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.



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