I went to watch batting practice. There was a 90-year-old guy there who just moved out here a few years ago from Philly. He was just telling baseball stories, and saying things like "I remember when Chuck Klein showed up on the Phillies. Wow, that guy sure could hit!" And my jaw just drops like "You saw Chuck Klein as a rookie? But that was in like... 1928!" He's like "Yeah... but the team to watch those days was the Athletics. With Connie Mack. They won a ton of championships back when I was a teenager. Had Ty Cobb and everything for a bit there." Wow. That's just so cool.
Jimmy Rollins was signing stuff for a bit by the dugout, and this one guy's got his daughter holding a baseball, and he yells, "Hey Jimmy! Sign one for my daughter? You're her favorite player! She calls you up on her fake cellphone. Dials '11' for Jimmy. When you cut your hair she just went crazy, goin' 'Where'd his hair go??'."
Billy Wagner came out to sign stuff for a bit. I had him sign my Phillies scorecard, and he wrote with his right hand, and I'm like, "Whoa, you're really right-handed!" and he drawls, "Yeah, been a righty all my life." I mean, the guy throws 100 mph left-handed... that's just crazy.
Oh, there was a game, too. The Padilla Tortilla let Ichiro and Randy Winn hit home runs off him, and Ryan Madson let Mike Morse hit one later. It was Morse's first major league home run. He had a pretty good day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk, and a home run.
There were several times where the Mariners reached base just because the Phillies screwed up, though. Sexson got credited with a double when Bobby Abreu dropped the ball early on, and one of Morse's singles went about 2 inches over Chase Utley's glove on a jump. Ibanez got credited with an infield single in the 5th in the ultimate comedy of errors, where he hit a weak grounder and Padilla, Utley, and Ramon Martinez went for it -- Padilla got it, went to throw to first, but nobody was there because everyone else was going for the ball. Oops.
Villone wasn't about to let that happen to him -- later on, when Jim Thome hit a weak grounded towards first, Villone ran over, got it, and tackled Thome. Well, not really, but he did run into him the way you'd expect to see football players run into each other. It was sort of amusing.
Monday I felt like I could blame the Phillies' two stolen bases on Meche's slow windup, but this time they got three stolen bases, and one was just Borders throwing it a little too slowly to second (as opposed to our runners, who have gotten caught every time they've tried to steal against Mike Lieberthal. To be fair, two out of the three steals occured in a double steal on a 1-2-2 pitch against Pat Burrell, who had struck out twice already that day, so I guess they were just running for the heck of it. I'm still a little surprised at the lack of runs created by the Abreu-Burrell-Thome 3-4-5... Bobby was 3-for-4 but the other guys really didn't pick up the slack at all.
Anyway, the Mariners won. As I explained to Conor Glassey, who I ran into before the game started, "I'm rooting for the Phillies so the Mariners will win! Honest!" I guess it worked.
Let's play a game here for a second. We'll call it the "caption game". I'll go first.
"I stole Jim Thome's bat. See this scorch mark here? This is where he hit that big
two-run homer last week."
"Suckers... they don't realize that the magic fire in my bats only ignites if I do this crazy baton-twirling thing with them first."
"I'm Jason Michaels, and I'm too pretty to be benched just because I'm a righty. This sucks."
Burrell: Hey Jimmy, gimme my hat. It's the one that says 'Bad Mother Fucker' on it.
Rollins: Pat, bro, the only thing your hat says on it is 'Pattycakes Strikeout'.
"Been right-handed all my life."