Results tagged ‘ derek holland ’
I was real fired up for this game, being that it was the first home game for the Rangers since May 23rd, plus the fact that I was attending this game with my aunt Lori, I was ready.
We got to the park at around 4:05 and stood in line until 4:35 when the gates would finally open. It was hot standing in line, so I knew it was going to be a scorcher during batting practice, but that’s okay I was eager to get snagging.
When we reached the left field seats, the scene was basically the same as it has been the last couple of games I’ve gone to. It was me, a vendor that was out of uniform, and two other guys for the first 30 minutes of BP.
I wouldn’t have to wait long to get on the board either.
Within the first five minutes Josh Hamilton was working on his opposite field power again. I say again because I had snagged an oppo homer from him at this game. Today I would snag another for ball #1 of the day. I didn’t catch it on the fly though, it hit a section to my right and I ran over and picked it up out of the empty row.
Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, who is currently on the disabled list, was in left field directly in front of me and I noticed the hair on the back of his head looked completrly shaved, so I got his attention and asked him if he shaved his head, and he lifted his hat and sure enough it was all gone. I gave him a thumbs up and let him get back to work. A few minutes later he tossed a ball to a guy a section to my right, so the next time he had a ball in his hand I called his name, but to no avail.
The wall in left field has a video board that is actually in the gap between the stands and the outfield wall. Here is the best photo I have to show this….
Sorry for the bad exposure, but it served its purpose. I was actually standing directly above the Min/Oak game summary that’s the 2nd from the left.
That entire video board is air cooled, meaning that there huge fans that are constantly running to keep this thing cooled off. I’m telling you this because after two unanswered call outs to Holland I felt that he probably couldn’t hear me. I then started to realize why I never try for toss ups in the first place. I feel uncomfortable doing it, like I’m trying to compete with little kids, though were none around yet.
About 5 minutes later something odd happened. I’m not sure if Holland did something to get my attention or if I just happened to look at him, but he flashed a ball at me and fired it from about 30 yards away directly into my glove for ball #2. How cool is that? I yelled out a quick thank you and stuck it in my bag.
It wasn’t my first official toss up, but it’s the first one I have gotten without having my daughter Sarah with me.
So, once again I was at my personal record of two (2) balls. I have achieved this total on three different occasions and wanted so desperately to surpass it.
I kept waiting. Nothing was falling into the gap in front of me or the visitors’ bullpen to my left, so I was left with trying to snag on the fly, something I have never done. A little while later a ball finally landed in the gap and I was all over it. Or so I thought. By the time I got my retriever out of my bag and made my way over to the spot I needed to be I noticed that I would not be able to snag this one. Well, not without potentially wasting a lot of valuable time going after just one ball. You see, the ball had come to rest in front of the video board. The best way to describe it is, the wall that the players on the field would hit if they ran into it is actually chain link fence (yeah let that sink in a moment). Then there is about a 5-6 inch space before you get to the actual video board itself which is bolted into the concrete. After that is a 3-4 foot walkway between it and the stands. There, clear as mud? Good.
The ball had landed in front of the video board, but to the very end of it. I possibly could have swung my retriever to try and knock it out to where I could raise it up, but didn’t want to risk losing out on balls that were hit into the seats. So I forgot about it.
Not too long after a Rangers rightie that I couldn’t identify hit a bomb that was going to land way behind me to my right, so I took off up the aisle beside me and made to the appropriate row a split second after the ball hit about two seats in. I grabbed the ball off the ground for ball # 3. Yes! Finally I had outdone two balls. The only downer was Sarah was not with me. When I got home and told her about it she was upset for a moment then smiled and said we would set our own record! I love my daughter!
The Rangers finished up a short while after I had snagged my third ball, so I went to sit with my aunt who had been sitting in the shade this whole time. We watched the first 5 minutes or so of the Rays’ portion and after seeing no balls hit out in that time we decided to head elsewhere. By this time the gates had opened to the rest of the fans, it was hot, I really didn’t want to try and outsnag kids (Fridays are fireworks games so the kids are out in force), so we went over to the Rangers hall of fame since my aunt hasn’t seen it yet.
From there we made our way out to the centerfield gift shop and I was treated to a new t-shirt by my awesome aunt. I got a red Nelson Cruz player shirt. I’m really growing fond of him.
After the shopping we got drinks and cheese fries and headed to our seats in the upper deck. Section 339 row 1 seats 9 and 10. The best part about these seats is the fact that the sun was behind us! See ….
The game was slow. By slow I mean it was a 7:05 start and by 9:00 it was just the fourth inning! So food was a big player this evening. After the cheese fries there was kettle corn, a hot dog for my aunt, a cheeseburger for me, sunflower seeds, ice cream, and of course drinks. Lemonade was the drink of choice tonight.
There was some offense to be seen, Josh Hamilton (my favorite Ranger and possibly favorite player) hit a solo shot in the fourth inning. Rookie first baseman Justin Smoak hit a 2 run shot of his own in the second. The Rangers were down 4-0 before Smoak’s tater, then exploded for 7 runs in the bottom of the fourth to lead 9-4. The Rays would add single runs in the 6th and 7th but would fall short, losing 9-6.
The starting pitcher for the Rangers was the normally on fire C.J. Wilson. Although tonight he would only last 5 innings, giving up 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks, while picking up his fouth win. Neftali Feliz came in to pick up his 15th save of the season.
Here’s a goofy shot of the 3 balls that I came away with tonight….
Time of Game: 3hrs. 10mins.
Next Game: Not really sure, either Thurs. 6/10 vs. the Mariners or Fri. 6/18 in Houston
This was the fourth game of the series between the Rangers and Twins, and the second of the series that I attended. I went to game one and they won 8-5. Games two and three they lost after blowing the lead in both games. With the division on the line as well as the wild card, I was really hoping that the Rangers could pull it together tonight and start making up some ground.
Needless to say I was very excited about the game tonight.
I went to this game with my aunt Lori. We have gone to many games together over the years, and this was our second this year. We also went to the 6/12 game against the Dodgers.
We got to the park, and inside the stadium at around 6:15. I couldn’t leave work early for BP this time, because my manager was off and I had to stay until I got off at 5:30. Oh well, turns out that the Rangers didn’t hit at all, and the Twins didn’t hit for very long anyway. So, I wasn’t too upset over missing BP after finding that out.
The first thing we did after watching the grounds crew remove the cage was get food. Cheese fries and Dr. Pepper. Mmmmmmmm.
We found some empty seats in right-center field, and sat and ate our food. The temperature was around 96 degrees and it was humid. Eating scalding hot fries and sweating everywhere is not cool at all. We couldn’t finish our food fast enough.
When we finally did finish, we headed over to the centerfield gift shop to take advantage of the A/C. While we were in there, my aunt said that she would buy me a jersey since my birthday is next week.
I’ve often thought which jersey I would get if given the chance, and after much deliberation, I knew I wanted a red one (the Rangers brought red back into the fold this year, in case you didn’t know), but I decided that I wanted a blank one.
I love Josh Hamilton (not in that way though). I have both of his All-Star shirts, but I just find it hard to make that kind of monetary commitment to any current player. My fear is, I’ll get a certain player’s jersey and then they’ll get traded or suffer some sort of career-ending injury or something along those lines.
Is that weird of me to think that way?
Anyways, I got a blank red one off of the rack, and my aunt wanted to put my name on the back, so I grabbed the number 2 (my favorite number) and the letters P-O-W-E-L-L (my last name) and we went and paid for them. Then I had to wait in line to have the letters and number put on.
Without getting into too much detail and dragging this out more than I already have, I’ll just say that I wasn’t able to get those letters and number put on. The guy working the heat press said that it was an MLB thing. The letters are in the font they used last year, and the red jersey is brand new this year, so for whatever reason they couldn’t mix the two. Whatever, I’ll just go back and buy the letters another day and then go home and put them on myself.
Oh yeah, there was a baseball game.
We got to our seats out in left field just after the first pitch, and this was our view….
The sun was going down, but it was still miserably hot.
A friend that I work with was also at this game. Her husband’s company has season tickets on the first base side on the second row. She told me ahead of time to call her to see if there were any available seats around her, so we could all sit together. I called in the first inning and there were some empty seats, but I wanted to wait an inning or two to make sure no one was going to come in later.
I decided to kill some time, and went and got us both some ice cream. I went to the same stand I had gone to Monday night, and they still had various team helmets. I picked Seattle and Toronto and headed back to our seats and enjoyed all of the ice creamy goodness!
In around the 5th inning, she called me and said there were two open seats in her row, so we made our way over there and our view of the game changed to this….
Much better! I told my co-worker she was my new best friend!
Of course, those would be our seats for the remainder of the game. Here’s a couple shots I took of some of the players….
Here’s one of my aunt and I, along with her prized kettle corn….
Unfortunately, we didn’t even come close to any foul balls over there. A guy a few seats to our left caught one right before we walked down the stairs to sit there. Figures.
The Rangers had better control over this game, hitting four homeruns, including Julio Borbon’s first of his career, and two by Marlon Byrd. They would go on to win by the score of 11-1. That’s more like it!
11 runs on 17 hits helped give Derek Holland his 7th win of the year. The Twins had 10 hits, but could only manage 1 run.
Time of game: 2 hrs. 48 mins.
Next game: Tues. 9/1 vs. Toronto (Doubleheader!)
Here’s the helmets that I came away with from this game….
Since the last two games that I attended were minor league games, I was WAY overdo for some Major League Baseball.
We arrived at the gate at around 4:40 or so, and waited as patiently as we could for 5:00 to get here. When it finally did, we raced to the LF stands just in time to see this….
The Mariners were just coming out to stretch.
So, that gave Dirk and I time to check the gaps and stands for balls, which we found none. The Rangers must not have come out for BP today. Oh well, they’ve done that before.
Once the Mariners started hitting, we weren’t sure how it was going to go for us. We had been to a BP earlier in the year where the M’s hardly hit anything into the LF seats. Griffey and Ichiro have no problem supplying the people in the RF seats with balls, but we were skeptical of the righties on the team. After the first 10 minutes or so, that skepticism would soon fade away.
Dirk and I positioned ourselves on the railing, one section over from the visitors’ bullpen. Like I mentioned, there wasn’t much action for the first 10-15 minutes, but after that we had some shots at balls. At one point we were as close as 2-3 feet apart, and at that point some high school-aged kid thought that would be a perfect place for him to stand.
“Do you REALLY think you have ANY shot at a ball, standing between two adults with gloves?” That’s what I thought, not said.
I usually let a lot of things go, mainly to avoid any potential confrontations, but this kid was making it especially difficult for me to keep my mouth shut. All that came out of his mouth was negative. Some examples:
“Hey how ’bout a ball?” And when they would throw the ball in to the bucket, “Oh nice, real good. Way to appreciate the fans.”
Or when a player would go to retrieve a ball on the warning track, “I got jipped out of a ball earlier.”
Not to mention, he was responsible for Dirk and I both dropping a homerun ball. He bumped into Dirk and the ball fell in the gap, but Dirk was able to get it anyway. He bumped into me, and the ball skipped off the end of my glove and into the glove of a guy behind me.
First, don’t force your way into a space you shouldn’t be in, and then act like a (insert your own word here) while you’re there.
Second, no one gets jipped out of a ball. You either snag it, or you don’t. Plain and simple. Yes, I hold him responsible for missing a HR ball, but I blame myself also. I could’ve been more assertive, but that’s not who I am. I also don’t think that “entitles” me to whine to the players on the field like they owe me a ball.
Sorry for that rant, that guy just really got on my nerves.
Back to batting practice….
As I mentioned earlier, the skepticism in the M’s righties was short-lived. There were a lot more balls hit into the LF seats than we expected. Of course, there was a fairly decent crowd on hand, I guess because of it being cap night. So, our range was limited, leaving us to helplessly watch numerous balls fall into the gloves/hands of others.
At one point, a ball fell in the gap and Dirk gave me the heads up to go and get it. We take turns with gap balls, it’s kind of a routine between the two of us. So without any hesitation, I was on it.
I got to the spot where I figured the ball would be, looked down and scanned the area, and noticed the ball was in an odd spot. Here’s a photo I took a little while later to show the ball’s position….
This angle is actually looking down and to my left. The point of the arrow is in the exact spot that the ball was in.
The first plan of action was to get the ball out of that spot and into a position more directly underneath me. To do that, I had to lower my device (I decided to lower the device instead of my glove because it’s smaller, and I thought it would fit in that small space better) and swing it left to right approximately 6 feet. It was a little awkward at first, so it took me a few tries, and on the third or fourth swing I was interrupted by this guy….
Seattle pitcher David Aardsma.
He walked over and picked the ball up, and my first thought was “Cool, this guy’s gonna save me the trouble and just toss it to me!”
Turns out I was wrong.
Mr. Aardsma proceded to walk back up the stairs that lead into the visitors’ bullpen and throw the ball as hard as he could back toward the bucket.
There were so many thoughts going through my head at that point, that I didn’t say a word. What could I say? He didn’t have to give it to me. I had no legal right to that ball. To say I was mad though would be an understatement.
Partly for the fact that I was wearing a Mariners hat!
Oh well, there’s nothing left for me to say, except….
You have now been given a Zack Hample-esque “Powell Jinx”.
Consider this your official notification.
As numb as I was by this point, and as disinterested in BP as I became, I still managed to get 1 ball out of the gap. It helped, but there was still some pent up bitterness inside.
This ball turned out to be my 6th of the season, and 10th lifetime.
Batting practice ended with no more balls and no more incidents to report. It honestly couldn’t end fast enough.
We went and got our free drink vouchers after signing up to be designated drivers, cashed them in, and then got food. I had my usual cheese fries and Dr. Pepper, and felt much better!
We got to our seats with our food just in time for starting lineups and the national anthem. This was the awesome view I had from my seat….
I really can’t complain since Dirk bought my ticket, but still, how about a little “obstructed view” notice or something? Come on, Rangers!
The view of the game wasn’t really that bad, especially since the Rangers hit two homers on either side of us while we were out there.
We stayed in those seats until the top of the 5th, when we decided to go for ice cream.
A little back-story….
The last time I was at a Rangers game, I made my own ice cream helmet sundae in a roundabout way, and I fully intended to do the same thing this time, until we walked up to the ice cream booth and saw an amazing sight. They were using these….
I had no idea that a little piece of plastic could change my whole attitude!
After getting our ice cream, the next mission was to find a spot to eat it. Well, we found one. Section 15, on the lower level third base side, just past the infield. Here’s the view…
One odd thing that happened while we there….
A foul ball was hit about one section over to our left, and a guy in an aisle seat stood up and put his glove up, and let the ball bounce right off of his palm. Nothing special, right? It happens all of the time. Well, just keep reading….
A little while later, with a different pitcher on the mound and a different batter at the plate, another foul ball found its way to the exact same guy, and once again he muffed it! It hit off of his palm just like the first one did, and someone else got it just like the first one.
How weird is that? I heard about a guy in Oakland that had a similar experience in 2006, but he had a better turnout.
I thought that was worth sharing.
As the game wound down, instead of going behind homeplate like we usually do, I wanted to go over by the visitors’ bullpen to try and get a ball from the bullpen catcher. When we got over there, we saw this….
See the two pink backpacks? One is on the left end of the bench, and the other one is on the ground behind the white chair. That is “Seattle Mariner Rookie Initiation” at its finest.
I also saw this….
You see the ledge next to Phillips #62? Just in front of him, to the right? Knight helmets. I have no idea what those are for. More initiations? Maybe Mr. Todd Cook will leave a comment on this. He’s the biggest M’s fan that I know of. I’m curious to know what’s up with those.
The game was exciting from a Rangers fan point of view. Derek Holland pitched a perfect game into the 5th inning when he gave up the only Mariner hit until the top of the 9th.
Michael Young hit two homeruns, and Hank Blalock, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Marlon Byrd each hit one out to give the Rangers a 7-0 lead.
Holland retired the first two batters in the top of the 9th, then walked one and gave up his second hit of the game. Rangers manager Ron Washington made a pitching change with 2 outs in the 9th.
Warner Madrigal came in, walked one to load the bases, gave up an RBI single, then finally got the 3rd out.
Holland struckout 10 batters on the night. Rangers win 7-1.
Here’s a photo of the ball I got, and also one of some tickets I found after the game….
Next game: Mon. 8/17 vs. the Twins
And for the record – I didn’t get a ball from the Mariners’ bullpen catcher like I had hoped.
One parting shot of the Mariners’ bullpen guys walking off the field. Sorry for the blur, but I zoomed in as far as I could….
Well, just like 8/23/08, I brought my daughter Sarah to this game. And, also just like that game, it was cap night….
We arrived at the park in time for batting practice like we always do. I’m so glad I have a daughter that will go for autographs & balls too!
We made our way to the spot we like on the 3rd base side, halfway into the outfield. I set my bag down to get our gloves out & noticed Zack Greinke walking by. For those of you that may not know who that is, you may in the future. He pitched Sat. night 4/18 against the Rangers & struck out 10, gave up 7 hits & got the win. He has AMAZING stuff. No kidding.
Anyway, so I gave Sarah her ticket & a sharpie & sent her over to him. By this time a few people had gathered around, so it took a little bit but she got it.
A little while later, we noticed Josh Hamilton across the field signing autographs on the 1st base side. Of course there was a pretty good little crowd gathered around him, so I didn’t think it was worth the effort to go over there. 20 minutes later, Hamilton is still over there, so I gave Sarah a sharpie & had run through the seats to get his autograph. By the time she made it over there, Hamilton was gone & there was a new crowd gathered around Derek Holland, who the Rangers had just called up the day before…
Sarah’s above the arrow. When she came back around, she was beaming. She had no idea that Josh didn’t sign her hat. When I explained it to her, she was disappointed, but she still enjoyed the fact that she got another autograph.
There was a guy standing by me that was trying to get Jamie Wright’s attention to sign his picture. Jamie was a pitcher for the Rangers up until last year, so he has somewhat of following here. Jamie finally came over & here’s the photo I got….
Sorry about the grainy picture, but I had to crop it to get it to fit. Still, I thought it was a good shot anyways.
Here’s Sarah with her autographs…
We hung around that spot for a little while longer & got some photos of the 2 teams warming up…
I gotta tell you, I love the red jerseys!
Anyways, once the game started, we were in our seats & enjoying ourselves. At the bottom of the 2nd, we were starting to get a little hot sitting in the sun, so we got up to walk around & cool off. We went out to left field, straight down the 3rd base line. We watched Elvis Andrus bat & took this pic…
Back to this photo in a moment.
We walked over behind the visitor’s bullpen & for whatever reason I took this pic…
Maybe it was the “T”, I don’t know.
Back to the photo above from left field, as I was taking this photo of the bullpen, the next batter after Andrus was Ian Kinsler who proceded to hit a homerun to the exact spot we were standing when I took that picture! UUGGGHHH!! Oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.
We roamed a little more, took some more pics & also spent some time in the centerfield gift shop….
We wandered a little bit longer & I got one more pretty cool shot from the upper deck….
The game itself went back & forth, until the bottom of the 9th, when Michael Young hit his 1st walk off homerun(solo shot) to win the game for the Rangers 6-5!
No balls at this game, but I got a cool picture of Sarah on the way out…..
That’s the new Cowboys stadium behind her by the way.
Here’s another photo of the autographs & also one of the extra tickets we found after the game.
P.S. — Notice the holes in the tickets? That’s the Rangers’ way of keeping track of who gets a free promotion item & who doesn’t. Nice. What if it was a no-hitter or some other sort of milestone, & you wanted to preserve your ticket? I guess from their perspective, that’s the best way to do it. Who knows?