set. I don’t think it would have mattered anyway. Chien-Ming Wang outpitched Australia’s Chris Oxspring, and Australia was simply outhit, final score 4-1. I had to go to bed at 9.30 to be able to get up on time this morning which was super disappointing, but there will be more WBC over the upcoming week, and best of all, Mariners Spring Training on Monday!
I made an executive decision to make a full or almost full day of it on Opening Day; fortunately this year it just happens to fall on a day off for me. My friend Kevin and I are just going to hang out near the stadium from about lunch time on. I have a gift certificate still laying around, so perhaps a new jacket or shirt from the team store is in order. I also will be needing a new jersey that actually fits me over the course of the next year (my original Putz jersey is a size 52 and while that is great for layering sweatshirts under or, say, wearing as a dress, I will need a smaller one for my planned Spring Training trip next year), so why not start on Opening Day? There will be lunch! And beer! And I may have to step on someone to get a taco from Edgar’s Cantina! I’m getting bouncy just thinking about it. Also, this year I will be bringing hard, cold cash. I am not leaving another home opener before the game ends because of stadium-wide machinery failure. Never again! I know I cannot realistically assume that it will happen again, but I am also not taking any chances. I need to make up for last year big time.
Now, ’tis time to get back to work and listen to today’s Mariners challenge and Iwakuma start against the Dodgers. And up the Sounders, too! Their home opener is tonight. Yay Seattle sports!