Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Batting Practice! I Finally Made It!

So back in, like, August of 2011 I won two auctions (holy cow it was only a year ago that I had a lot of money?) - one was to go to a game in the Hargrove Suite and the other was "batting practice experience" where I'd get to watch BP from on the field with 3 friends. The BP experience was only to happen Monday through Thursday at a 7:05 game. I had to be there (with my friends) at 4:15.

It turned out there were no more home games I could go to in 2011, or something. So they just gave me free tickets to a Monday make-up game that I took my Arizona uncle to. That ended up being called for rain.

So another time this year we were set up to go, in June. That day's batting practice got called for rain. Then again we were ready to go and...BP called off on account of some sort of mental holiday for the team. We still got tickets for both games (good on you, Indians!)

Finally today it was SUNNY (it rained yesterday) and there was batting practice (why not? No need for special days off anymore) and other than me being sick (but mostly well) it was the perfect day for me to get there! Of course I lost one of my 4, as he is a teacher and coach and couldn't take time off to go to the game so it was just me and 2 buds out on the field. But it had to happen today, with or without our whole team! According to Justin Sherman, the guy who arranges these things (I wonder if he's got a Google Alert set up for himself?) I was the talk of the office. Would I or wouldn't I make it today?
This is the guy you see about batting practice.
I made it!

You probably want to see pictures and there are many. First let's talk about the game real quick.

Zach McAllister started and he did not fare well. He gave up 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings, including a 2-run dinger to that Indian-killer Josh Willingham. (Who? Exactly!) Can't fault him too much on that one because it seems no one can tame Willingham - he went 4 for 5 tonight with 4 RBI. Oddly enough, Mauer and Morneau only had 1 hit and 2 walks on the night between them. But people get on base (Jamey Carroll), Josh Willingham comes up, it's all over.

Chris Seddon didn't fare too well either, giving up 2 in 1 2/3 innings. After THAT, though, Maine, Sipp and Herrmann had a nice quiet night while our team tried to battle back. A solid ending by 3 guys who pitched last night (cuz everyone did) but too little too late.

I did get some neato pictures from behind the bullpen, though. Well, above. Here they are:
Tony Sipp! I got him to flash me the Devil's Horns before BP.

Sweet Lou, and the entrance of Pure Rage.

Frank Herrmann's start

Frank Herrmann's fancy finish

Vinnie Pestano

Herrman, Perez and Pestano. #BullpenMafia

Pure Rage! I got him to wave at me. (Chris Perez)
The team only had 2 hits going in to the 8th. But due to walks, HBP and an error, we managed to score two runs.

Choo was shut down today, even though people were dancing up a storm to his new at-bat song. Also there was a contingency of Koreans sitting near us in the stands and they were shouting fantastic Korean shouts at him. Perhaps it was too much!

Kipnis had a nice night, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and he also scored a run. He's been on a tear lately with 5 hits in his last 3 games. Love to see the Kid hit!

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! #15 homer for him today! Man he hasn't hit a homer since...August 24. And of course you know I didn't have my sign. Boo! But cool for him he's on a 4-game hitting streak also with 5 hits in that time. He ended up going 1 for 3 today and I don't know why they took him out of the game and replaced him with Lillibridge. I didn't think we were that far down (ok it was 6 to 2). Does anyone know?

Santana tried to be a hero today in the 8th but as usual it didn't work out for him. He flied out to left with 2 on and 1 out. Argh. He did walk today so he went 0 for 3.

Did Michael Brantley hit today? Yes. He's also a quiet guy. I thought he'd be chatty. But after BP while all the folks were lined up by the tarp to get some autographs, he was goofing around with some kids who wanted him to sign a helmet. So I don't know. Whatever - glad the kids got to talk to him!

Hafner was back today! My friend and I think he looks thin. Still muscular just smaller than usual. He went 0 for 3 but he did get on base twice with a HBP and an error. So, still making things happen.

Canzler was in too, which I thought was interesting. He wasn't so amazing at first - he's no Kotch. He also didn't hit.

The Chiz Kid, Lonnie Chisenhall was in at third. Boy did he look stinky out there. Maybe it's because I was sitting right near third but...yeah, no, I'm pretty sure he was stinky from right field too. He did go 1 for 4 on the night and he signed my baseball card AND my ball so all-in-all it was a good day for Chiz!
Love, The Chiz
Vinny Rottino. "Who's that?" my friend asked. And she follows the team! He was in left today and by the end of the game he was sort of everybody's favorite. First because of this play, where he made a diving catch for the third out and the umpire said "no catch" but then there was a long meeting and they said "catch!" Then after that he came up to start the 8th with a double then came around to score. Plus, turns out that guy has a major arm on him! He had a solid throw to first on the above-linked play and earlier in the game he had quite a throw to third. No more "Vinny who?" for you!

Oh also his at-bat music is The Godfather Theme. Weird.

So now we're in last place by ourselves. Wow.

Well whatever - I'm hangin in there til the end. Because what else do I have to do? Now we have something to root for - getting out of last! Tomorrow the game is at 12:05, the final meeting with the Twins. We have to win to not get swept by the goddamn Twins and also to be tied for 4th. Aye aye aye! It's Kluber versus RHP (7.53) who is actually worse than the RHP  we faced today so...for Pete's sake let's get our win on!!!

See you there!

And now for the photos. Enjoy!

From the Home Run Porch


Masterson, Perez


Empty stadium.

Super weird scoreboard pre-game stuff.

Asdrubal (on left)

Our view from the field!

Hey! Pronk!

Asdrubal, about 90 mins before #15

Jason Kipnis and Tom Hamilton

Brantley, Asdrubal and Kipnis

Panorama from left field

Encroaching Twins

Cousin Michael Brantley

Lonnie Chisenhall

Pitchers shagging

Up close with Jamey Carroll

Manny Acta


Hey what's up Vinnie Pestano?

Oh man, bad grammar! But neat that Hammy's family block is right near my dad's!

Just say no-me!

Casey Kotchman autograph! Nice guy!

Nice seats

Panorama from our seats

Dusk from our seats

Panorama from behind the home bullpen

View from that weird triangular section in left. Pretty nice!

Manny Acta autograph

Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Jamey Carroll (why not?)

Magnets from the Fun Bunch!

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