Friday, May 20, 2005

Deride of the Yankees

I went to the Yankees games on Monday-Wednesday May 16-18, 2005. I would write game reports, but to be honest, the Monday and Tuesday games sucked enough ass to film a Sir Mix-a-Lot video, and Wednesday's featured an awesome comeback, so instead I will share with you a couple moments, and we'll leave it at that.


At the Yankees-Mariners game Wednesday, I was sitting in front of a little girl who kept kicking the back of my chair. I turned around and looked her right in the eye, snarled, and said, "ARRRRR."

She stopped kicking my seat.


A-Rod's biggest fan in the world was also sitting in the row behind me. He had a few too many beers, or not, but he kept getting up and yelling random stuff. "NUMBER 13 IS CURSED, A-ROD!" or "TOO BAD 252 MILLION DOLLARS CAN'T BUY YOU A WORLD SERIES RING," or "YEAH! TRY TO KNOCK THE BALL OUT OF SEXSON'S HAND WHY DON'T YOU! HE AIN'T NO BRONSON ARROYO YOU PUNK!"

In the 6th inning there was this point where the guy stood up and yelled "I SEE AN E-5 IN YOUR FUTURE, YOU LOUSY NO GOOD EXCUSE FOR A THIRD BASEMAN". Two batters later, A-Rod infact did fall flat on his ass trying to field a ball and tag someone out at third when Wilson Valdez knocked in two runs instead of one, tying the game. A-Rod was the first up to bat the next inning, and the biggest fan stood up yelling, "THAT WAS *YOUR ERROR* LAST INNING, RODRIGUEZ! IT'D BE 6-5 NOW EXCEPT FOR YOOOOOOOU."

A-Rod struck out and everyone cheered.


The father of the aforementioned little girl behind me actually was explaining it to her: "You see, Alex Rodriguez used to play in Seattle, and then he left because other people would pay him a whole ton of money. I don't think we care that much anymore, but it's fun to boo him, isn't it?"


Monday night there was a whole section of people there waving Taiwanese flags and cheering on the Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang. Would you believe, I'd never actually seen the Taiwanese flag before and I had to look it up on my cellphone? Wang had a bigger cheering section than even Matsui. I suppose the Japanese fans still felt obligated to cheer on Ichiro in his home park.


Aaron Sele struck out the whole side of Yankees right before being pulled on Monday. Given, it was just Giambi, Flaherty, and Jeter, but still. He struck out more guys in his start than any other starting pitcher did against the Yankees, and more than any other pitcher did, period, except Matt Thornton's awesome stint on Tuesday. Sele Monday: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR. Thornton in relief Tuesday: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. I like it when we get the Good Thornton, even if everyone else hates him.


There was also this weird thing on Monday where Hideki Matsui hit what looked like an infield bouncer to Bret Boone, who threw him out at first while Robbinson Cano scored from third. Then there was this whole big to-do out on the field, and next thing we know, all the runners and runs are restored and Matsui's back on the plate with a 1-2 count, and promptly strikes out. A minute later A-Rod knocks in the run and gets the RBI instead. Edgars and I were trying to figure out what happened but were at a total loss -- and the scoreboards were also broken for quite some time, showing Matsui as the active batter for most of the rest of the inning.

It turns out from later TV reports that the baseball hit his bat, then hit home plate, then hit his bat again as he finished his followthrough, and THEN went bounding into the infield. As a result it was ruled a foul ball. I wish they'd like, put that up on the board at the game, though, so those of us at the game know what's going on. I guess it was too broken trying to redo the score and all.


I was watching Mike Mussina warm up on Wednesday. His biggest fan was apparently there too, yelling things like "YOU SUCK, MUSSINA! WE ALREADY HAVE A MOOSE IN SEATTLE, AND HE'S CUTER AND FUZZIER THAN YOU."


Tuesday was a patently annoying game, involving Carl Pavano pitching a complete-game shutout for the Yankees. The only funny moment of the game for me was probably when Ficus and Josh started singing along to "Boone! Here comes the Boone!" to yell "READY OR NOT, I STRIKE OUT A LOT". Sure enough, Boone struck out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Baseball Logic, or Why I End Up At Fifty Games A Year

I don't have a TV at home, or more like, I don't have a TV that actually gets reception or has cable or any of that fancy-schmancy stuff.

Suppose it's an average weekday and I want to watch the Mariners game, and I don't have any friends around to impose on for the use of their television. Well, I could go to a bar and watch the game, but by the time I buy a drink, and probably some food, etc, I'm going to be out around 10-15 bucks, plus I'd have to sit in a bar.

If I go down to Safeco Field, I can buy a ticket for 7 bucks and be there to watch the game. Heck, if it's a day like today, where I know I'm not going to the game on Saturday, and I might as well trade in my tickets, then I can pretty much go to today's game, essentially, for free, and even sit somewhere decent.

And today it's the Yankees. Moyer vs. Mussina.

So yeah... I'm off to the game again.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. Red Sox -- A Tale of Two Hitties

Let me tell you all a story.

Occasionally these two kids meet up in the neighborhood. One of them we'll call Russell; he's the most popular kid in school, bright, good-looking, stylish, strong, has a line of groupies a mile long. Then there's this other kid we'll call Marvin, who used to be popular, but has since started slipping in terms of grades and everything else, and he also hasn't seemed to grow as tall and as handsome as his old pal Russell.

One day they get into a fight. Everyone gathers to watch. They all bet on Russell of course, since he's bigger, stronger, and more talented at fighting.

But what happens? Marvin gets in some good jabs early on. Russell trips over his feet and falls over. They spar for a while, and eventually Russell accidentally leaves a big opening and Marvin socks him a good one. Fight goes to the little guy.

That, my friends, is what watching tonight's Mariners-Red Sox game was like. The Red Sox tripped over their own feet in the first inning when Manny Ramirez hit a long fly to center field. He ran to first, not knowing or caring whether it touched the ground, but it actually bounced before Jeremy Reed got his hands on it, so when Trot Nixon ran to tag back first, they were confronted with this problem of having two guys on first. And a batter or two later, when Kevin Millar hit a ball to shortstop and Valdez flubbed it, Manny tried to run home from second -- but Valdez had recovered the ball and threw home, beating Manny by a mile -- he tried to run back to third, and was tagged out, for a confusing inning-ending 6-2-5 play.

Then the little guys stepped up and hit for three runs, bringing the score to 3-0 Mariners, where it stayed until the third inning, when Mark Bellhorn led off with a home run. Ichiro tried for another "The Catch", but it was just beyond his reach in the rightfield seats. We figured that wasn't so bad, except that three out of the next four guys managed to get on base and also score runs. Ichiro had a nice throw off Mueller's single to right field to catch Varitek at the plate, but the damage was done for a 4-3 Red Sox lead.

However, the Mariners refused to be upstaged, and Richie Sexson led off the bottom of the third with a 410-foot shot into the centerfield beer garden. Not to be outdone, Raul Ibanez followed it with a 391-foot home run into the section 103 seats. The rest of the inning was unproductive, but the tide was turned again, 5-4 Mariners.

Bellhorn led off the fourth inning by being walked, which wouldn't have been so bad if Trot Nixon, also wanting to get his very own Long Ball (As advertised, "It works in any game! And it makes scoring runs a snap!"), hadn't hammered a 383-foot home run almost to the exact same place Ibanez hit his to. 6-5 Red Sox.

I should note that Richie Sexson made a great slide into first base during that inning... except that he did so after doing a dive to stop Johnny Damon's grounder between first and second. He was lying flat on the ground, and when you're a big 6'8" guy, getting up and running back to first base is not that easy in 2 seconds, so he kinda half-crawled there and slid into the bag, beating Damon by a fraction of a second for the out.

Anyway, a good slugfest is never a good slugfest without a good kick in the stomach, which is exactly what the Mariners served up in the bottom of the fourth. After Jeremi Gonzalez let Ichiro and Winn get on base, Terry Francona finally had enough and pulled him out for John Halama. We'd all been wondering when Adrian Beltre would finally do some of that patented "swung on and beltre'd" stuff we'd been hoping for this year, and oh man, he hit John Halama's first pitch for a 440-foot three-run home run that ricocheted off the display board in left-center into the bullpen. Holy smokes, it was Beltremendous! (I swear, I didn't make up that word, they did.) That made it 8-6 Mariners.

To secure a nicer lead and John Halama's future as a AAA pitcher, they banged three doubles and four runs off him in the fifth inning as well, making the score 12-6 Mariners.

At this point Brian and I noted some odd things about the game:

5 innings had passed. Between both sides:

5 home runs had been hit.
3 strikeouts had happened.
2 errors had been made.
5 normal walks had happened.
3 intentional walks had happened.
2 batters were hit by pitches (and a third would occur in the sixth inning.)

It was just... odd.

Anyway, the rest of the game passed uneventfully for the most part. Cla Meredith pitched an inning in there, and he got beaten up, but it was cool to see another sidearm pitcher that isn't Mike Myers. (I had seen Meredith warming up in the bullpen and was like "Hey, it's Myers... wait, no, this guy is right-handed sidearm, who can THAT be?")

When the dust settled, the final score was 14-7 Mariners.

I have this bad feeling that the 14 runs the Mariners scored today will be it for them scoring this weekend, though.

Oh! And of course I took some pictures during batting practice. (There were like, ninety billion other Red Sox fans there so it was impossible to actually try to talk to any of the players, but I did watch the warmups anyway...)

Bronson Arroyo no longer has cornrows!
Mike Timlin and Cla Meredith warming up
John Halama warms up
Manny Ramirez walks in from the outfield
David Ortiz pretends to be a first baseman
Kevin Millar signs baseballs for people
Johnny Damon returns to the dugout

Friday, May 06, 2005

Game Report: Rainiers vs. Stingers -- King Felix!

Today, I went down to Tacoma, and Jeff and I took in a Tacoma Rainiers - Salt Lake Stingers baseball game. I guess this is the equivalent of my birthday baseball game... Felix Hernandez was starting for the Rainiers, and everyone has been hailing him as King Felix, the next God of Pitching. Well, he is pretty good - 7 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR for him, and a win... as Jeff pointed out later, he really did only give up two hits, which were both home runs. It's all the making of another Good Meche. On the other hand, the kid's like 18 years old. We'll see where he goes.

I did manage to score the whole game, which is pretty amazing for me considering they have barely any scoreboards or anything else there. The odd thing here is that Shin-Soo Choo hit a home run over the centerfield fence, and I was reading the Rainiers magazine, which claimed that A. J. Zapp was the first person known to hit a home run over it, last year... can that possibly be right? Hmm. The headline on the Rainiers' site for today's game DOES say, "Choo clears the wall", so...

Snelling wasn't playing, which is a little disappointing, I really wanted to see him in action. Maybe I'll have to go to another Rainiers game soon. Also, did you know that there are two major league baseball players named Abraham Nunez? How weird is that?

Hunter Brown looked really good at third base, seriously -- he made some great defensive stops, fielded bunts cleanly, in general played very well -- and this particular evening he even went 3-for-4 at the plate. I actually thought he was Justin Leone at first because he was playing third and wearing number 26, but Leone apparently wears 24 these days and is on the DL currently. Anyway, I said something to Jeff like "Hey, this third baseman is awesome! Why hadn't I heard of him before?" We look at his numbers on the stat sheet and he's been hitting .148/.246.185, and it's like "Oh... uh, that explains it."

Masao Kida also looked pretty good out there -- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Well, unless you believe the Rainiers' scorer, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Whaaaatever. They don't seem to call errors errors in the minors, which explains the high ERAs and the high batting averages.

Minor league games are fun, but kind of frightening, mostly due to the overwhelming amount of screaming 9-year-olds hanging out at the park. Even worse, they encourage it by having these insane birthday packages, which involve like, a group of 8 kids, and a birthday cake, and going up on the dugout with Rhubarb the Rainiers Reindeer (I am NOT making that up, that's really the mascot) to have everyone sing to you, and throwing out a first pitch, and getting a "birthday guest" t-shirt which reads, "I survived my birthday at Cheney Stadium" on the back, and... yeah. In-between innings the "fun crew" does such things as leading the stadium in doing the chicken dance, or throws candy into the stands.

I've got some pictures from the game, but I'm too busy turning 28 on Saturday and having a birthday to bother playing with them. Maybe after the weekend.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Game Report: Mariners vs. Angels - Sweepwess in Seattle?

Honestly, I went to Wednesday afternoon's game and just didn't feel like writing about it. It was just not that exciting, and the Mariners got swept by the Angels, too.

The most exciting part for me was before the game. I showed up an hour early, hoping to catch more of the Angels during batting practice and get them to sign my Angels poster. Unfortunately, the Angels never actually TOOK batting practice. But they did take field practice, and a whole bunch of Angels fans stood around yelling at the players to please come over and sign stuff. Unlike Monday, this time the players actually did! When I showed up, Kevin Gregg was signing stuff, and a bit later we managed to get Robb Quinlan and Jeff DaVanon to come over too. The Mariner Moose also came by and harrassed all the people in Angels clothes, culminating in him stealing one fan's Angels hat and running onto the field and stomping on the hat and sticking it in an umpire's armpit and stuff. It was pretty funny. I was standing with this couple who were wearing an Erstad shirt and a Kennedy shirt, and the girl had an "I Love You Adam Kennedy!" sign. Sure enough, Kennedy seemed to notice the sign, but he decided wisely to go sign stuff over at a different part of the stands. Damn. Bengie Molina had been talking to some people in the stands (his family, I think) and he came by and signed stuff for people too. That was nice of him.

Anyway, the game itself was not so exciting. Ichiro, to go with The Catch on Monday, had The Throw on Wednesday. There's a clip of it, as usual, on the game wrapup page on the Mariners' site. Basically, with one out and Vladimir Guerrero on third base, Orlando Cabrera hit a long fly ball to right field, which Ichiro caught and then FIRED back into the infield, beating Vlad to the plate by a few feet, and Dan Wilson actually planted the tag perfectly, and the inning was over. BLAM!

Unfortunately for Dan Wilson, who beyond that tag also had a pretty good day at bat, going 2-for-3... in the 7th inning, he got a single, and when Ichiro hit a long fly ball to left field that looked good for a hit, but got caught, Dan the Man legged his way back to first base. From my viewpoint it looked like he slid into the bag and was then lying on the ground holding onto the bag for a while. Turns out he tore a muscle in his right knee and will be on the 60-day DL :( Poor Dan! They put in Olivo to run for him, and he didn't seem to be having a great day of it.

I guess the only other major weirdness on my scoresheet is in the 7th, where later on I noticed Gameday just said "Chone Figgins picked off 2nd base by Jeff Nelson", but I had it marked down as "CS 1-4-5-6", because basically, it looked like Figgins took off, and Nelson threw to second, and second threw to third, and third to to the shortstop, who eventually tagged him out. Silly rundowns. I'm not sure, maybe he didn't actually start running until the pickoff, but still.

There was no charter bus back to Northgate after the game. I wonder if this was an oversight or they just don't do them for weekday afternoon games?

Jamie Moyer is back on the mound tomorrow against the Red Sox. I feel kinda bad for him. Hopefully the Mariners can at least beat the Yankees, who are suuuuuucking.

I think this might be the year I become a closet White Sox fan. I became a closet Red Sox fan last May, and said they were going to win the World Series, and nobody believed me. So if I said that I think the White Sox will win the World Series this year, maybe they will. After all, the Red Sox hadn't won since 1918... and the White Sox haven't won since 1917. Hmmm...

Hopefully I'll be getting to see King Felix pitch in Tacoma tomorrow. I'm excited!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Major League Baseball Commercials Awards

So, I spent a while actually watching all of the TV commercial spots on every MLB team's website that offered commercials or Multimedia, and I've ranked them for your amusement...

Best Commercials Overall: Seattle Mariners

The winner, and still champion of the "Best Baseball Commercials Online Award" is, of course, the Seattle Mariners! Watch for yourself!

Mariners 2005 Commercials

This year's commercials have a Home Shopping Network theme. They're all pretty good, but some are better than others -- I recommend The Batter's Box, The Tag, and The Pep Talk.

Mariners 2004 Commercials

These are uniformly AWESOME. I can't even pick a favorite because I love them all, except "Advice", which I think is pretty stupid, but it's even more stupid since I watched it after coming home from a game where Bret Boone totally lost the game on an idiotic error where he let the ball go through his legs. So...

Mariners 2003 Commercials

Most of these are pretty funny. I think "Nicknames" and the "Intimidator" pairs are best, although I'm wondering what the Intimidator ones were like when they were really on TV, since Sasaki's doesn't really work if you haven't seen Rhodes's, though it's the funnier of the two.

Edgar Martinez Commercials

Edgar rules! That's all there is to that. The best one, beyond a doubt, is "Edgar and the Rookies"... "I took my geoduck to Puyallup."

Ten Years of Mariners Commercials!

Oh, man, where to start. There's just a lot of awesome stuff here. Go forth and watch clips for a while. You won't be disappointed.

So, who else has good commercials up?

First Place Runner Up: The Oakland Athletics

Athletics 2005 Commercials

The Oakland A's win this award, for playing to the judge, with "First Commercial", starring Jason Kendall:

Director: So, Jason, this is your first commercial for the A's?
Jason Kendall: Ayup.
Director: So when I call action, Kotsay's gonna run and crash into you at full speed. Then Mister Macha here's gonna douse you with kerosene. Then when I cue him, Swisher here's gonna light you on fire. *pause* Whatever you do, don't drop the ball.
JK: Gotcha. *looks over at the outfield* Hey, uh, what about that bulldozer?
Director: Oh, that doesn't run over you until later.
JK: Oh. Okay, let's go!

In general, these are really funny. The Jason Kendall one is best, but the Barry Zito one is a close runner-up: "How old is he?" "26." "Whoa. That's old. You think he pitched to the Babe?" Chavez hitting autographed balls into the stands is pretty funny, as is Harden getting pulled over by a cop for throwing 90 mph.

Second Place Runner Up: The Chicago White Sox

I'm mostly giving these guys second place based on their wide diversity of commercial styles -- from the artsy 2005 stuff to the goofiness of some of 2004, I think they keep a pretty consistent style, and look very polished.

White Sox 2005 Commercials

These spots are very artsy. I like the Takatsu ones -- notably "Knowing", and "Wasabi", featuring Freddy Garcia and Shingo Takatsu. "Jalapeno or Wasabi? Either way, you're gonna get burned."

White Sox 2004 Commercials

These are not nearly as artsy, but "Them vs. Us", "Freddy's first BP", and "Team Chemistry" are pretty funny. The others, eh.

Third Place Runner Up: The Texas Rangers

I'm wondering why they don't have 2005 ones up, and sadly I can't seem to watch their 2003 ones, but the 2004 ones provide a wide range of entertainment.

Rangers 2004 Commercials

Some of these spots are great -- most of the ones labelled "Funny" are worth watching, as are the Teixeira and Soriano "Come to Play" ones further down. I think the best one though is the one with Jim Sundberg and Michael Young, mostly because they included outtakes -- that's new and different. There's an awesome metaphor in "Birthday Candles" where they describe the ballpark as a birthday cake, the fireworks as candles, and the bats as the matches -- I really like that.

And, in other categories, we have:

A Few Moments of Brilliance: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

I like the way some of these are done, but they didn't really call out to me as being of overall quality.

Angels 2004 Commercials

These are not as funny as the rest of the AL West. The diner one ("I'd like 120 ribbies, please") is cute, and the classroom one where they're learning Spanish is okay, but quite frankly, Edgar Martinez's classroom thingy teaching rookies how to speak proper Northwest was much better.

All Style, No Substance: The Toronto Blue Jays, The San Francisco Giants

Blue Jays 2005 Commercials

I'm torn on these. The movie trailers are GREAT -- I love "The Man With the Gold Glove" as a parody of James Bond, and seriously, all of the trailers are great -- but if you watch the actual players' commercials at the bottom, they're really lifeless. So, eh. Also, those puppets annoy the crap out of me.

Giants 2005 Commercials

Hmm... "SBC, the place to be" is a nice slogan, and all of these commercials seem pretty artsy and hip, like the sort of thing you'd see on TV in San Francisco... but aside maybe from the one where the girl's like "Coming here is like Prozac. No, it's better than Prozac", I wouldn't really call any of them funny at all.

These Are Great, But Do You Have Any More? Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins

Tigers 2004 Commercials

There's only two here, and they're from last year, but the pinata one is kinda cute.

Twins 2005 Commercials
Twins 2004 Commercials

Again, only two TV commercials per year here, but they're pretty funny -- "Sorry, uncle Phil, but you were a Yankee fan anyway." The Joe Mauer radio commercial is pretty funny too. Some of the radio spots in general are pretty good, but since I was more or less trying to rate just TV spots, it's hard to judge these overall on just their small offering.

Most Boring TV Commercials Known To Man: The Kansas City Royals

Royals 2005 Commercials

These are the most boring TV spots I've ever seen. They just have the coaches going "Hey, come watch us play baseball, okay?" I think I would undoubtedly fast-forward these, if I ever actually watched television, and I certainly would never bother loading up a web browser to show my friends "Oh, you HAVE to see these commercials" the way I do with the Mariners. Subpar advertising for a subpar team. Go figure.

Other TV Spots

Some other teams don't offer commercials in their multimedia section, but they do offer episodes of their team-related TV shows...

Milwaukee Brewers: Go Brewers!
New York Mets: Next Stop Shea
Boston Red Sox: State of the Red Sox Nation
New York Yankees: State of the Yankees

There's also the Opening Day commercials done by the MLB's "I Live For This" campaign, which includes some pretty funny fancasts as well. I like the Angels Fancast best for the Rally Monkey song, and the Yankees ILFT commercial best because of the guy talking about taking his students to the park and all.

I Live For This

Game Report: Mariners vs. Angels - The Holy Ichiro Catch

So, today's game wasn't so exciting if you were rooting for the Mariners, I suppose, unless you were just rooting for Ichiro.

Fortunately for me, I decided to go down to the game with the intention of rooting for the Angels. Actually, my main objective in the day was to get a bunch of the Angels to sign my big blank Angels logo poster that I got last year down at Angels Stadium. So I showed up at the park around 5pm; got a ticket (wheee! BECU Family Night means it's only $10 to get a ticket in View Reserved), and then I watched the Angels' batting practice.

I stood around with a couple of other people who were also wearing Angels shirts. I even actually was wearing a Washburn shirt. Some guy came up to me and gave me a 2005 Angels schedule. The other Angels people and I stood around calling out to players as they went by... "Garrett! Hey, Mr. Anderson...?" "Hey Kennedy! ADAM! Mr. Kennedy!" Unlike the Oakland A's players, who all came by to sign stuff, the Angels mostly ignored us, or they'd make motions like "gonna bat first, then maybe come over", and very few of them did come over at all. There was a kid in a wheelchair on the field, and a bunch of players signed stuff for him, but that was about it. Scot Shields came by and signed stuff in general for a while, so I got him to sign my poster.

Ah well. After that I grabbed dinner quickly, and then went off to the bullpen to take pictures of Ryan Franklin and Jarrod Washburn warming up.

Bullpen Warmup Pictures

Oh man, Jarrod Washburn is my official new Angels crush instead of Brendan Donnelly. I mean, I kinda knew I liked Washburn, I'm always kinda partial to lefties and he was such a dominant pitcher a few years back. But damn, seeing him from only 5 feet away made me realize that he's also incredibly cute. There was something just really endearing about him; he seemed to be a little unhappy with his warmup throws and he kept muttering, "dammit!" under his breath. He has crazy deep blue eyes.

(The other people watching at the bullpen were like, "Oh, look at this girl, she even has a Washburn jersey on.")

Anyway, even just re-looking at my scorecard is a bit depressing. There was one major Mariners baserunning blunder in the first inning, where what was intended to be a double steal of Winn stealing second and Ichiro stealing home turned into a third strike and a rundown between first and second base for the third out. The Mariners managed to get a guy on third twice more after that, but never were able to drive them in.

The Angels, on the other hand, were having a pretty good day off of Ryan Franklin, who seemed to be having issues locating the strike zone. The worst is that he gave up two home runs, to Anderson and Finley, which isn't unexpected, but the problem is that both of them were 2-run homers because he'd either walked someone (Anderson, for Finley's) or hit someone with a pitch (Cabrera, for Anderson's). Actually, Cabrera got hit by pitches twice in the evening, once by Franklin and once by Mateo.

Ah, but wait. There was one major highlight to the evening.

The catch.

The "HOLY ICHIRO" catch.

The... the I'm not even going to try to explain it. Anderson hit what threatened to be another home run to right field, except Ichiro ran to the back wall, got a foot on it, climbed up, and caught the ball a good foot or two above the top of the wall. It was beautiful. It was acrobatic. It was... ah, just go look at the game report and watch the clip where it says "Ichiro steals a homer".

You see, everyone could come out happy in some way tonight. The Mariners fans got to see Ichiro make a spectacular, amazing catch, which will be talked about for weeks to come. And the Angels fans could watch some superb pitching and hitting from their players. And I got to see Jarrod Washburn and Brendan Donnelly pitching.

So, it was all good.

Monday, May 02, 2005

First basemen, new and old

This morning, I finished reading Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in his Time. It didn't even occur to me that today is May 2nd -- the 66th anniversary of the day Lou Gehrig took himself out of the Yankees lineup and ended his 2,130 consecutive game streak.

This evening, before the Mariners game, they announced over the speaker that John Olerud signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox. I hope he gets back up to speed and ends up playing in the major leagues again soon!