Results tagged ‘ seattle mariners ’
This game wasn’t decided upon until the day before (Saturday), when Dirk wasn’t able to go to Saturday’s game with his wife. We got some cheap bleacher tickets and we were off.
It was going to be a 2:05 start, the weather was great. It had the makings of a really good day.
Except for this….
Yeah, it was cap day.
This cap giveaway was to commemorate Ian Kinsler’s 30/30 season last year.
I have to admit, most cap giveaways I’ve been to, the caps haven’t been that great, but these were pretty cool. You can see Kinsler’s embroidered signature on the bill, and it also has his #5 on the right side which you can barely see.
Not bad for a freebie.
Although, as is the case with most promotions, it brought a lot people to the ballpark. Besides the weather of course.
For Saturday and Sunday games the gates open 1-1/2 hours early, unlike the usual 2 hours for weekday games. Which means the gates would open at 12:35 today for the general public, for Dirk and I it was 12:05. Heehee.
We made it through the bag check, got our ticket scanned, and grabbed our free cap and hurried out to the left field seats and noticed there wasn’t many people out there. Cool!
We also noticed this….
That was a good sign, but we weren’t sure if the Rangers had already hit or not.
As we killed the next few minutes checking the gaps and bullpens I snapped this photo to show the competition for the first 30 minutes….
My thoughts were along this line, “Oh man, please start hitting soon!”
But, it never happened.
For either team.
We soon found out that the main reason for no batting practice was the Girl Scouts were going to parade around the warning track during pregame. I fought to keep all of the selfish remarks in my head, and had to admit what a cool experience it would be for them.
So, now that we had even more time to kill, we wandered. I took these next two at the visitors’ bullpen….
This was as close as I would get to snagging any balls today….
It’s like they were taunting us.
We made our way around behind homeplate in the concourse area and got some food and drinks, and then went to our seats in left-center to just take it easy for once. It was nice, but I have to admit that I would’ve rather been snagging.
Here’s a photo I took of the right field area from our seats….
….which we only stayed in for the first two innings thanks to the two drunk, wannabe announcers behind us.
So, in the top of the 3rd we went over to the third base side to try for foul balls like we usually do, and this was our view….
It seems like every time the Mariners are in town I find myself taking pictures of the guy in the above photo. Future Hall of Famer….
As for the game itself, it was good. The Rangers finally got some offense going, and displayed some really good defense also. They came away with the win 9-2, and also took the series two games to three.
I didn’t take many more pictures except for in the top of the ninth inning when we had moved around behind homeplate. I really wanted to try and get some photos of Griffey at the plate. You never know when your last chance to see someone of his caliber at bat will be. This is the best I could do….
I’d like to say that the last photo culminated in a homer, but it didn’t. I can’t really remember now, but he either hit a flyout or he struck out. Oh well, at least I got to see that sweet swing.
Hopefully I get to see him in person again this season, if this turns out to be his last year.
Time of game: 3hrs. 3mins.
Next Game: Sunday, 4/25 vs. Detroit
Originally, I was supposed to attend this game with my aunt Lori and daughter Sarah, but through unforeseen circumstances (rain/car issues) my aunt had to back out. We will instead go to the Fri. 9/18 game vs. the Angels.
So, the next plan was for just Sarah and I to go, then on Saturday morning, my friend Dirk decided to go with us. The next course of action was to see what the weather would do. It had been raining constantly since late Thursday night, moving Friday night’s game to a Sunday doubleheader, so we wrote off BP early in the day.
At around 3:00 or so that afternoon, we came up with a plan of action. We would leave at 6:00 and get to the ballpark at around 6:30, at which time we would decide if we would purchase tickets or turn around and go to Cabela’s. When we arrived at the ballpark, the rain had let up substantially, so we purchased some cheap tickets and made our way inside, after we received our free salsa bowls….
….”because people like to say salsa!”. (That’s a Seinfeld reference for those of you that may not know)
When we walked in through the homeplate gate, I went to the closest tunnel to take a photo of the field….
If you look at the video board on the upper right of the picture, you’ll see some text in gold. It says — #38 Ron Washington, Manager. They had just announced the starting lineups for both teams. Cool, we’re gonna have baseball after all!
This was the view to my left….
….and my right….
Oh my goodness! We had bought bleacher seats but had no intentions of sitting in them. Tonight was going to be all about the foul ball, and it was looking really good!
It was still about 15-20 minutes before first pitch, so we went to get food. While we were eating, I made my way over to a booth that was selling game-used items and took the following photo….
Don’t ask me why I took that, just felt like it I guess. I also took this one of the concourse….
I love how that looks!
Once the game started we found some empty seats on the third base side. Section 14, row 28ish on the aisle. That has slowly become our favorite foul ball spot.
Here’s what our view of the action was like….
Sorry, that’s the best I can get my camera to zoom. Can’t tell who’s at the plate? Let me help you out….
Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. I didn’t realize how old he is. Do you think he still goes by his old nickname “The Kid”? I wonder.
I don’t care what team he plays for, that guy is a stud. Plain and simple.
From a foul ball standpoint, the beginning of this game was kind of weird. There were foul balls hit the first few innings, but they were rolling grounders down the base lines. The first foul hit into the stands wasn’t until the third or fourth inning, and it went into the second level.
We started to get some fouls in our general direction in around the fifth inning, but all of those were a section or two over in either direction.
After the end of the fifth, we decided to go for ice cream. I had noticed a specific helmet before the game that I knew I wanted to get my hands on. You’ll see it on the right in the following picture….
If you’re wondering the importance of that helmet, it’s mainly because from what “The Ice Cream Helmet King” tells me, Baltimore doesn’t even offer ice cream helmets. So, it’s been somewhat of a mission to find one, and ta-da! Mission accomplished. Take that Todd!
By the time the game reached the 6th inning, we were officially wet. It had lightly/not-so lightly misted the entire game, but around the 6th it turned into light rain.
In the eighth inning we moved behind homeplate and this was our view….
See, I told you it was raining.
And just in case you need more proof, look at this photo of Sarah as we were leaving….
Yes, she was wearing a coat in the seats.
We had some closer foul ball action back there, but they were still a section over.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers were down 8-3 and they got the first two batters on base, but the rain came down harder, and Don Wakamatsu, the Mariners’ manager, came out of the dugout to complain about the playing conditions. Within five minutes the game was called. Who knows what might have happened?!
Time of game: 3 hrs. 10 mins. (1 hr. 23 min. delay)
Attendance: 22,468 (Yeah right!)
Next game: Mon. 9/14 vs. Oakland
Here’s one more picture I took before we got in the truck to leave….
This game wasn’t decided upon until Saturday afternoon (8/1), when my friend Dirk and I were talking, and we realized that this was the last home game for the Rangers for a while, so we got our two daughters and we were off.
The recent weather for the area was on and off rain with cool temperatures. Not today. The rain was nowhere to be found, and the sun was out in full force.
Figures. Thursday, when we went by ourselves, it was cool and the sun was in and out of the clouds. Today, we take our daughters and we’re roasting, just like we were on this day.
When we got inside the stadium and went to the LF stands, the Rangers were hitting.
Woohoo! I haven’t seen them hit in a while, but it was short lived.
I barely made it to the first row in LF and I saw a ball land in the gap, but by the time I was able to get my stuff out, someone was already down there tossing it up to someone else. Blah.
Then, a couple Rangers righties (Marlon Byrd and Andruw Jones I think) started jacking the ball to the back of the LF seats. There’s a wide cross-aisle and a wall with a scoreboard at the back of that aisle, and they were hitting the wall! I was too low and too far to the left to even think about going for those.
After about 10 minutes, they were finished. Time to check the gaps and get ready for the Mariners.
Nothing in the gaps. And by 5:45, when the M’s should be about 10 minutes into batting practice, this was the scene on the field….
What?! No way, they HAD to come out and hit, right?
Well, we killed about 5 more minutes and went to RF to check the Rangers’ bullpen and the gap over there, and this was the scene then….
(Insert prolonged exhale here)
What you can’t tell from the previous photo, is that there’s two Mariners players in RF playing catch. Yippee.
So, the next plan of action was to find food, drinks, and A/C in whatever order we could get it, and we started with cooling off in the centerfield gift shop. We then made our way behind home plate for our usual “designated driver” free drink coupons and headed toward the concession stands for nachos, cheese fries, and two Dr. Peppers.
We bought cheap, upper deck tickets for this game, so we went up there to eat and watch the first few innings of the game. This was the view when we sat down….
I love the shade!
You can see that the cage from batting practice is still on the field. Soon thereafter it was removed and the grounds crew started chalking the batter’s boxes….
And finally, the finished product….
I must have seen that done a hundred times, and it still intrigues me to this day.
A little while later, the Mariners bullpen guys made their way to the visitors’ bullpen (notice the pink backpacks!)….
The game went pretty smooth through the first few innings, so it wasn’t long before we made our way to centerfield for the kids’ sportspark. The girls did the slingshot game….
….and, they hit some balls off of a tee….
We sought some much needed refuge under the misting fans also….
Sarah’s proud of her $1 Drumstick!
Once the game playing concluded, we were on a new mission: Foul ball spot.
Section 14, lower level toward the back of the section. About row 21-23, I can’t remember for sure. Here’s another view….
You know the cool part about the photo above of Michael Young at the plate? It culminated in this….
It was a solo shot in the bottom of the 6th that tied the game at 2-2. The very next inning, in the bottom of the 7th, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a 2-run homer that put the Rangers in front to stay at 4-2.
No foul balls…..again.
At least the Rangers won, that’s more important.
On the way out of the stadium, the girls were able to get their picture taken with Josh Hamilton! Check it out….
He just stood there and smiled, what a great guy!
By the way, did you notice the stack of cups in Sarah’s hand (on the left)? She actually had twice that many, but I gave some to Dirk. She got a little carried away.
Here’s a photo of the extra tickets I found after the game….
Time of game: 2 hrs. 14 mins.
Next game: Mon. 8/17 vs. the Twins (long road trip for the Rangers)
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….
I was looking forward to this game for two reasons: 1st-The Rangers were just getting back from a 7 game road trip, and 2nd-Josh Hamilton was going to make his first start after coming off the 15-day DL.
My friend Dirk & I got to the ballpark right at 5:00, and made it into the left field seats at about 5:10, so there were already people in the stands since the gates open at 5:05. Oh well, it wasn’t that crowded, so I still felt pretty good about our chances.
The Rangers were already hitting when we walked in, so we ran down to the front row, but out of about 12 hitters, 2 of them were righties (and we were in LF). We thought about moving to RF, but it was too crowded, so we decided to stick it out in left.
During the Rangers portion of BP, I think only one or two homers were hit in our direction, and the closest I could get was about 5 feet away. Blah. I got C.J. Wilson’s attention once when a ball rolled to the wall & he came over to get it. I called his name and held up my glove, and he looked right at me, and then threw the ball back in. Nice.
During the Mariners portion of BP, I still thought we had a good chance, because I had printed out their roster, coach list, & even made a cheat sheet of about 7-8 players with their photo, last name, & jersey #.
It came in handy only from the standpoint that I was the only one around shouting out first names, while everyone else was forced to shout #s since their warmup jerseys didn’t have their names on them. A few guys turned to look when I called their name, but I think it was because they were surprised that anyone actually knew them.
The Mariners’ BP was different for me, because the first 15-20 minutes or so was all of the lefties. Some would try to go opposite field, but they never reached the seats.
Then finally, the righties came up. Yay! It was short lived. Not only do their right handed hitters not have big time power, but I don’t think 1 of their balls hit the seats. As opposed to the lefties, which includes Ichiro, AND Griffey. (I was starting to think that we probably should have fought the crowd in RF).
Watching Griffey hit was pretty cool. I can’t remember, but in all the years that I have gone to baseball games, I think this may have been my first time to watch him take BP. And boy did he put on a show! He still has it, that’s for sure.
Batting practice came and went, and I was left empty-handed. I guess I had gotten a little spoiled, since the last two games I went to that had BP, I was able to come away with a ball each time. Oh well, there’s always next game!
Just in case you haven’t noticed, I didn’t take any pictures at this game. My wife needed the camera this same night, so I had to do without. Maybe that’s why I was shutout, I felt awkward even being there without a camera. Is that weird?
Our seats were in left field, and we stayed there until the 4th inning, when we decided to move to the 2nd level behind home plate to go for foul balls. Didn’t get any, but I still like going up there.
In the bottom of the 8th, we moved down to the 1st level behind home plate on the 1st base side. Nothing there either, but you can’t beat that view!
The game itself was good. Scott Feldman pitched 6-1/3 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts, and getting a no-decision. Derek Holland picked up his 1st win in his young major league career, and Eddie Guardado got the save.
Rangers win 7-1, Hamilton hit a 2-run homer in the seventh to break a 1-1 tie, and opened up a six-run rally.
Time of game – 2 hrs. 50 mins.
Attendance – 16,564.
Next game – 5/23 in Houston.