Tagged: Cardinals

Crazy night at the Ravine (10/7/09)

Tonight was the first play off game for me as well as my friends Chris and Chelsea … and our starting pitcher, Randy Wolf!
2009-10-07 065.JPGLove this picture!! He came out through the bullpen. You never know with Randy. He either comes out to warm up from the bullpen or from the dug out. You can never guess.

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I found out the gates were opening at 4. So I headed out before three. I needed to get chex mix (for JoAnna), a newspaper, and something for dinner. I went to Ralph’s. They didn’t have the Chex Mix that I was looking for. Or any for that matter. I bought a turkey sandwich from the deli. They didn’t have any individual packets of mayo … so I figure I might ask Pat if they had any inside the baseline box club. I get to the Golden State Gate … and most of the street parking was already taken. I managed to find a spot. My friends Chris and Chelsea were already there. I passed them when I was coming up. They park inside and offered to give me a lift in. Chris won two tickets to the game. He was notified early this week. He was telling me about the game he went to on Sunday … and when he mentioned he was holding their tickets … I suddenly remembered … I LEFT MY TICKET IN MY CAR! So, I got out of their car, walked back to my car, and got my ticket. Good thing there were still thirty minutes till the gates opened.

2009-10-07 034.JPGThere were these two guys in the pavilion who were shirtless and painted “Wolf Pack 43” on their chest. One had “Wolf 4” and the other had “Pack 3”. “Wolf 4” also had the “big bad wolf” mask. I was surprised they let him bring it in. I get told all the time that I may not be allowed my Wolf hat … and it’s a HAT. His is a mask. That’s interesting. And in fact, one of the security guys tonight was like … “I don’t think you can wear that.” I seem to be going through this a lot lately. I don’t know why. No one said anything the first ten times I wore it. But the last five or six times, I seem to be getting some trouble. Come on now. Even Randy Wolf has seen me in my hat! Oh, and here’s a tip for guys who go shirtless. Make sure your boxers aren’t showing! I cropped them out in the picture … but you can see the top of “Pack 3″s boxers.

2009-10-07 038.JPGDuring the visiting team’s batting practice, the grounds crew comes out and starts working on the field. One guy usually paints the foul line in the left field while the other guys stand guard. What are they standing guard for? Fly balls of course! Do they ever warn the guy painting the line? Not really. Tonight was crazy because the ball actually hit the little cart that he uses to paint the lines with. The ball even dented the front of it. He’s always giving his crew a hard time about not giving him any warning when the ball comes at him.

2009-10-07 156.JPGRandy Wolf is making his post-season debut. He’s been in the majors for 11 years, and this is his first time in the post season. When he signed with the Dodgers this year, he joked about his post season jinx … how he seems to sign with teams right before or or right after they make a run at the play offs. Example: Phillies. He signed with them after their last play off appearance … and they never made it when he was with the team. Then after he leaves the team for the Dodgers, the Phillies made it to the play offs. That was the year they were swept by the Rockies. Example #2: He signs with the Dodgers the year after they made it to the play offs in 2006 … but they fall short in 07 with him. He then signs with the Padres the next year (who barely missed making the play offs in 07) … the year the Dodgers make it to the NLCS.

2009-10-07 123a.jpgI was so excited when Randy was warming up … he was in my direct line of sight! I was also very nervous! That ball was moving very fast. I took some videos of it. I’ll try to post them up on my YouTube page. But it was a little scary how fast that ball is moving. I know he won’t miss … but if Rob Flippo (the bullpen catcher) did … I’ve been hit once in the face with a soft toss. I don’t even want to know what it’s like to get hit in the face with a ball moving 80-90 MPH. Still, it was great to know that he was in my direct line of sight. Wonder if he saw me… He probably doesn’t look into the stands when he starts … but I was wearing my Wolf hat. Which got shown on the Dodger Vision during batting practice. I held up my Wolf shirt (the guy holding the camera was surprised. He asked me, “You got more?”) I held the shirt so all you could see was my eyes and the Wolf hat. I hate being on video. Unfortunately, Randy only lasted three and two-thirds innings. I joked that he struggled in the first inning because I wasn’t wearing my hat. Some of the ushers I know joked with me that they’ll hold me to it.

What was also unfortunate that tonight was quite a crazy and dramatic night for the fans. We (the guys around me) noticed that there was some commotion going on in the left field pavilion. Sure enough, these two guys were being escorted down the steps. One of the guys was resisting and I don’t know who pushed him … but he got pushed and fell down quite a distance. Maybe five, ten rows? He landed on the bottom and didn’t look like he was moving. The other guy being escorted was resisting and had to be carried out. In the video I shot, you can see him trying to grab the railing as they carry him out. The other guy eventually got carried out too.

There was also a cat fight a few sections to my right in the top deck. Yes, it was between a Cardinals fan and a Dodger fan. Somehow, the Cardinals fan fell down about three rows. She was able to get up and walk out. It was a crazy night. The Dodgers scored two runs in the first inning off a homerun by Matt Kemp. Raffy was on base. The final run was scored when Russell Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. It was a very long game. Almost four hours. With twelve pitchers used, thirty men left on base, and three batters getting hit. I don’t think anyone was surprised when Russell got nailed. There were one or two other pitches that were close before the last one nailed him.

2009-10-07 088.JPGWhat? I don’t get a decision during the regular season so I don’t get one now?”

More pictures and game recap to come later. I’m just tired and achy to continue. Maybe during the off season I’ll just post pictures of a different player every other day or so.

Bobblehead, beach balls, bad night (8-19-09)

Let’s see if tonight’s game can fit into one post. And yes, I tried to get the subject to be an alliteration.

To start things off, we’ll start at the beginning. I went to Nina’s early because I had intended on going to Fry’s to return something and get something else. Then we were going to go to Target because Angelina wanted an official Major League baseball in case we can get any autographs. She found some at Big 5, but they weren’t the ones she was looking for. I ended up getting her the one in the cube. She wanted the ball, but not the cube, so we just split the cost. I wanted the cube, but not the ball. We ended up not going to Fry’s, but at least I got to type up a blog entry while I was at Nina’s. Thanks to my lovely new laptop. Angelina showed up and we left for the game. When we got off the highway, it didn’t take us very long to find the end of the line. We always go to the Golden State Gate, which is the Stadium Way exit off the 5 freeway. We didn’t even to where the road curves before we found the end of the parking lot lane. I turned on my GPS and it said we were .4 miles from the Gate. As we were waiting to get our bags checked, Nina noticed JoAnna was in line in front of us. Once we got in, we got separated as I was visiting with various friends (Cat, Roberto, JoAnna). Angelina, JoAnna, and I even saw a guy who’s brother is a Dodger (who shall remain nameless). Angelina thought it would’ve been cool to meet him. I didn’t mind. After all, I’ve met Russell Martin’s family. One of the kids JoAnna brought got a ball from one of the grounds crew members. She said she was tempted to ask them, which one of you guys hit my friend in the face with a ball? I told her she should’ve. They would’ve gotten a good laugh out of it.
2009-08-19 005.JPG
Angelina and I went up to our seats in the reserve level. I had bought these tickets about a month ago. About a week ago, Nina decided she wanted to go. So she got two tickets. Now that I think about it … she bought the Costco package. I’m surprised tonight’s game wasn’t blacked out on that package. Man, should’ve done those! The funny thing was … our section was directly above hers … by a few decks.
2009-08-19 006.JPG
I noticed this kid has a Lyons jersey on. Wonder if it was his last name, or was it really a Steve Lyons jersey. I don’t know what number Steve wore when he played. The one baseball card I have of Steve Lyons doesn’t show his jersey number. Or is there another Lyons out there?

It didn’t take long for the beach balls to come out. The two guys in front of us didn’t like it when they started popping up. I don’t care for them either. I usually ignore them. One of the guys said he would hit over the railing (which he did). The other guy said he would pop it. Which he did. Which then led to a debacle that lasted the rest of the game. He didn’t pop it. But he did deflate it. He said he came to watch the game, and if they wanted to play with beach balls they should go to the beach.

Then the boos started raining down, followed by peanuts! I’m serious. Someone or some guys were throwing peanuts down at him. He apologized to me and the few other people sitting around us. He stood up and yelled at the general direction of where the peanuts were coming from. He also showed them the finger. Angelina had gotten up to get food. So she missed what was going on. I filled her in as peanuts were thrown at the guy periodically throughout the game. The guy deflates on beach ball and he’s a marked man the entire game. And he apologized to the people around him. He finally had enough and got up and yelled at whoever was doing it to come forward. I didn’t bother looking around. I was watching the game. If I had been looking around, I would’ve missed Andre’s homerun. Manny came up and got out. Then Casey Blake came up and Angelina said, “Casey Blake can hit a homerun.” And he did. Game tied.

The Beach Ball guy went up to confront the Peanut Guy and chaos ensued. A lot of cuss words were used. Again, I wasn’t really paying close attention. Beach Ball guy’s friend got up, took a big drink of his beer and then went up to his friend. The friend came back down, finished his beer. Beach Ball guy came back down and he was getting into it with another guy from the next section over. His friend told him, okay, it’s time to go. They went up. Angelina went up shortly before the seventh inning stretch. She missed this while she was gone …
2009-08-19 127.JPG
There was a different inflatable object bouncing around the reserve level. It eventually fell down into the loge level. It didn’t get taken away till it fell down into the field level.

Angelina also told me that security were lined up along the top. Beach Ball guy and his friend eventually returned to their seats. A security guy was right behind him. And then Angelina got up again. When she came back, she noticed the was a foam finger next to Beach Ball guy. I filled her in on what happened while she was gone this time. One of the vendors came down selling souvenirs. Peanut Guy bought the foam finger and asked the vendor to give it to Beach Ball Guy. Beach Ball guy didn’t want to take it at first, but then the vendor told him it was paid for. He was, oh, okay. Then you hear Peanut Guy yell out, “I would’ve bought you the other finger but they didn’t have it.” Beach Ball guy says, “oh, I thought this was a peace offering or something. Never mind then.” He sets the finger down. Guess who ended up with a free foam finger? Not me. Angelina. LOL. At least some good came out of this crazy night.

In the ninth inning, when Pujols scored on the sac fly, the lady behind us goes, “can he do that?” She must never have been to a game before. That wasn’t the first question about baseball she had asked. That was just the first one I noticed. Then in the bottom half, she was asking “so we have three outs and then the game is over?” then “if he gets three strikes, then the game is over?” then “if he gets out, then is the game over?”

On our way out of the parking lot, a car pulls up to us and asks us if any of us had any ticket stubs we didn’t need. He said it was for a friend. He said something about a scavenger hunt. Angelina saw all the bobbleheads they had in the back of their car. They also asked us if any of us had a bobblehead we wanted to sell. We figured out the reason why they wanted our ticket stubs.

Pujols and the Red Birds come to town (8-17-09)

With Chad Billingsley’s start pushed back a day, and our starting
rotation already missing a fifth starter … guess who got to go up
against a former Cy Young award winner, Chris Carpenter? Charlie
Haeger. Who? Exactly. This was going to be his second Major League
start.What did we know about young 25 year old Charlie Haeger before
this game? Not much. (No one even corrected me that I did the math wrong on his age. I knew we were year apart… but I went the wrong way). He’s a knuckleballer. One of the very few left.

Before the game, we were sitting in Cat’s seat while she was gone so no one would take her spot. Kids are always crowding her seat during batting practice. She was getting food and Nina was sitting in her seat. I noticed this little critter coming down the aisle under the seats. Ick!
2009-08-17 001.JPG
There was an open spot between two guys along the wall since Nina wasn’t standing up. This kid came down my aisle and then came towards Nina. Nina stood up to let him walk by, but he stepped in front of her instead into the open spot along the wall. As Cat was coming back, we told the kid to skedaddle.

2009-08-17 Charlie Haeger
Charlie Haeger, talking to a fan he had seen in Arizona as well. No, it wasn’t Roberto (who was in Arizona on Sunday and San Francisco on Tuesday. Both of them were Wolfie starts).
2009-08-17 Brad Ausmus
Brad Ausmus had seen the same guy too apparently. Note the extra big glove.
“It’s as if a catcher’s mitt and a first baseman’s mitt had a baby,” Ausmus explained. “It’s a little bit a thinner.”

Just as the National Anthem was being sung, we found JoAnna. Then we made our way to our seats. We sat with JoAnna for awhile. A very long while. And it helped that the first six innings of the game when by very quickly. After all, Charlie was pitching very quickly. I think they said he threw like two fast balls and everything else was a knuckleball.
2009-08-17 Pujols homer
Don’t shoot me… but I got a picture of Albert Pujols’ home run off Haeger. Game tied, 1 – 1.

The Dodgers took the lead, 2 -1. Then Rick Ankiel hit a two-run homer to give the Cards the lead. We missed it because we were going up to our seats. I wanted to say hi to Chelsea and Chris. We got up there, and Chris looked at his watch. Kinda late? LOL, well, we were sitting with our other friends for the first six/seven innings. Then we decided to sit with our other friends for the last two. I showed them the picture of Pujols and stuff. Chris had said at the last game that he would like to see a Pujols homerun. I did too. I’m just glad it was a game-typing homer and not the game winning one. Made it easier to take.