Book Club happened, for Baseball Between the Numbers. I showed up early and hung out with Conor Glassey for a while, which was cool. We didn't get a gigantic crowd, but we got enough people to have an interesting discussion. Jonah Keri was there and we asked him a bunch of questions about the book. I really should actually write up my review of the book at some point, but in general, it seems like people enjoyed reading it, everybody learned *something* from it.
We chose a book for July -- Paths to Glory, by Mark Armour -- the idea being that we weren't sure which Jim Bouton book to do, and Armour's a SABR guy who will be here for the convention as well. I haven't read this book but Josh Buergel says it's outstanding -- a good historical perspective on how the great teams have been built, not just ones like the 1950's Yankees or such, but like the 1924 Senators or the 1965 Twins or whatever. Also, due to SABR it's sounding like July's book club will actually be July 8th instead of July 1st -- unless anyone has a huge objection to that. We're still doing the Buster Olney book for June 3rd.
Anyway, after book club we went over to the game, picking up a few people and losing a few others, so in the end our group was 8 folks. It was pretty fun. On the other hand, the game was really really short, and not much happened. The Mariners won it 4-1 with Joel Pineiro pitching 8 innings, walking none, striking out 6, and the only actual run he gave up at all was when Grady Sizemore led off the game with a home run. Sexson, Everett, Beltre and Johjima strung together four consecutive hits in the fourth inning to go ahead 3-1, and added a fourth run in the seventh inning off an Ichiro single and an Ibanez double.
Pineiro gave up four hits for the evening, and aside from the Sizemore homer and the Victor Martinez single in the first, the other two hits were erased by double plays anyway. As a result, my scorecard is fairly sparse. There was one pretty awesome play by Victor Martinez when he fielded a Jose Lopez bunt (and, having just read BBTN, half of us were like "WHY IS HE BUNTING??"), and managed to dive for the ball and pick it up and throw to first from the ground. It was almost like the awesome Iguchi diving throw a few weeks ago.
For lack of game action to talk about, instead, I'll talk a little bit about the wacky experience of sitting in front of Derek and Jonah at a game. For example, here is a list of some of the things Derek booed:
- Willie Bloomquist
- Carl Everett ("Your mother was an astronaut!")
- Aaron Boone (We all sang the "BOONE! HERE COMES THE BOONE! READY OR NOT, I STRIKE OUT A LOT!" song)
- The little kid yelling "Play Ball!" at the start of the game
- Rick Rizzs
- Diamond Dave's trivia
- The Hydro challenge
- The entirety of section 329 for winning gift cards instead of us
- The Verizon music selection
- The Fan Grams
- The Wave (well, actually, he "Baaaaa"ed it)
- Captain Plastic
They did the "Spelling Bee" feature again where they run Pineiro, and show a whole lot of people who can't spell it, so Derek was like "All of these people FAIL. They are BANNED from USS Mariner."
Ronnie Belliard has a really funny headshot with braids and all. We were like, "If you submitted that photo to match.com, it'd get rejected for being too sleazy."
There were a lot of questionable ball-strike calls, and Hargrove got himself ejected for arguing the strike calls from the dugout. A few innings later, first-base coach Mike Goff ALSO got himself ejected for arguing the calls from the dugout! We actually couldn't figure out what was going in either case, and Josh actually posted to the USSM game thread like "We're sitting in the stands and have no idea what just happened. Please help."
I think there might be a new game to be had in the lefty-righty similarity thing, such as when people were calling Washburn a left-handed Ryan Franklin, or Pineiro a right-handed Jamie Moyer, so eventually I could try to figure out a chain for how Kevin Brown is really a left-handed Kevin Bacon, say. Today, Jonah noted that "Ramon Vazquez is a left-handed Cleveland-dwelling Willie Bloomquist."
Of course, Jonah also thought that we should nickname Joel Pineiro to Joel Pinata, given the way people usually hit him.
Also, as part of the "vote for your All-Stars", up on the board, they had "Vote for Adrian" "Vote for Richie" etc shirts -- just like my "Vote For Felix" shirt! I'm a trendsetter, I tell you!
Anyway, Pineiro pitched those 8 great innings, and Putz came out for the ninth, and while he walked J-Mike on some close pitches, he struck out Peralta, and that was game. It was funny -- I stood up for J-Mike's at-bat because it was the 9th inning with 2 outs, but the media guys didn't put up "UP ON YOUR FEET" on the board -- I think since it was only 8:12pm, none of them noticed that the game was about to end. It was still light out, after all. What a crazy short game.
And once again, credit where credit's due -- Pineiro really did shut down the Indians quite nicely.
I'll be at the game tomorrow as well -- May 7th is my birthday! I'm turning, um, not-quite-thirty-yet. Unlike May 6th, which has birthdays like Willie Mays, the best I can do with May 7th is either Conor Jackson or Tom Zachary. One's a bright young prospect, the other is probably best known for giving up Babe Ruth's 60th home run in 1927. Strangely, my brother shares a birthday with Babe Ruth. Isn't that a funny link?