Results tagged ‘ los angeles angels of anaheim ’
This entry is going to be relatively short and sweet because I didn’t take very many photos this time, and the photos I did take are all player photos.
My friend Dirk and I had very high hopes for this game, being the first home game for the Rangers after the All Star break, our first game to attend in nearly two weeks, and the outside shot at an All Star game ball (like I mentioned in my previous entry). All of these things combined made for a higher than usual level of anticipation.
When we reached the stands at around 4:30 we noticed that the cage was up for batting practice but the Rangers weren’t hitting. No big deal really, it’s kind of hit and miss for them to have BP anyway. By the time it reached 5:15 there were still no players on the field. For either team. To make matters worse, someone had set an empty bucket out in centerfield for the ball return.
This is when Dirk and I got very antsy.
Finally at 5:25 or so the Angels came out to throw and stretch so I went over behind their dugout not thinking they would hit. While I was there I took some photos.
Here’s the best one I could get of Bobby Abreu….
…. and here’s a couple of Hideki Matsui….
…. and how about Torii Hunter ….
…. and speaking of Hunter, he would go on to hit me my one and only ball during batting practice that just happened to be my very first home run to catch on the fly! That may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but after a couple years of snagging balls and reading about other guys catching multiple homers during BP, I have really been trying for one of my own. Man what a feeling!
So, I guess you can tell by now that the Angels did in fact start to hit. The bleachers that we normally set up in got reasonably crowded today so I knew that my range was going to be limited. Within the first 5 minutes or so a ball landed in the gap about two sections to our left and Dirk was all over it for his one and only ball of the game.
The Hunter homer was actually pretty cool, to me anyway, because I’ve read numerous times of balls being hit “straight to someone”. Well that’s never happened to me, at least not until today. Dirk was to my right and we were both in the first row of the left centerfield bleachers right next to the bullpen. Hunter hit one that started out towards the bullpen but quickly started to tail in our direction, actually towards me. I just wasn’t sure about the distance, but I prepared anyway. I leaned over the belt-high railing a little to make sure I could reach it and I noticed Dirk’s glove slowly coming into my view.
Let me back up a little….
Dirk is fully aware of my need to catch a homer on the fly. He has told me numerous times that he would back off to let me catch one and I have taken his word on it.
Okay, back to the story….
Once I noticed Dirk’s glove getting closer and closer I had to give the old “I got it!’, and once I did he pulled his glove back and within seconds “Smack!”. I had it.
Finally! What a cool feeling!
I have to say that it’s just as I hoped it would be.
After high-fiving Dirk he admitted that he had gotten caught up in the moment in trying to catch it himself and if I hadn’t said anything he may have fought me for it. Now that I got my first one out of the way I can tell I’m on my own from here on out.
Our seats for this game were in section 50 row 1. For those of you that may not know where that is, it’s directly between the hill in centerfield and the Rangers’ bullpen in right-center.
Here’s an idea of where they were….
…. under the red arrow (don’t forget that you can click on the photos to enlarge them).
These seats gave us a great view to watch our starting pitcher warm up….
…. Mr. Cliff Lee.
What a stud! This was our first time to see him pitch in person and he did not disappoint. He went 8-1/3 innings, striking out 4, giving up 2 runs (both earned), and walking none.
Not only was this our first time to see Lee pitch in person, but it was also Lee’s first win as a Ranger so that was pretty cool too.
What an electric atmosphere at the ballpark this game. I don’t know if it was Lee, the fact that the Rangers hadn’t played at home in over two weeks when they were swept in four games by Baltimore (Baltimore?!), or both but it was great. Especially when Neftali Feliz came in to get the final two outs of the game and also record his 27th save of the season. I truly hope the Rangers win the division and make the playoffs. Man that would be awesome!
Speaking of Feliz, here he is earlier in the game sitting in the bullpen….
…. on this end of the bullpen.
The Rangers would go on to win 3-2. Michael Young hit another home run.
The closest we would come to a ball this game was around the 4th inning when Nelson Cruz hit a double off the wall directly below me, and Angels’ centerfielder Torii Hunter threw a 3rd out ball about 10 feet to our right. That was it.
But we had a great time.
Time of Game: 2 hrs. 44mins.
Next Game: Wed. 7/28 vs. Oakland
As I stated in this entry I have set a goal of snagging a Target Field ball (at least one) when the Twins come to town in August.
Since it’s the All Star break and I have nothing else to do but think of the next game I’m going to, I’ve come up with another goal.
After reading many blogs over the past couple years of ballhawks that snag commemorative balls at the weirdest moments (like snagging a World Series ball the next season at a BP of a team that wasn’t even in the Series the prior season), I began to think of the All Star game ball.
The A.S. game is being held in Anaheim, who’s in the same division as the Rangers. What are the chances that some of those A.S. balls will find their way into the Angels’ batting practice bags/buckets?
It’s possible right? It has to be possible.
So there you have it. My goal is to be at the first game when the Angels come to town next week. They will be in for a four game set from Thursday 7/22 until Sunday 7/25 and I will be at the Thursday tilt with the sole purpose of potentially snagging an All Star game ball.
Well, this was going to be the last regular season home game for the Rangers. It was also Fan Appreciation Day, which means every half inning the video board would show a section, row, or specific seat that would win anything from autographed memorabilia to discounts at the gift shops. It’s always fun to wait and see if you win something. This will be my third consecutive year to go on this day, and I have yet to win anything (today included).
I attended this game with my daughter Sarah, my friend Dirk, and his daughter Kaitlyn and son Connor. I had purchased these tickets last weekend at the Angels game, and bought upper deck seats knowing we would be bringing the kids and expecting to be in the shade.
This is what it looked like from our seats….
Looks like I made the right choice!
Here’s our view of the action….
Yes they’re tiny, but we knew what was going on.
I was really hoping to add to our ice cream helmet collection today, being the last game of the season and everything, but today the Rangers decided to do away with using all the MLB teams as they have done recently and use only red Rangers helmets.
We already have some of those, but I noticed something different about these. Here’s a picture that I took later to show what I mean….
I have never seen an ice cream helmet with the MLB logo on it. I thought it was pretty cool, and worthy to be included in this entry.
The game was good. The Rangers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held it most of the game.
Here’s some more shots from the upper deck….
I love that last one.
And here’s one of the kiddos….
At the end of the 7th inning we moved down to the third base side to try one last time for a foul ball, but got nothing. This was our view though….
The Rangers lead 5-0 until the top of the 8th when the Rays cut that lead down to 5-3. Marlon Byrd added a solo homer in the bottom of the inning, which brought out Frank Francisco to save the game in top of the 9th. Sounds easy enough right?
He allowed the tying run to score before Ron Washington pulled him with the bases still loaded and only one out. Rookie Neftali Feliz came in a got a ground-out, but the go ahead run scored on the play. The Rangers would go 3 up, 3 down in the bottom of the 9th and lose 7-6.
That one hurt.
It should have been a sweep, but instead they fell another game behind the Angels in the west.
Here’s a picture of a helmet I found after the game that I have absolutely no idea what it was used for, but I thought it was cool so I kept it….
Time of game: 3 hrs. 3 mins.
Next game: Playoffs? Or April 5, 2010. Opening Day vs. the Blue Jays
I decided to change things up a bit for this entry. Instead of doing two separate entries and detailing each one, I decided to combine two games and share pictures from both.
The two games are Friday 9/18 and Saturday 9/19.
Friday I went to the game with my aunt Lori and daughter Sarah. It was fireworks night, so there was a lot of people there. It was also rally towel night. The towel is white and has the “T” logo with the words “Let’s Go Rangers” on it. Eh. It’s okay, I can see what they were trying to do, inspire the fans to get excited during the game.
Here’s a photo I took as we walked from the car to the stadium….
The cool thing about that lot is, it’s normally $12, but on Fridays it’s $5. Sweet!
I had bought the tickets the day before on my lunch break and the best they could give me was behind homeplate in the upper deck. So while we were up there before the game, I took this picture of Lori and Sarah….
That’s Dallas Cowboys Stadium in the back ground.
You can see that Lori is holding a plastic bag. We had already hit the gift shop where she bought Sarah a Josh Hamilton bracelet, and herself and I a Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez red t-shirt.
Here’s some other photos I took of the Cowboys’ stadium….
(Remember: You can click on any picture to get a closer look.)
In the above photo do you notice the red arrows? Those are pointing to a video screen. For those that may not know, there is a video board in the Cowboys stadium that goes from one 20 yard line to the other. That’s 60 yards long! That board that the arrows are pointing to is on the end of that big board. As big as that one seems, it’s considerably smaller than the main one.
I know those last two photos are blurry, but I really wanted to show them because I like the way the light shines through the glass on the sides.
And here’s one from our seats….
The vibe in the stadium was really cool, especially when the rally towels were flying. I tried to get an action shot of the towels, but my camera wouldn’t allow it.
As for the game it was fun, even though the Rangers lost 2-0. They got 0 runs on 8 hits, while the Angels got 2 runs on 6 hits, bringing the losing streak to five and putting the Rangers 7-1/2 games back in the west.
That’s not going to work fellas.
The fireworks were cool, though the loss still stung.
Game 1 –
Time of game: 2 hrs. 57 mins.
On to Saturday…
Saturday’s game was preceded by a pre-game concert by MercyMe, a contemporary christian group.
So that meant two things, (1) there would be a LOT of people at the game, and (2) would there be batting practice? We didn’t think so, but if there was BP, it would go on during the concert (more on that later).
I went to this game with Sarah (my daughter), my friend Shawn from the Houston trip, and his wife Amy and daughter Abby.
We walked in the homeplate gate, went around to right field. When we got there, we went down to the railing and stayed there because there was indeed batting practice!
Here’s a shot of some guys right in front of us….
On the left, reliever Jason Grilli. Light blue shirt, pitching coach Mike Maddux. #61, rookie catcher Kevin Richardson.
Mike Maddux is a stud. He has been my favorite offseason acquisition by far.
I was a little out my element being in right field. 99% of the time, I’m in left., but after being in the shade in right field today I might have to change my strategy.
After about 10 minutes or so, Hank Blalock lifted one in our direction, that I got a late jump on. It hit about 2 rows behind me to my left and Shawn beat me to it. Oh well, I was happy for him because he gave it to his daughter (I would have done the same).
There were quite a few balls that rolled to the wall in front of us, that I kept trying to get Grilli to toss up, but to no avail. I guess he thought the teenaged boys on my left were better recipients than my 10 year old daughter. I don’t sound smug do I? Totally unintentional.
One ball in particular I thought for sure was mine, but Grilli kept it in his hand and later on gave it to one of those same boys. In the meantime, Shawn had told me that I just missed a ball falling into the gap just five or six feet to my left. By the time I realized where it was, someone else was all over it.
When 4:00 rolled around, the concert was about to start and Sarah knew it. She proceded to tell me that the concert was the only reason she came back today. This was after I said that I wanted to stay for BP. Well, needless to say, she won that round so it was off to the concert we went.
I wanted to head up to the upper deck and take a look at how many people were already over there. The upper deck has an open air concourse that has some pretty cool views. It’s a good thing I looked before we went over there, because this is what we saw….
And the band was just taking the stage.
So, we watched and listened from up there which (thankfully) was fine with Sarah. Here’s as close as I could zoom with my camera….
For perspective, this is a view of the field from where we watched the concert….
If you look closely at the last photo, you’ll notice how open the stands are for BP (and also why I am going to be in right field from now on!). I had to keep myself from looking down at all the balls hitting empty seats. Sarah was happy, and that was good enough for me.
For all of you football/stadium fans, here’s some more photos of the Cowboy’s stadium….
If you click on the one on the right, you’ll see a Dr. Pepper sign about halfway up the photo. That is the party deck. You can pay $29 and stand up while watching the game. I say “you” because I will not be doing that.
Here’s some shots from our seats….
As you see can, it was packed!
The Rangers won this game 3-2, giving Scott Feldman his 17th win of the season. Frank Francisco picked up his 23rd save after loading the bases in the ninth.
Game 2 –
Time of game: 2 hrs. 31 mins.
Next game: Sunday 9/27 vs. the Rays
Here’s a couple photos I took after the game, when the stadium was almost empty….
You can read in the description of this blog, “the ramblings of a devoted Rangers fan”. I was devoted in April and I am still devoted now, and will most likely stay that way.
I made that statement to make a point. I don’t let myself get swayed when it comes to something that I believe in, and I believe in this team.
I was listening to the post game show on the radio following the game between the Rangers and Oakland Monday, September 14th, and was surprised by what I was hearing. The two hosts, along with a myriad of callers, were stating opinions that ranged from “it’s just a fluke” to “the season’s over”. What they were refering to, at that time, was the Rangers losing two out of three to Seattle over the weekend and losing to Oakland Monday night. The last two games were shutouts, to make matters worse.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by what I heard, given the fact that this team hasn’t reached the playoffs since 1999, and haven’t generated any real post season possibilities since 2004.
To say that this fan base has been bitten would be an understatement.
As you read this, the Rangers have gone on to play one more game against the A’s, losing once again. They finish the three game series with Oakland tonight, have an off day tomorrow, then welcome in the Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles, and whatever other California city wants to adopt them.
Now is the time for this team to decide what it’s truly made of. What it really wants out of this season.
The Angels have lost to Boston the last two games, but the Rangers have also lost to Oakland the last two games. Granted, we have had some very odd weather in this area for the last four to five days, but to me, that shouldn’t change how you play the game. It shouldn’t change your preparation for or drive to play the game either.
I know I’m no expert, and I have no way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors, but given what they have been running out on the field the last four or five games, they’re not convincing me that they even want to play in October.
With all of that being said, I’m not jumping ship. I stand by my initial statement in this entry, “the ramblings of a devoted rangers fan”.
They still have seven games against the Angels in the next week or two, and anything can happen. If they haven’t made up any ground after those seven games, well, we’ll deal with that later if we need to.
Right now, I am going to enjoy every minute I can of this team, this season.
Well, the All Star break was finally over and the Minnesota Twins were in town for the weekend. My friend Dirk and I had planned on going to this game for a couple of weeks, since this was the first game back for the Rangers.
Fridays at the Ballpark in Arlington are Big Bang Fireworks Fridays, which means you get $10 tickets, $5 parking, and a fireworks show after the game. Our tickets were normally $25 each and parking is normally $12, so it is a really cool deal.
The only downside to the whole thing is, obviously, it brings more people to the ballpark. Oh well, it’s still better than some other parks out there.
We got to the third base gate at around 4:45 or so, and there was already about 20 people in line. On top of the other promotions, they were also giving t-shirts away to the first 10,000 fans. I didn’t take a picture of it, but you’re not missing anything. It’s a plain white shirt with “TEXAS” on the front (it looks just like the “TEXAS” on the ticket above), and on the back is a huge “SPONGETECH” logo. In case you’ve somehow missed their giant ads at the ballparks, here’s a photo I found on the internet….
Just imagine that going from shoulder to shoulder and being about 3-4 inches tall on the back of the shirt. Not real cool, but you can’t beat the price!
Here’s a photo I got someone to take of Dirk and I waiting in line….
We were a little leary about the bag check this game, simply for the fact that Dirk had brought his version of a “cup trick” for the first time, altough there was no cup used in this contraption. The best way to describe it is, a rubber boot with a 3 inch long, 2 inch diameter pipe in the middle, wrapped in electrical tape and spray painted red. Don’t understand that, well that’s the best I can do.
Surprisingly, we made it through the bag check rather easily, got our free shirts and headed over to the left field seats, just in time to see the last batter for the Rangers finish up. Aww Man!
The Twins had just come out on the field to stretch, so I knew we would have a little time to spare before they started hitting, so we started checking the gaps for balls. Dirk spotted one toward the back of the visitors’ bullpen in left field. There was already someone over there working on it, but he was struggling, so we made our way over there anyway. Apparently, he had been there for a while and was willing to give up, because when Dirk asked if he could give it a try, the guy didn’t even hesitate to step aside. Sweet! We would finally get to try out our new trick. We had practiced with it some at our houses, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Here’s a shot of Dirk lowering it for the first time….
The wall that we are lowering from is approximately 20′ tall, just to give you some perspective. That red spot you see in the top right corner is the other guys’ trick that he’s raising up. His trick used a small helmet (like an ice cream helmet) and that’s all I could really tell, I don’t know what he used for a weight.
Anyways, here’s an action shot of Dirk….
You can kind of get a better idea of how tall that wall is in this shot.
The problem with using anything other than a glove trick is, when you have a ball (like this one) that is out 3-4 feet from the wall, it is very hard to knock the ball closer. Although we had a decent amount of weight, the surface area needed to maneuver the ball was minimal. After about 10 minutes and repeated attempts at dropping the cup from the railing, this happened….
The string broke.
We waited around for about 5 minutes until a security guard came and got it for Dirk. He gave him his cup back, but not the ball. Oh well, we couldn’t complain too much, at least he didn’t throw away his trick.
We came to the conclusion that the amount of weight used, the height of the wall, and the type of string used was not a very good combination. So, Dirk tied the two broken ends together and we went back around to left field to get ready for the Twins BP.
To say that we missed out on some balls would be an understatement. The crowd for BP was not real big, but it would’ve been nice to have a few less people to deal with. I know I myself missed at least 4 or 5. And when I say “missed”, I mean I either misjudged or got screwed out of. Dirk could’ve had at least that many also. It was frustrating because I wanted a Twins commemorative ball real bad!
Everyone around me was getting one, and they were pearls too. By pearl, I mean pristine, gently used, no smudges. It’s like they opened 2-3 boxes of brand new ones and dumped them in the bucket. After 20 minutes or so, Dirk ran around to the LF bleachers to try for one in the gap, but to no avail, someone got it before he could get over there.
I didn’t notice when he came back around because I was still trying to catch a BP homer, but when he got back to left field, he started going for one in our section. I don’t know how I missed that one, but Dirk was on it, and after a few minutes he pulled this out of the LF gap….
The green mark on the front of the ball is from the wall that it hit before falling into the gap.
The commemorative logo is smudged, but we didn’t care, we were just happy to get one. I asked him if I could borrow it to take this photo when I got home, and he told me to keep it. After going back and forth about it being his ball, I conceded, although it won’t be included in my ball totals. It is cool to have though!
That would be the only ball to be had for the rest of BP. We fought through the heat as long as we could, then went to the concourse with only a few minutes remaining in batting practice. We signed up to be designated drivers and got coupons for free sodas that we chugged in no time.
After eating a very dry chopped BBQ sandwich, we made our way to our seats in LF which we stayed in until the 5th inning or so, when we decided to look for a foul ball spot. Never found a good one, so we went for ice cream.
Now, the Ballpark in Arlington does not have ice cream helmets, but I had an idea that I wanted to try out to beat the system. The souvenir stands sell small, ice cream-sized helmets for $1 and I figured I could buy one and take it to the ice cream stand and have them fill it up instead, and it worked! Here she is….
I did have to pay the regular sundae price which is $6, so when you add the $1 for the helmet, I had a $7 sundae. It’s okay, I got some satisfaction out of the fact that I was the only one in the ballpark that had one! That one’s for you Todd Cook!
We walked around some more, mainly looking for a good foul ball spot, but the ones we wanted were full, so we kept wandering. I didn’t take any pictures, don’t ask me why, I just didn’t.
We made it behind home plate for the 9th inning, but got nothing. Even after the game when we normally look for tickets and stuff, it was rough because a lot of people were hanging around to see the fireworks.
I did manage to find a few tickets….
Rangers lost 5-3 and lost ground to the Angels in the division.
Time of game: 2hrs. 44mins.
Attendance: 34,662 (more than I’m used to)
Next game: Possibly Wed. 7/29 vs. the Mariners
This post is going to be, I assume, primarily for my fellow Rangers fans out there. Although, I would welcome the opinion of any fan to this entry, just keep it clean!
We’ve now reached the end of June (close enough), and the Rangers have let their 4.5-5 game lead in the division slip away. They have the worst team batting average in the majors for the month of June, and now they have a 5 game losing streak. The only player in the lineup with an average over .300 is Michael Young, who on the flip-side is batting only .218 with runners in scoring position.
The last time that the Rangers had a 5 game losing streak, was back in April when they started 3-0 then lost the next 5 and everyone was writing off the season. You can read what I wrote about that here . Since then, the Rangers have gone on to lead the division most of the way thanks to the Angels dealing with their own injuries and lack of run production. During that time, manager Ron Washington was given a contract extension after some fans wanted him gone in April.
Adding to this sudden quandry is Josh Hamilton. He started off the season slow, and talk began to spread of him over-extending himself last year. Then, he seemed on his way out of whatever “funk” was holding him back, then came the injuries. Groin strain, abdominal tear, hernia scare, multiple stints on the disabled list, now here we are less than three weeks away from the All-Star break, and it doesn’t look too promising that Josh will participate. As of today, 6/24, he has said that he could possibly play in the game, but most likely will pass on the Home Run Derby, the main event that everyone wants to see him in.
Don’t read anything into that. I’m not voicing any opinion there, just stating the facts as I know them at the present moment. Personally, I think Josh should do what is in the best interest of himself and the Texas Rangers, which is probably what will transpire anyway. He can’t afford to take the chance of playing and getting hurt worse, when his team is currently fighting for the division lead and in desperate need of his bat in the lineup.
With all this being said, the Rangers are still ahead of schedule. The mentality of the coaching staff and the front office heading into this season, was they were planning on 2010 being the year of the pennant run. 2009 was a toss up, a crap-shoot, and here they are with the opportunity to head into the All-Star break with either a tie or the lead in the division.
All of you “it’s the same ‘ol Rangers” fans out there that think the worst after one loss, or want Chris Davis gone, stop for a minute and think about the last time we were able to complain about a first place team.
So, I want to hear from you. What do you think?