Anyway, we sat in the upper deck so I didn't take many game pictures, but I did catch some batting practice, in-between desperately trying to get a full set of trading cards. (I was missing the end of the alphabet and had dupes of the Mariner Moose, which of course nobody wanted. Eventually I was doing my usual walk-back-and-forth-taking-pictures thing and saw that someone had left an extra set of cards under a seat, so... I picked them up. They were missing the beginning of the alphabet and had extra Jamie Burkes, so that worked out well, and I completed my set and gave the rest to Coug later on.) Many Jays players came out and signed stuff -- I got Shaun Marcum -- and then I watched Roy Halladay warm up and do bullpen throwing. I've been sort of fascinated by him for a while, so I was glad to see him pitch in person. I was also, of course, glad that the Mariners won, bringing my personal record to 13-4.
Pitching over the Halladay weekend.
In theory, the real "picture of the day" from that game was when we met up with legendary LL mascot and Beltre worshipper "Red", but I thought it might be weird to put that one up on the front page here.
Mariners vs. Blue Jays, June 30, 2007
Mariners vs. Red Sox, June 26, 2007
Hideki Okajima and Chris Young. I wish Pat Neshek had made it, and I voted for him a few hundred times, but as I said... Okajima! Fighters pride!
NPB All-Star Rosters in addition to the ridiculous fan vote. (English) Yakult's Seth Greisinger got a spot as a CL pitcher. The Yokohama pitching reps are sideweirder Atsushi Kizuka and closer Marc Kroon (I sort of expected Hayato Terahara to get a spot, not that Kizuka or Kroon are bad choices). Someone also finally noticed that Baystars catcher Ryouji Aikawa doesn't suck. And Dragonbutt got selected for his first all-star team too! ...as an infielder. I believe he was on the ballots as an outfielder though.
In the PL, Lotte's Naruse got his first spot, but Shunsuke Watanabe didn't get a spot? Hiroyuki Nakajima and Tsuyoshi Nishioka go with Munenori Kawasaki to give the Ikemen Infield. As deserved, the Fighters' outfield of Atsunori Inaba and Hichori Morimoto got spots on the roster as well, so look forward to Hichori pulling some kind of grand stunt during the games. (Last year most people remember him dressing up as Piccolo from Dragonball Z. Today, a bread company made a life-sized loaf of that for him. You could call it deadpan.)
Fantastic article by Jim Allen about the ludicrous Pacific League all-star ballot. He says it even better than I ever could in a million rants.
Some links that I meant to post at some point:
Shannon Drayer wrote a pretty interesting entry in her blog about why Mike Hargrove left, which may shed some light on things. Either way, it's an interesting read.
Kazuhiro Kiyohara's season is over. Possibly even his career...
Fun website put together by 7 members of the Yokohama Bay Stars: 55 Sports. Shuuichi Murata, Katsuaki Furuki, Naoki Mitsubashi, Masaaki Koike, Takeshi Tsutsumiuchi, Shougo Kimura, and Yuuki Kohno, all of whom were born in Showa 55 (or 1980, aka the Matsuzaka Generation Year). The players have blogs on that website, and in addition plan to use it to put together some baseball clinics and charity events. It's kind of neat that Yokohama's doing this well and so some of the good young players are getting recognized.
Kevin Youkilis mentioned on his blog that he set a record going 120 games without an error at first base during the Mariners-Sox series last week. "I'd never really heard of Stuffy McInnis before this week...."
CJ Nitkowski is updating his site again, but even more awesome, he has been putting up videos on YouTube of what it's like inside the Softbank Hawks clubhouse (and in the team bus, and out at Karaoke, and so on). This is so incredibly awesome that I can't even begin to describe it.
There's a really neat best athlete for each uniform number article in SI -- even if it's pretty football-heavy. I'm sad that Mike Schmidt was just the runner-up for #20 and that they didn't even bother mentioning Ichiro for #51. Still, I've actually been trying to collect shots for another numbers series sometime in the offseason, so I think it's neat to think about the different players who've worn different numbers.
Oh yeah, and the Phillies are up to 9997 losses as of this writing.
I'll probably edit in a few more links as I remember which ones I wanted to share.