Since I was up so early yesterday morning, I didn’t get the chance to do any writing. I came home, had dinner, and sacked out for about 6 hours or so on the couch before getting up and going to bed. It turns out I will also be going to tomorrow night’s Hisashi Iwakuma start, so I won’t be able to finish tonight’s James Paxton game, but I plan to watch at least a few innings of it while I take care of this post. Getting old sucks, kids; don’t do it! Anyway, Daniel posted his impressions from yesterday’s game, so I’ve got the photos and video now.
I did my hour and a half of work yesterday morning, then headed down to the stadium, to go to Jimmy’s to get some breakfast and just hang out a bit before gates opened. I got there just in time, too, and had to be assertive to get a small, not-yet-cleared table in the bar, since the dining room was full. I waited for Tom there until he texted me to let me know that he drove and was not able to find parking. So rather than take up the table any longer, I headed over to the Pyramid beer garden, where I figured I’d at least be stationary for him to find while he figured out where to put the car. An hour and a half later than expected, we met up and headed to the park. There was, of course, a line…
We didn’t have to wait long though – maybe 10 minutes tops – and a quick ticket scan and bag check later, we had our yellow rally towels and our annual magnetic calendars, and were safely ensconced in Edgar’s .
I grabbed a beer and we hung out there for a few errant home run balls, and then decided to wander around The Pen. It was about as crowded there as it would be for, say, a Yankees or Red Sox game; that is to say, a little less than one might think for a sold out home opener. Not a complaint, it was actually kind of nice to be able to just move around.
We wandered up to the main concourse from this area and passed the Moose Den, which had a remarkably short line for photos. I was tempted, but decided against it at the last minute. Maybe another day.
Some tacos and a short walk later, and we were in our seats. I decided to splurge a bit and get lower deck seats this year, so we had a great view just behind third base in 144. As we got settled in, the opening ceremonies began.
The LA Angels’ lineup was announced, amid a hail of disinterested applause (for the coaching and training staff) or boos (CJ Wilson, Albert Pujols), and then it was go time for the Mariners. Long-time season ticket holders lined the red carpet holding flags, as they do every year, and the lineup was announced with strobe lights, fireworks, and a roar from the crowd on hand.
A moment of silence was had for three lost over the year; scout Bill Kearns, Suzanne Stork, wife of owner Carl Stork, and of course Victor Sanchez. I attempted pictures, but the frame rate on the HD board is too high for my camera to catch, so they were terrible. Moment of silence observed.
A Make-A-Wish child named Jake, with a life-threatening form of epilepsy ran the bases, and Joey Cora threw the first pitch out to Justin Ruggiano.
The lineup was announced, and then Felix came out to the grass and everyone went nuts again.
I love this new banner over left field. Since, due to cost, this area has been my stomping ground for years now, it’s about time they spruced it up a little.
Starter for the Angels, Jered Weaver, doing his thing.
Some dancing groundskeepers. I don’t care what anyone says, I like this and always have. Enjoying the trappings of the game and enjoying the game do not have to be mutually exclusive, and I have never understood those people who feel that you can’t do both. I cannot remember the song they danced to, but pop music and I haven’t really been friends for a few decades now, so you’ll forgive me this time.
With Ichiro gone, Amy the Ichimeter Lady and family have found a good substitute for in-game activities over in right center.
More Felix. This isn’t a great picture (I was spending too much time watching the game and chatting to take near as many photos as I probably should have), but I wanted to post it anyway.
Felix worked seven innings and racked up 10 strikeouts. Danny Farquhar came in for the 8th inning.
And after Furbush took care of his one batter in Kole Calhoun, sidearmer Carson Smith was called in to get Mike Trout to strike out on a foul tip.
And then of course the top of the 9th was left to Fernando Rodney. Forgive the camera work here; I was battling the weird afternoon light, my habit of taking video with the screen open, and the camera’s propensity to focus on whatever is closest to it. I was having a really hard time trying to take video and watch what was happening in real life. But you get the idea. Rodney comes in, everyone goes nuts.
I hate posting a picture where a part of the player’s body is cut off, but this was the best one I got. I just don’t have Rodney’s timing well enough to get a really good shot of him, and sadly the shutter on my Canon – while faster than my previous Canon – is not quite as fast as I’d like for it to be. When I have an extra $800 or so laying around, I’ll upgrade my camera. For now, I have to rely on my trigger finger and sense of a player’s timing. I’ll get Rodney yet. I have all year to work on it, certainly.
And of course, we won and there were explosives, and Rodney and Logan Morrison both participated in the arrow ceremony, over at first base. WHERE DOES IT GO?! Somewhere, a Texas Rangers fan with a inflatable pool toy is crying. And very wet.
As I hit publish on this, James Paxton is holding his own against CJ Wilson very nicely through three innings. I will watch until I can’t anymore, and then tomorrow Daniel is kind enough to pay for a ticket and maybe a bit of dinner for the last game of the series. Baseball is BACK!