We were supposed to go to Bronx to see the Mariners on Monday, July 25, 2011. But then we had to cancel and reschedule for Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Finally, after a series of crazy and annoying circumstances, we ended up going to see the Mariners on Tuesday, July 26, 2011. This, of course, if the story of that game – Kellan’s first in the Bronx
(his fourth stadium overall).
Usually, we always park in Manhattan and take the subway to either of the New York ballparks. But at this game, we decided to drive right to the stadium and pay a small fortune (almost as much as our game tickets) to park in an official team parking garage.
As a result, it was our first time ever entering the ballpark at Gate 8 (behind CF):
While we were in line, we met some nice Washington-based Mariners fans. Always good to meet some good guys at an opposition ballpark. While we waited the last couple minutes for the gates to open, I noticed that right next to our line there was an employee check point:
What do they think employees are going to bring into the ballpark?
When we entered the ballpark, the batting cages were set up, the home team with the white pin-striped pajama outfits was stretching in RF, and there were no Mariners in
sight. So we headed over to the Mariners dugout on the 3B side.
Moments after a guy who reads our blog (I’m embarrassed to say, I’m not 100% of his name anymore. I’m pretty sure it was Jonathan…but Andrew also seems right too. Hmmm….), Colleen snapped this picture of me and the boys:
Moments later, the first two Mariners of the day popped out of the dugout and headed toward the LF foul line:
This next picture is blurry but cute. As we watched Michael Pineda and Chris Ray head down the LF foul line…
…a few more Mariners joined them on the field.
We followed the Mariners a little bit down the line, but stayed behind the big protective nets that they put up during batting practice. There were two Mariners pitchers playing catch right in front of us (well, way down there in front of us…we were trapped behind the Legends Suite seats), but I had no clue at all who the closer of the two Mariners was. He was obviously a pitcher, but he did not look familiar at all from the distance.
Just then, the same two Mariners fans who we chatted with in line wandered by and took a family photo of us:
I asked the guy if he had any clue who the Mariners pitcher down below us on the foul line was. He guessed it was Josh Lueke.
Here is a panorama that I took a bit later, but it shows the scene:
We were hanging out in the empty aisle all the way to the right of that panorama. Lueke was standing on the foul line between the second and third protective netting poles.
We were just chilling and passing time in the shade…
…and then Lueke and his partner finished throwing and Lueke (holding the baseball) started to turn to walk away. I called out, “Hey, Josh!” He turned around (hey, the
Mariners fan was right, it was Lueke!) and I flashed my glove at him. He reared back and lobbed a high ball over the protective netting. With Kellan strapped to my chest…
…it was anything but a routine catch. I had to reach up and back as far as I could and I just barely got enough glove on the ball to reel it in. But I got it. The catch garnered some cheers by nearby fans.
I knew that the ushers would check tickets soon and start asking people to head to their own seating areas. So I asked Colleen if it was okay for her to keep the boys so I could run out to LF for a few minutes. She agreed. But there was absolutely no action out there. I wasn’t there long, but in that time not a single homerun was hit into the LF seats.
Consequently, the only thing I got out there was this picture of my cute little family chilling in the seats in foul territory:
Nothing was going on out there, so I headed back to my peeps in foul territory. We watched the Mariners pitchers finish their throwing routines:
The timing of BP seemed totally wrong. The ushers still had not checked tickets when the home team cleared the field. But before the Mariners batters started warming up, the grounds crew removed the batting cages. WHAT!? We got cheated out of Mariners BP! No fun.
So, we decided to take a circuitous walk in the concourses in search of food. We ended up at a SRO counter in the LF corner on the second deck with nachos, hot dogs, and garlic knots. After chowing down, I decided to take Colleen to “Bronx Central Station” a/k/a the least baseball-stadiumesque concourse in all of Major League Baseball.
But on the way, we stopped off to take this picture that fairly well illustrates our feelings about the team that calls this ballpark home:
I suggested the thumbs down, but the priceless expression on his face is all Tim’s doing.
And then we continued on our journey. At the top of the stairs down to the aforementioned train-station-looking outer concourse, I got this picture of Tim and Colleen:
When we reached the far end of the station, we posed for another picture and Kellan showed us his true feelings about this *magnificent* ballpark:
Two seconds after that picture, we ducked into the nearby team store for some much needed air conditioning. Ah, that felt good. But it was almost game time, so we had to
re-enter the heat and humidity and make our way to our seats in LCF. We had planned to get ice cream on our way, but we cut it too close and we would have missed the Mariners at bats in the top of the first, so we headed right to our seats.
We arrived just as someone-or-other sang the National Anthem:
This was our view from section 239, row 4, seats 1-4 (actually, it was my view from seat 1):
Note the police officer stationed at the bottom of the aisle just in front of us. There is an armed police officer in every section in the bleachers. You know, you gotta keep the people in the cheap seats in line, we can’t be trusted to police ourselves.
As he always does, Ichiro led off for the Mariners, and he was facing the perennially dominant C.C. Sabbathia:
Unfortunately, Sabbathia (who is almost always on his game) was extra on his game tonight. It wasn’t going to be pretty.
By the way, I think that Tim and Kellan could use Sabbathia’s game pants as a sleeping back – one boy per pant leg. Those are some huge – seemingly flared at the thighs – pant legs.
As the bleacher creatures out in RF did the roll call, I go this picture of former-Athletic great (now mediocre) Eric Chavez acknowledging the fans:
After Sabbathia sat our Mariners down 1-2-3, we procured two twist ice cream helmets and one twist cone and headed back to our seats. I think this might be Kellan’s first ever taste of ice cream:
He liked it. So did Tim.
Here is something odd. Between innings, instead of playing catch with Jason Phillips, Greg Halman played catch with the third base line ballboy:
Here’s a random photo just for kicks:
Doug Fister (sadly, now a member of the Tigers) was on the mound for the Mariners and he was solid as usual. Through the first three innings, the score was 0-0. When Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the fourth, I figured I ought to get a picture of him hitting, you know, since he’s in the 3,000 hit club now and all. And he didn’t disappoint:
Boom! Weak ground out, scored 5-3.
Unfortunately, Curtis Granderson followed Jeter with a solo homerun. In the bottom of the fifth, the bad guys added two more runs on an RBI single by Eric Chavez and another ground out by Derek Jeter. That put the Mariners in a 3-0 hole. Even worse was the fact that Sabbathia was, through six innings, pitching a perfect game. Not good.
I sent a strategic text to twitter designed specifically to jinx Sabbathia’s perfect game. Sure, it would be amazing to witness a perfect game, but not a perfect game *against* our Mariners. That would be terrible.
And guess what, I think the jinx text worked. No, the Mariners didn’t start hitting, walking or reaching base on errors. Instead, it started raining!
We retreated to the upper deck where there was more room to hide from the rain. All throughout the ballpark, fans were finding shelter from the rain wherever they could:
Here is some more of the same:
And we also used the opportunity to get our Bronx NY bonus picture for the myGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt:
Once the rain stopped and the grounds crew started pulling off the tarp, and I got this panorama:
The concourses were a packed, sticky hot mess:
We grabbed an open spot and passed the time with some snacks:
Before too long, it was time for baseball once again. The nice thing about a good rain delay is that a lot of the fans leave and a lot of seats open up. So, instead of going back
to row 4 of section 239, we headed to the first row of section 238.
As we waited for the tarp to be rolled up and carted off, Kellan reclined in my arms and just chilled out:
And then I got a panorama from section 238…
…the tarp still had not moved much.
Before the game started up again, I finally got a photo of something I noticed at the beginning of the game, a new elevated bench in the bullpen:
When the top of the seventh finally rolled around, Sabbathia was right back out there ready to go for his perfect game. Ichiro struck out for Sabbathia’s nineteenth consecutive out. But that is as far was this sad little experiment in perfection would go. With the raining falling again our hero for the night, Brendan Ryan stepped to the plate and laced a line drive single into LF. Here is actually photographic evidence (albeit quite blurry) that the Mariners had a baserunner at this game:
That was a relief. Now it was time to try to win the game. We were only down 3-0. The game was still in our reach. Oh yeah, how did I forget to mention, the Mariners were trying to break a then-club record 16-game losing streak.
After the Ryan hit, the Mariner couldn’t advance him past second base and we squandered our first scoring opportunity.
Fister was still solid in the bottom of the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Sabbathia fell apart. He walked the first three batters of the inning and was pulled from the
game. Sadly, once David Robertson entered the game, the Mariners could only score one run in the eighth – on a Chone Figgins fielder’s choice to third base.
I was longing for a grandslam. But it just wasn’t in the cards. And the 3-1 score was as close as the M’s could get it. In fact, in the bottom of the eighth, the Mariners gave that run back when Mark Teixeira solo homerun.
There was one more rain delay during the game, and we ended up spending a lot of time running up the section 237/238 stairs to high from the rain, and then running back down the stairs to watch more of the game once the rain would stop again.
While Tim worked on his water on cement art skills…
…Kellan spent a lot of time waving at the 20-something girls sitting about 2 rows and ten feet behind us. What can I say, the ladies love
Big special thanks to my lovely wife, Colleen, for letting us stick it out until the bitter end in hopes that we would finally see Kellan’s first Mariners win. Sadly, his inaugural win will have to wait for another day…hopefully at Safeco Field later this season. For now, his lifetime Mariners record dropped to 0-4.
He fell asleep on my shoulder on the walk to the car:
After a sitting through a big traffic jam getting out of the immediate area of the ballpark, we had an easy drive home…plenty of time to sit and lament the Mariners historic
seventeenth straight loss.
Luckily, there would be no eighteenth loss.
|2011 C&S Fan Stats|
|19/3 Games (Tim/Kellan)|
|17/6 Teams [Tim – Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Brewers, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Rays, Braves, Diamondbacks, Astros, Royals, Cubs, Angels, Indians, Reds, Giants, Tigers Yankees; Kellan – Mariners, Orioles, Angels, Mets, Indians, Yankees]|
|14 Ice Cream Helmet(s) (Orioles (2), Nationals, Phillies (2), Rangers (2), Mets (1), Reds (1), Tigers (1))|
|55 Baseballs (7 Mariners, 7 Rangers, 4 Orioles, 3 Umpires, 2 Nationals, 2 Brewers, 5 Phillies, 2 Mets, 1 Rays, 2 Braves, 2 Diamondbacks, 1 MLB Authenticator, 1 Easter Egg, 1 Glove Trick, 2 Royals, 2 Cubs, 5 Angels, 4 Indians, 1 Giants, 1 Tigers)|
|9/3 Stadiums [Tim – Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Citizens Bank Park, Minute Maid Park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Citi Field, Great American Ball Park, Comerica Park, Yankee Stadium; Kellan – Camden Yards, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium]|
|13/9 Player Photos* [Tim – Felix Hernandez, Adam Moore, Garrett Olson, Chris Seddon, David Aarsdma, Michael Pineda, Miguel Olivo, Ryan Langerhans, Greg Zuan, Mark Lowe, Michael Saunders, Chad Durbin, Russell Branyan; Kellan – Luke French, Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Justin Smoak, Matt Tuiasosopo, Ryan Langerhans, Michael Saunders, Tony Sipp, Chad Durbin]|
|3/1 Management Photos* [Tim – Howard Lincoln, Jack Zduriencik, Eric Wedge; Kellan – Jack Zduriencik]|
|5 Autograph(s) (Michael Pineda, Michael Saunders, Mark Lowe, Felipe Paulino, Aroldis Chapman)|
|1 Bat* (Milton Bradley)|
|6/2 Mascot Photos* [Tim – Mariner Moose, Teddy Roosevelt, The O’s Bird, Mr. Redlegs, Gapper, Slider; Kellan – Mariner Moose, The O’s Bird]|
|1/0 Divisions Closed Out** [Tim – A.L. West (Safeco Field, Oakland Coliseum, Angel Stadium & Rangers Ballpark in Arlington); Kellan – N/A]|
|2 Line-up Cards (Royals vs. Rangers; Indians vs. Orioles)|
|*includes Spring Training**divisions where we have seen each team play a home game.|