For the record I did not want to attend this baseball game. Why? Because of Alex Rodriguez. I dislike that man like there is no tomorrow. And I’m sure I can speak for many, many Mariner fans. Even the fans that go to one baseball game a year at Safeco Field. I can even say with confidence that the fans that show up for a Mariners bobblehead, walk in the gates, grab a bobblehead, turn around and exit to their cars to go home don’t even like Alex Rodriguez. Seriously? It’s not about him using steroids. I’m over that and I also understand from an athletes point of view why they would consider using steroids. Or even growth hormones. Whatever you want to call it. That fact that he lied about his steroid use is what bothers me. And not only that? How he left Seattle. Which is also understandable but if you’re going to leave the team that put you in the spotlight at least go to another division. Or go to the National League. Or just go away. Anyway. I’m off my soap box now.
With all that said I found out that Alex Rodriguez was not going to be in the lineup. So I jumped in my vehicle and drove out to Safeco Field. Since the Yankees were in town I thought the stadium was going to be packed. But it wasn’t. Maybe 18,000 showed up. And that’s such a light crowd for a Yankees game. When I got to the stadium these fine gentlemen were working on some new posters outside:
Here’s a brand new poster of Miguel Olivo:
When I ran inside there wasn’t much competition and plenty of open spacing in the bullpen areas. I got my first baseball of the evening from Trayvon Robinson. You can see him in the picture below. He’s the Mariner player with the high socks.
Robinson ran down a fly ball that landed on the warning track but failed to bounce into the bullpen. I was standing right there when he appeared in front of the open bullpen door as he was walking towards the baseball. All I had to do was get his attention. I simply flapped my glove at him and he picked up the ball, brushed it off on his pants and went to throw it to me. He lost grip on the ball and he never got airborne. He picked it up again and this time launched it to me. The ball nearly came up short and I had to really stretch for it. But I made the catch.
I still wanted a baseball from Felix Hernandez really bad. When I noticed him out in centerfield I made a bee-line for the ‘Pen area. Or the party deck. Whatever it’s called. Everytime Felix fielded a baseball I screamed at him to throw it to me. But he paid me absolutely no attention at all. Thoroughly bummed I figured out a different plan of approach. I was destined to get a baseball from that man. When the rest of the stadium opened up I raced to the centerfield bleachers and lined up directly behind the King. But he never got another baseball. Steve Delabar and Jason Vargas were fielding everything and tossed a couple into the stands. I could have easily made some catches but I wanted a baseball from Felix. And then he walked off the field. It was then I noticed a huge fan gathering around the Yankees dugout. Guess what that meant? I’ll show you in the next couple of pictures.
Here is what the crowd looked like at the Yankees dugout:
I noticed the crowd from centerfield. I literally ran to the Mariners dugout because it was pretty much just me standing there. Check it out:
The Mariners were about to end their portion of batting practice and that meant only one thing. I had absolutely no one competing against me for a baseball. Lucky me I got Chone Figgins attention. He tossed me a baseball but I was three rows back from the front. The ball came up way short and it landed in the camera pit. At first I didn’t see it bounce around down there so I was concerned the camera lady wouldn’t be able to find it. Amazingly it landed inside her backpack!
She was totally oblivious to the whole thing and I didn’t want to just reach into her backpack and grab the baseball. I kindly asked her if she’d dig it out and she did. Instead of handing it to me she tossed it to me and I nearly lost it again. I made sure to thank Figgins as he walked into the dugout too. That was my second baseball of the evening.
On my way back out to the outfield I managed to scoop up a softly hit grounder that barely made it past first base and trickled into foul territory. Again, there was no one around but me to get it. So I hauled it in for my third baseball on the evening. After the Mariners jogged off the field and the Yankees came out I wandered the bullpen area for any loose baseballs that I could glove trick. I found one in the Yankees bullpen and I easily snagged it via glove-trick. Everyone, of course, was so amazed by what I did I actually got a “standing ovation”. I wasn’t really paying attention to it until one guy patted me on the back and told me “Good job.” So I humbly tipped my cap and moved on. It felt kind of good to get that kind of attention, I’m not going to lie. That was my fourth baseball of the evening. Here’s a picture of the baseball afterwards:
While I was in the bullpen area a batting practice home run was hit into the Mariners bullpen and it bounced into the back corner. No one was really around to witness it expect me. Like I said; everyone was at the Yankees dugout. Here’s a picture of the ball. See if you can find it…
…It’s tucked away in the back corner. While I was standing there Jason Phillips was walking into the bullpen. He picked up a baseball on the way to the bench and turned around to throw it up to section 151. Like I’ve said many times before; everyone was so fascinated by the Yankees being in the stadium that most people forgot that the Mariners were even here to play. No one responded to Jason Phillips request to throw them a baseball. He shrugged and put the baseball in his pocket. When he turned around to continue to the bench I was standing on the other side of the fence glove ready. All I had to do was flap my glove at him. It took him a moment to get the baseball to me but when he threw it, it was a high beautifully aimed arching throw that smacked right into my glove. It was such an awesome throw. And the results:
You can see Phillips in the background digging through the bag of baseballs. That was number five on the night and my third baseball from Jason Phillips this year. My first baseball and my 100th lifetime baseball from Phillips came on April 2nd 2011 at the Oakland Coliseum. And my second baseball from him came on July 30th 2011 at Safeco Field.
Remember the baseball that bounced into the corner of the Mariners bullpen? I had a few options I could try. I could ask Miguel Olivo when he came over to warm up to grab the baseball for me OR I could wait for someone less busy to enter the bullpen. I also knew that one of the grounds crew raises the protective scoreboard screen and uses a hand crank in that very corner where the ball was at. I rolled the dice and waited on the grounds crew. When he showed up I asked him how his day was going and then hit with the infamous, “Is there anyway you could grab that baseball for me and hand it up?” I thought about extending the truth and telling him I dropped it while trying to get an autograph. But how many times during the season do baseballs land there? He’s probably heard every trick in the book. So I held my breath and hoped that worked. He didn’t answer me right away but after he was done…
…another Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim commemorative baseball!! Not only was that my sixth baseball of the evening but that’s my fourth Angels commemorative baseball!! Not my fourth one of the game but my fourth one overall. I absolutely love these unique baseballs.
Once the game got started it was pretty much the Yankees dominating. The Mariners put up a really good fight and the final score was 3-2 Yankees. The most wonderful moment came, (even though I’m anti-Yankee) when Mariano Rivera notched his 600th career save. History. Here is a picture of him taking the mound before the historic moment:
The picture quality sucks because I forgot my SD card again and not only that I left my SD card in my camera that was sitting at home on my computer desk. So I was limited to my iPhone once again. Here’s a picture of Rivera after the save:
This game reminded me when I drove 800 miles from St. Louis to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on 10-22-2010 to watch game six of the ALCS last year. I had goosebumps when Rivera recorded the milestone.
Game; September 13th 2011 New York Yankees vs Seattle Mariners
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $185.00 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $46.60 this
Welcome back baseball fans! With Spring Training right around the corner most MLB teams are putting their finishing touches on their rosters, and moving players to their respective positions in hopes to have an outstanding season.
With the fresh retirement from Andy Pettite hitting the baseball world that really shouldnt put a damper on the New York Yankees making another strong run to the World Series in the 2011 baseball season. The Yankees put in great effort to sign Cliff Lee in respects that Pettite would retire, and went on to make roster moves, trades, and free agency contracts a reality whether Pettite retired or not. No surprise there!
We have a lot to talk about. So lets get started!
The Texas Rangers are currently in turmoil with Michael Young. Young had agreed to switch to DH, and Utility infielder after the signing of slugger Adrian Beltre. Over time, Young has became disenchanted with the switch, and its been reported that Young has requested that the Rangers trade him to a team where he can get more playing time defensively. Michael Young, and Josh Hamiliton were at the BallPark in Arlington Monday to field questions from reporters but Young declined to comment on anything until the situation is resolved. ” He said he wasnt sure of anything.” Hamilton said. ” I dont know. We’ll see. Its going to be different.” Although the club has expressed a willingness to accommodate Young in his request but there is no deal that is close. Hamilton, on the other hand, faces arbritration at the end of this season if he and the Rangers dont work something out. Hamilton is confident something will come abroad before the season ends.
The Baltimore Orioles made a big splash by signing Vladimir Guererro from the Rangers for $8 million dollars. The single season contract will probably help strengthen what the O’s have going for them right now because Vlad is veteran status, and has a lot of insight on the game. The O’s are full of young players and could benefit from his guidance, and wisdom. Vlad will most likely continue filling the DH spot, and the O’s havent commented on if he will take any outfield practice during Spring Training.
Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees captain is looking ahead into the 2011 season. ” Ive always been pretty good in my career in terms of forgetting the previous seasons, whether it was a good season or a bad season.” Jeter told the Associated Press on Monday. ” You have to forget about it, and move on.” Jeter, 36, came off a season low in 2010 batting .270. But he did scoop up his fifth Gold Glove Award. December of 2010, Jeter came to terms with the Yankees to extend his contract for another three years for $51 million dollars.
Albert Pujols has not come to any terms on his contract. Pujols has threatened that he will not talk “contract terms” during the season, and that is to include Spring Training. So the Cardinals have roughly two weeks to figure something out. Pujols is wanting somewhere in the ballpark ( no pun intended ) of a ten-year $300 million dollar contract. If that happens, Pujols will become the highest paid baseball player in the history of baseball. That will be $4 million dollars more than what Alex Rodriguez is currently being paid. Pujols currently makes roughly $14 million dollars. So far no other Cardinal player have commented on the future signings of Pujols. Although, many teams are going to check in if the contract does not get done before Spring Training, Pujols has said he will exercise his 10-5 option ( 10 years in the same league, 5 years with the same club. ), and veto any trade agreements. The most likely team that will chase after Pujols will be the Florida Marlins. But its even been said that the Yankees will check in too.
Carlos Delgado is still recovering from surgery. This would be his third hip surgery in his career, and he is confident that he will see the Big Show eventually. ” If I am healthy, I will find a way.” said Delgado. ” I know how to play. I dont want to retire.” Delagdo, 38, had surgery on his left hip, and has not played in a Major League game since May 10th 2009. He signed a minor league deal with the Boston RedSox last August but began feeling discomfort in his hip, and had his latest surgury the next month. As part of a rehabilitation program, Delgado has been swinging the bat and started a running program. He said he isnt going to contact any club until he is completely healthy.