April 2011

Orioles vs. Red Sox 4/26/11 (On the field madness)

So this Tuesday game was the first of a 3 game series vs.
the Red Sox.  I was getting out of class
right at 2 when I got some interesting texts on my phone.  Without sharing all of the direct details on
it, here’s a tweet from Adam Jones that explains how the day began:

 

AJ1.jpg

 

Then by a half hour later, here was his next tweet:

 

AJ2.jpg

 

So yes.  Adam Jones
was leaving me BP passes for the game.  I
didn’t share this info on Saturday’s entry, but during BP at the game that day,
Adam had called me over to talk by the outfield wall (after yelling at me for
dropping a Mark Reynolds home run) to inform me that something along these
lines was going to happen soon.  There’s
more background to all of this, but I won’t bother you with it (plus it’s half
private stuff anyways).

 

So I called up Zevi immediately (who was biking like an hour
outside of the city) and told him to get downtown.

 

By 4 o clock or so, I had met him down at Camden Yards.  We went to home plate plaza where the media
enters pre game and picked up our special passes:

 

Oriole Park Home Plate Plaza 42611

Pass42611.jpeg

 

If you notice on the pass, it is attached to a very thin
string.  That damns string got tangled up
all day.  Quite annoying.  But really, no complaints from me.

 

Otherwise, you can see on the pass that we were guests
(“affiliation”) of Jones.  So an escort
was coming to get us to take us down to the tunnel and onto the field, and we
were getting excited:

 

Zevi on Oriole Park Field 42611

 

That’s Zevi, by the way. 
Not me.  I’m not a munchkin.

This is me, doing my best to smile creepily it seems:

MeOnField.jpg

 

Once we got down onto the field, the first thing we saw was the
Orioles pitchers stretching in a circle down the 1B line, some position guys
throwing and stretching, and a bunch of media members scattered all
around.  At this point, it was 4:30, and
we were stoked.

 

Orioles 42611 1

Orioles 42611 2

 

Soon after, Adam came out of the dugout, and made his way
over to where we were standing.  He shook
our hands, said hey, and told us “this is the major league experience” then ran
off.  Truly awesome.

Adam Jones Orioles 42611

 

We were told not to bother players and such unless
approached throughout the day, so we stuck to that.  It was cool enough just to be there.  Honestly. 
Even though Big Papi was standing 10 feet from us for like 10 minutes. 

 

Big Papi David Ortiz 42611 Orioles

 

This was the view when BP started at around 4:35:

 

Orioles Batting Practice 42611 1

 

Ronnie Deck eventually came out:

 

Ronnie Deck Stretching Orioles 42611

 

And came over to talk to us. 
He asked us how we got field access, so I explained, and he laughed and
ran off to help with drills and such.

Ronnie Deck Stretching Orioles 42611 2

 

More of Orioles BP before the gates had even opened:

 

Orioles Batting Practice 42611.jpg

 

The bottom right picture there is Nick Markakis standing up
on a step behind the cage.  He’s a boss.

 

When the gates opened at 5:00, we watched Tim and Matt (and
eventually Ben, who was nice enough to stop and say hello) sprinting around the
seats [as we usually do] to get out to left field.

 

Matt Tim Oriole Park 42611.jpg

 

If you click on that and look at the top left area, you can
see the time on the top edge of the photo showing 5:00 exactly.

 

The Red Sox came out and stretched:

 

Red Sox Stretching Oriole Park 42611

 

Amber Theoharis and Buck Showalter talked for a few minutes
within a few feet of where we were:

 

Buck Showalter Amber Theoharis 42611

 

Jake Fox gave me an air fist bump as he came out to
hit.  I had just talked to him during
Saturday’s game about some random stuff, so he was surprised to see me there I
guess.  He has to be one of the most
friendly MLBers around.  Really.  Yell to him or say his name, and he responds.

 

Then the O’s left the field and the Red Sox started hitting:

 

Red Sox Batting Practice Oriole Park 42611.jpg

 

Right before this, J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury were
playing catch by the Red Sox dugout. 
Ellsbury overthrew a ball to Drew, and it ended up bouncing into the warning
track and off of Zevi’s leg.  As Drew
turned around to see and eventually say sorry, Ellsbury had gotten another ball
and chucked it towards Drew.  Drew turned
back, and it hit him in the shoulder. 
Youkilis and a few others saw this, and we could see them laughing about
it and joking around and retelling the story to other teammates for the next 10
minutes or so.  Was funny stuff right
there.

 

Brittany, Amanda, and Donna found us soon after.  I took this picture above and behind me,
without turning around.  Good work, Avi.

 

DSCF3079.JPG

 

I mean, we were legit on the field for BP.

 

Oriole Park on the field 42611

 

The grounds crew soon came out to pack things up:

 

Oriole Park Grounds Crew 42611

 

And we had to leave:

 

Oriole Park on the field 42611 2

 

We had seen Matt and the rest of the guys get some baseballs
during BP, but we ended with none. 
Probably could have asked or even taken one or two lying around, but we
were enjoying just being there that nothing else was that important.

 

Adam actually messaged me during Sox BP saying he hoped we
enjoyed ourselves, and I responded with “we haven’t been kicked out yet!”.  Really cool. 
But we didn’t see him again until of course he took the field for the
game.

 

Spent the game out in LF with the guys.  Our friend Beverly joined us for this one as
well.  It was the end of Passover, so we
all had Subway (Zevi hadn’t used his ticket to get in, so he left around the 4th
inning and ran to Pratt St. to pick up the food for all of us) sponsored by
Donna.  Thanks again, stretch lady/lot
lady/lady who smokes!

 

I spent the 3rd or 4th or some inning
down a few rows with new friend and MASN employee Joe Pappasomething.  Cool dude. 
And his bff is Jim Hunter; all the better.

 

So yeah.  No home runs
that we got, but all is well.  Still an
incredible day.  My first game since
mid-2009 without a baseball.  While that
is a cool streak to have, and one that is now sadly broken, it was TOTALLY
worth it.  And I made up for it big time
yesterday (Wednesday) during BP, but I’ll write about that later.

 

Again, thank you to Adam Jones for everything.  It was an incredible experience.  It showed me where I want to be in 4 years
(one of the scattered media members) and brought me closer to the Orioles team
which I have devoted so much of my time and money to.  Head up and fight on.  Special mention to Adam’s mother, who has become
a mentor-type figure to me, and who had a big part (I’m sure) in getting us on
the field.  I am excited to see her soon
as well in town!

 

Oh, and the Orioles won the game, 4-1.  Britton pitched 6 dominant, one run innings,
and the bullpen shut it down.  Jonesy had
two sacrifice flies on the day, as shown here by MLB.com:

 

Adam Jones Beats Red Sox 42611

 

And it was fun in the 7th inning (I think, or 6th)
watching Okajima and Albers warm up together. 
The best of both world…for opposing teams.

 

Matt Albers Hideki Okajima 42611

 

And a shout out to Matt
Gardner
, who I forgot to mention earlier in the entry.  We sat with him, too.  And his friend (a Red Sox fan).  It was Matt’s birthday.  Though I kept forgetting it.  Happy birthday again, dude.

 

 

Awesome day.  And for the
bazillionth time, thank you to AJ.

 

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 27 (16 hit, 7 on fly, 8
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games attended: 11

Orioles total games attended: 11

Total MLB games attended: 11

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 11

Rainouts: 2

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

Orioles vs. Yankees 4/24/11

So I went to the game on Sunday and met up with Matt
outside, went in for BP, snagged 2 baseballs (though missed 2 or 3, night
before still on my mind).

 

Zevi and our friend Leah joined me by the end of BP.  We hung out for the day in LF in the hot, hot
sun.  There was a rain delay, the O’s
forced extra innings, it lasted a while, then we ended up losing.

Oriole Park tarp rain 42411

 

Not much else to say. 
I’m falling behind a bit on the blog with finals coming around in
school, but will be back on it in detail soon enough.

 

Season stats (including Saturday now):

 

Baseballs: 27 (16 hit, 7 on fly, 8
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games attended: 10

Orioles total games attended: 10

Total MLB games attended: 10

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 10

Rainouts: 2

 

Orioles vs. Yankees 4/23/11

Tonight never happened.

 

 

 

Fail.png

 

 

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?c_id=mlb&content_id=14099089

 

Yes, that’s me in the orange.  Good night.


Follow me on Twitter: @2131andBeyond

Who’s Who at Oriole Park (and in this blog)

So I figure instead of each time I write a blog entry having
to explain who each individual person is, I would create an overall guide to
the characters of Oriole Park.  Now yes,
there are very often others who join in the fun and will not be on this list,
so they will be referenced separately in the entries, but unless otherwise
noted per entry, the names can be found and explained here.

 

I will update this list whenever necessary, adding the faces
to names after they appear in multiple entries and I’m most likely annoyed with
having to explain who they are each and every time.

 

So here goes.

 

First picture here tells a lot:

 

WhosWhoGroup1

 

1.  Zevi – He’s mentioned a lot.  He follows me around as I rule the baseball
world.  He enjoys stirrups and Hawk
Harrelson, and I think those are the two things that we have in common.

 

2.  Brittany – Zevi and I met her a few
years back (I think) by the bullpen, where she has season tickets along the
wall there.  She likes horses, the
Beatles, now hockey, and a bunch of other stuff.  Nobody really ever knows what she’s talking
about…

 

3.  Ronnie – That’s Ronnie Deck.  He’s the Oriole bullpen catcher.  Beast.

 

4.  Donna – Otherwise known to Oriole Park
as “stretching lady.”  If a player has a
good stretch, it’s a happy day for her.

 

5.  Amanda – Another bullpen lover.  Keeps lists of… well… everything.

 

6.  I have no
idea.  Just some random Oriole in the
background.  Can’t tell who, though.

 

Here’s another one of the group with Adam Jones:

 

WhosWhoGroup2

 

In that picture, see the guy peeking his head out in the
back?

 

That’s Matt.

 

Matt H

 

Matt is a resident Orioles fans now for a bajillion
years.  Besides roaming all Baltimore
thrift stores finding the best deals ever (including a $75 wheelchair), Matt
also is really, really good at the “guess the year” thing between innings on
the jumbotron.

Then we have Romeo:

Romeo S Orioles

Romeo is the definition of a superfan.  If you ever spot his awesome helmet, you probably also saw some really well made posters and banners and apparel to go with it.  Romeo gets the crowd into the game, has a ton of fun with it, and is what you would call a true fan.

 

Next:

 

TimAndBen.png

 

This is Tim and Ben. 
Tim on the left, Ben on the right. 
Zevi and I met them last year as they have joined the scene at Camden
Yards as resident ballhawks.  Ben mocks
Tim constantly.  Tim enjoys writing like
me, as he also contributes to Orioles-Nation.  They do some crazy stuff.

 

 

 

Okay, that’s the basics. 
I’ll add more later.  There are a
whole lot more, so if you’re not on here just yet… well, you will be.  I pwomise.

Orioles vs. Yankees 4/22/11 (Rainout)

Today was rainy down at Oriole Park:

 

Eutaw Street rain rainy

 

But I headed down anyways. 
I laughed at how there were 3 gates set to open, yet all the Yankee fans
lined up at one gate so I could wander off and come back and still be in front:

 

Oriole Park Gates pregame Yankees fans stupid

 

I walked in and saw this:

 

Oriole Park tarp rain 42211

 

And after a few minutes of standing at the O’s dugout
watching a few pitchers talk to Nick Swisher:

 

Nick Swisher Josh Rupe Jeremy Accardo Jim Johnson 42211

Nick Swisher Josh Rupe Oriole Park 42211

 

The pitchers went down the 1B line to throw:

 

Orioles Pitchers warmup 42211

 

Ronnie was out stretching while they threw (he eventually
threw with Tillman and probably more):

 

Ronnie Deck Stretching Orioles 42211

 

And Adam Jones (who tweeted
3 minutes earlier
that he would be coming out to throw) threw out on the
warning track:

 

Adam Jones Orioles 42211

 

He then signed for us (though I stood back and watched, don’t
ask for Orioles autographs anymore):

 

Adam Jones signing 42211

 

And the baseballs never came.  I talked to Ronnie for a few minutes, which
is all I wanted to do.  A few pitchers
threw balls towards me, but I got other people to catch them.  Wasn’t in my best mood, so didn’t care much
for a baseball at that point.

 

Then I went up to club level with Brittany (Ms. Hoppity) and
Amanda, where we sat and eventually found out that the game was being
postponed.

 

We went to the players lot to stand around and talk
(including Donna now) and I left shortly after.

 

Be back out there tomorrow.

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 23 (12 hit, 5 on fly, 8
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games attended: 8

Orioles total games attended: 8

Total MLB games attended: 8

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 8

Rainouts: 2

Orioles vs. Twins 4/21/11

Thursday’s game marked the last non-prime Orioles game in April, meaning the last batting practice where there weren’t hundreds of
Yankees/Red Sox fans everywhere.

 

I got to the park around 4:30, met up with Tim and Ben, and
we all got in by 5 (as usual).

Ball Chart 42111

My first
ball of the day was a Mark Reynolds home run off the wall in the aisle behind
section 84.  The ball was crushed, and
with the sun in our eyes, both Matt and I ran up the stairs toward it, but I
happened to be better positioned for it off the bounce.

 

Some shots of BP:

 

Orioles Batting Practice 42111 1

Orioles Batting Practice 42111 2

 

Brian Matusz got his hair cut from that long shagginess he
had before:

 

Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta 42111

 

I got ball 2 down the 3rd base line.  I was there attempting to get a toss up from
Denard Span and some other Twins around, and Fox hit the ball straight
foul.  It hit off the cement of the wall,
whizzed past my head, hit a chair, then a railing, and ended up high up three
sections away.  I raced up there, as did
Ben and Tim, and I was lucky enough to find it in a seat first.  Here is the path it took (how I remember it):

 

Jake Fox Foul Ball Batting Practice 42111

 

The ball looked awesome. 
Was totally shaved on one part from hitting off the pavement part of the
wall:

 

Baseball scuff marks 42111

 

It is still in tact like that now.  I will hold onto that one forever.

 

When the Twins came up to hit, the LF seats filled up a bit,
and when Thome and Morneau came up to hit, I ran over to the flag court in RF after
seeing the show they put on the day before.

 

Oriole Park Flag Court 42111.jpg

 

I loved Thome growing up (as an Indians fan), so I really
wanted to catch one of his HRs.  Well, I
did.  Ball 3 on the day was a Thome shot
to the back corner of the flag court.

 

BP ended.  I hung out
with new friend Ben from New York three rows behind the Twins dugout for the
first few innings.

 

Jeremy Guthrie Jim Thome Home Run 42111 1

Jeremy Guthrie Jim Thome Home Run 42111 2

 

The 1st pic is Guthrie pitching to Thome.  That pitch there was the one he hit his home
run on, then the 2nd pic is him touching home.

 

I left soon after and moved to left field, but saw Ben a few
more times randomly throughout the night.

 

In left field, I sat with Tim and Ben by the spot where Vlad
hit his HR the night before that Tim caught.

 

The Orioles lost.

 

Spent post game out by the players lot with the group of
Brittany, Donna, Nick, Todd, Amanda, and a bunch of kids who chased down Brian
Roberts’ truck.

 

Off to the park for a rainy game (supposedly) against the
Yankees. I could easily get shut out today in baseballs for the first time in
two years if there’s no BP.

 

Out of all the hawks at this game, none got more than 3.  Tim and I each got 3, but otherwise everybody got just one or two.  Slow day, I guess.

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 23 (12 hit, 5 on fly, 8
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games attended: 8

Orioles total games attended: 8

Total MLB games attended: 8

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 8

Rainouts: 1

 

Ticket and Baseballs 42111

 

I leave you with this picture of the oddest hairstyle I have
ever seen at the ballpark:

 

DSCF3019.JPG

 

Here it is a little closer if you couldn’t spot it
(somehow):

 

DSCF3019zoom.jpg

Orioles vs. Twins 4/20/11

So after two nights of Passover celebrating with family, I
was back at the ballpark on Wednesday. 
The O’s have a 10 game home stand now, so if I still make it to 7-8 of
the games, I’ll be satisfied.

 

I brought my fancy-shmancy camera to this game to get some
photos for the websites I’m a part of (Baltimore Sports Report and
Orioles-Nation) as well as for myself, but I can’t upload those photos here for
a bit.  Why?  It’s a Sony camera.  Sonys use a special memory card called Pro
Duo or something. So I only have an SD slot on my computer, so long story
short, I have to wait until I get to my house sometime to get the cord for the
camera.  Till then, I will use a few pics
from my phone and also some sent to me by Zack Hample (because I asked him for
some).  You can see more from the game as
well as more pics including me and others over at his blog.

 

So I hopped on the light rail a few minutes after 4, and
without knowing it, Tim, his friend Sean, and Zevi were all on the train then.  We got down to the park by 4:20 (on 4/20) and
waited for gates to open.  By the way,
the Orioles won’t let you trade tickets down anymore (as in prime to not
prime).  Odd.  I’d rather not rant about it here because,
well, it pissed me off that I had to argue with the box office guy for like 5
minutes and accomplish nothing.

 

Once inside, we ran around (as always) and saw Zack waiting
at the opposite gate on Eutaw Street.  He
tried this just two weeks ago on 4/7
and we laughed at him then for his gate not opening on time.  Maybe he will learn that that gate is just
bad luck :)

 

Oriole Park ball snag locations 42011

 

I got ball 1 on a Lee home run that tipped off a guy’s
hand.  I was running over to the spot, it
hit off him, and I flipped my bare hand up for the grab.  Was good to see my reflexes still work.

 

Ball 2 was a Reynolds home run on the fly.  I had to leap high for it, but overall just a
nice catch and that was that.

 

No balls during Twins BP, though at the end, Scott Baker
tossed me one (ball 3).  It has to be the most
random baseball I have ever gotten.  As
the Twins pitchers were running in, he picked up a stray ball on the warning
track, and with a line of screaming kids and Twins fans in the front row, he
chucked it up to me about 10 rows up.  I
wasn’t yelling or even holding my glove up, and when I got it, I turned around
to make sure I hadn’t just robbed a kid or anything.  I went over to ask Rick Gold who it was and if I had robbed someone, and he said I
hadn’t and that it looked to be completely random.  Cool.

 

The fans/ballhawks at this game gathered for some photos (taken by Jona, thanks for sending them Zack so my blog didn’t have to be picture-less):

22_ballhawk_gathering.JPG23_ballhawk_gathering.JPG26_ballhawk_gathering.JPG28_ballhawk_gathering.JPG

Everyone in the photo above (from left to right):

1. Rick Gold

2. Dave Stevenson

3. Me

4. Zack Hample

5. Tim

6. Sean

7. Zevi

8. Alex K

9. Ben

10. Matt

I had talked with Ben a bit during BP.  Hadn’t met him before, so we just talked about some differences in hawking between Baltimore and New York.  I met Alex last year when Joe Faraguna was in town (for the Twins series, ironically).

I then went over to the first base side to attempt to get a
warmup ball.  Brian Roberts always throws
with Markakis, and Roberts always ends up with it to give to a kid.  The other pair always includes Adam Jones,
and today he was throwing with Robert Andino, who chucked it to me (ball 4) at the
dugout as he walked in.  I screamed
“ROBERT” like 10 times, so I guess it paid off.

 

I spent the first few innings taking some nice photos
sitting close by the dugout (the usher said I could!).  Vlad hit a home run in the bottom of the 3rd,
and as I’m taking a photo of him swinging, Zevi taps my shoulder and says “I
think Tim caught that!”.  We then saw Tim
celebrating on the scoreboard, so we soon after left the seats to go find him.

 

Well, he had caught it.

 

 

VladHR42011.jpeg

 

Very, very cool.

 

We stayed in LF for the rest of the game.  I went over to the bullpen a few times to
take pictures and say hello to Donna.  Joe
(who works for MASN) came to say hey.  It
was a chill rest of the night.  We went
out to the player lot after and I got Carl Pavano to sign my ticket (pictured
below).  And that was that.

 

42011balls2.jpeg

 

A funny happening post game with a Twins fan; the drunk fan
came over and told us a story:

 

“I was like, “Hey Perkins, you making pancakes over there?”
and all these Twins fans got ********** and were like, “PERKINS ISN’T JUST A
BREAKFAST RESTAURANT!” then I got timid and walked away.”

 

Oh yeah, and Jim Hunter complimented Tim on his catch, and
Fred Manfra explained to us that his computer shattering sounded like a bomb
going off.

 

Fun times.  Now back
to the ballpark for the 4th game of this Twins series…

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 20 (9 hit, 4 on fly, 7
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 4 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver, Pavano)

Orioles home games attended: 7

Orioles total games attended: 7

Total MLB games attended: 7

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 7

Rainouts: 1

 

Passover feels like an 8 day losing streak

Happy Passover to those who celebrate (Passover is 8 days long, for those who don’t know, and the Orioles are on an 8 game losing streak, hence my cheesy joke in the title. Heh.).  I wonder if any of the Jewish major leaguers celebrate at all.

baseball matzah

How did the Jewish ballers do on
the first night of Passover?

 

·     
Kevin
Youkilis – 2-5, double, 2 RBIs, 2 runs scored

·     
Ian
Kinsler – 2-3, double, triple, run scored, 2 walks

·     
Ryan
Braun – 3-4, 2 RBIs, run scored, walk

·     
Danny
Valencia (vs. the O’s) – 2-4, RBI, 2 runs scored

·     
Sam Fuld
- 4-4, double, run scored

·     
Ike Davis
had the night off (Mets off day)

 

So current active Jewish major
leaguers went 13-20 (.650) with 4 XBH, 5 RBIs, and 7 runs scored.  That’s pretty damn impressive. 

 

How about the pitchers?  Jason Marquis pitched Sunday (7 IP, 2 ER),
but otherwise, no Jewish pitchers (SPs or RPs) took the mound on Monday.

 

In other news, the Orioles are
on an 8 game losing streak, and it’s not looking good.  But gotta fight on.  The O’s have a ten game home stand now, and I
am with my family for the first two nights of the holiday, and will be back at
the yard on Wednesday for the last 8 games (2 Twins, 3 Yankees, 3 Red
Sox).  If I can average 2 balls in those 8 games, I’ll be satisfied.

I was supposed to head out to a doubleheader on Sunday, but
some stuff got in the way and I stayed back and watched the Orioles lose on
TV.  The doubleheader options were:

 

·     
Hagerstown Suns (18 innings of Bryce Harper?!)

·     
Frederick Keys

·     
Bowie Baysox

·     
Washington Nationals

 

There were tons of doubleheaders to choose from.

 

Well, that’s it for now. 
I got a new desktop background:

 

 

Adam Jones background desktop Orioles

 

I will try to find the website I grabbed that off of, but
props to the guy who created it.

 

See you all soon. I may post tonight on my Orioles thoughts
and reactions for the season so far. Depends how I’m feeling after a night of drinking
[wine] [ritually, of course].

Orioles vs. Rangers 4/10/11 (Personal Toss-Up Record)

If you’re here to read about the whole Jose Valverde
spitting incident, check out that post
here
.

 

 

So after I facepalmed during Saturday’s game, my legs were
quite beat up, so I couldn’t run around too much on Sunday.  I got to the game late (for me) and met up
with Matt outside the gates at around 11:15 (open at 11:30) where he informed
me that there was batting practice set up. 
Surprising.

 

So we got in, he ran around, and I walked.  Couldn’t bend my knees too much, so had to
take it easy.  They hit some home runs
during BP, a bunch within good distance for me to snag, but I had to let them
go.  It wasn’t fun trying to go up and
down stairs, so I had to lay off them. 
Matt found a few and caught a bunch.

 

Here’s Buck talking in the outfield with Jason Berken and
Jeremy Accardo:

 

Buck Showalter Jason Berken Jeremy Accardo 41011

 

My first ball, though, was from the Rangers bullpen catcher Josh Frasier who tossed me and another guy the two balls sitting in the
Rangers pen when he got up there.  The
other guy also caught a few of the HRs that were close to me.  We talked a bit, and he was really nice to
discuss some baseball with while I hobbled around.

 

The Rangers came out to throw, and I thought my only chance
to snag on the day would be toss ups.  So
I went over to the 3rd base line where the position players were
throwing.  Anybody else there stood by
the pitchers, not realizing the position guys would be finished fastest.

 

Andres Blanco was throwing with somebody, and when they were
finished messing around throwing side arm, I held my glove up and he chucked me
the ball without even asking.

 

Mason Tobin was throwing with Alexi Ogando, and Ogando
overthrew a ball that bounced in the stands. 
I scooped it up, offered it back, but they said to keep it.  I handed it to a fan next to me who had an Alexi Ogando card in hand.  I figured that was worthy of a baseball that he technically threw.  The odd part after that was that Tobin finished
with their ball, and he tossed it to me. 
Interesting.  Here’s Tobin about
20 seconds before the toss up:

 

Mason Tobin Rangers 41011

 

Brandon Webb, who had a weird photo shoot by the dugout just
before the game, was in the outfield running:

 

Brandon Webb Rangers 41011

 

BP got a bit crowded, so I chilled in the LF corner for any
bloop homeruns down the line.  I didn’t
get any more balls on the day, though 4 toss ups was my personal best in any game). 
Here was my view for most of Rangers BP:

 

Orioles Rangers Batting Practice 41011

 

The kid you see there is… well… very confused.

 

Indianapolis Colts Boston Red Sox 41011

 

He’s wearing a Colts jacket and Red Sox hat. What?!

 

Josh Hamilton was signing:

 

Josh Hamilton Signing 41011

 

So I wiggled through the huge group of people, the security guy on the field (seen above in orange) messed with me a bit (we talk with him every day, he points out Easter Eggs to me on occasion), and got Hamilton on
the ball I snagged from Blanco earlier.

 

Josh Hamilton Autograph Baseball 41011

 

Vladimir Guerrero received his 2010 Silver Slugger and
Comeback Player of the Year Awards pre-game (assumingly scheduled then against
the Rangers):

 

Vladimir Guerrero Silver Slugger Comeback Player of the Year Award 41011

Vladimir Guerrero Silver Slugger Comeback Player of the Year Award 41011 2

 

Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre were warming up by me, but I
got neither ball (obviously).

 

Ian Kinsler Adrian Beltre 41011.jpg

 

Matt headed who knows where, and I headed out to section 86,
where I planned to chill all game and not kill myself over home run balls like
the day before.

 

I settled at the break in the bullpens, saluted to Ronnie,
and the game got going.  Nick joined me in section 86, Matt came
soon after, and it was a sunny, relaxed afternoon.

 

Jake Fox was oddly in left field:

 

Jake Fox Right Field 41011

 

My view of the Rangers bullpen during the game:

 

Rangers Bullpen 41011.jpg

 

Orioles bullpen doing warmups and such:

 

Baltimore Orioles Bullpen 41011.jpg

 

Ronnie Deck looking awesome as usual (though he needs a retro
bird helmet):

 

Ronnie Deck Orioles 41011

 

More of the bullpen just chilling:

 

Baltimore Orioles Bullpen 41011 2

 

The Orioles lost. 
Guthrie, back from the hospital (pneumonia) threw six innings of one run
ball, but we scored no runs, the Rangers tacked on a two run shot off of Jim
Johnson, and that was that.

 

But, in the end, this is what we had overall:

 

American League East Standings 41011

 

I will be back at Oriole Park next Wednesday for the last
two games on the Twins series.  Missing
Monday and Tuesday for holiday.  But will
be at [hopefully] eight of the ten games during the home stand.

 

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 16 (7 hit, 3 on fly, 5
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver)

Orioles home games attended: 6

Orioles total games attended: 6

Total MLB games attended: 6

Total baseball games attended (MLB+MiLB):
6

Rainouts: 1

 

3 baseballs pictures (gave one away):

Loot 41011

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

 

Orioles vs. Rangers 4/8/11 (Rainout) & 4/9/11 (Doubleheader)

If you’re here to read about the whole Jose Valverde
spitting incident, check out that post
here
.

 

 

So I showed up to the park on Friday not expecting anything
exciting.  It had been pouring all day
and I already had word from a friend at the stadium that BP would for sure not
happen.  Either way, I headed down around
4:15 and stood in line.  Eventually, Tim,
Ben, Brittany, and some others showed up. 
Zack Hample left town, and he
made a good choice doing so.

 

When we got in, there were some Rangers throwing:

 

Texas Rangers Pitchers 48.jpg

 

I got a ball from some athletic trainer with them, then
handed it to a little Rangers fan standing by us (it was wet and dirty and
meant a LOT more to her).  Tim, Ben, and
Matt each got one (I think Matt actually got 2) as well.

 

The Orioles came out to throw

 

Baltimore Orioles Pitchers 4811

 

But I didn’t really bother asking for things.  What was cool was that Ronnie [Deck] finished
throwing with Arrieta, and when all the pitcher went in, he came over to talk
with me for a good ten minutes, saying he was waiting for Tillman.  We talked about everything from his uniform
to Spring Training to everything else random you can imagine. That was pretty
cool.

 

I then spent time with some people in Café 54, by the
bullpen, and on club level (including putting high socks on, my original pair
were *soaked*).

 

Oriole Park Tarp 4811

 

We heard at one
point that there were some Rangers sliding on the tarp, including Josh
Hamilton.  From club level, we ran out to
see it, but missed them.  You can see
videos of it here (this one is taken by the Rangers bullpen catcher in the dugout), here,
and here.

 

Oriole Park Tarp 2 4811

 

The game was postponed, it was announced that there would be
a straight doubleheader the next day, so I called up Todd Cook who would be
coming to town, and headed back to my place.

 

Oh, and I got Darren Oliver’s autograph:

 

Darren Oliver Autograph

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 10 (6 hit, 2 on fly, 2
toss up, 2 found)

Autographs: 3 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver)

Orioles home games attended: 3

Orioles total games attended: 3

Total MLB games attended: 3

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 3

Rainouts: 1

 

 

So I got down to the Orioles doubleheader on Saturday around
2.  The gate times were confusing, Zevi
and I ended up having to run around the stadium when nobody else did… it was
just bad.

 

There were a ton of balls in the stands, and Matt found like
5.  I found one.  Then caught a Mike Napoli HR during BP on the
fly.  But that was it for me.  And I must have given both away, because I
have no idea where they are at this point. 
Sometimes I just hand them off when I get them if they are too dirty to
get signed and have nothing interesting that I would want to keep them for, so
I assume that is the case.

 

Here’s a shot I took during BP:

 

Oriole Park Batting Practice 4911

 

In this one, we have:

 

1. Todd and Tim Cook (Check out Todd’s game entry here and follow Todd’s Twitter)

2. Dave Stevenson

 

For sure click on the Cooks name there to check out their
blog.  I met Todd and Tim last season,
and have stayed in touch with Todd ever since for baseball stuff, and I
currently serve as his Oriole Park ticket broker.  More on those two later.

 

Here is a panorama he took after BP but before the first game.  I’m in it there tossing my glove.  I was trying to toss it into his picture, but you can’t tell that here since I had no idea he was doing a wide lens panorama.  Either way, pretty cool. (click to enlarge as usual)

Panorama Oriole Park 4911.jpeg

So Zach Britton was starting for the Orioles:

 

Zach Britton 4911

 

And he put on a show. 
Pitched 7.2 shutout innings as the O’s beat the Rangers in game one,
5-0.

 

Nick Markakis Adam Jones Luke Scott Celebrate Jump 4911

 

During the game, I hung out with Kris, Zevi (I’m not linking him every time I mention his name,
sorry), Andrew, and some others I’m
sure (I just am forgetful).  It was fun.

 

Yes, I did facepalm during this game.  Here’s
the video
if you must.  There’s a bit
of a background story to my frustrations behind it, but I’m not going to openly
start attacking people on here.  But
yeah.  I shredded both of my knees, my
right one the most, and was bleeding all over my legs.  It wasn’t pretty.  But we fight on.  And it was weird because the pitch before the
home run, I said to somebody “let’s see if Reynolds can make Earl Weaver happy
with a 3 run home run” and BAM.

 

So then there was a short break between games, but we
settled back into section 86 for the second game.  This time, Todd and Tim Cook, who had been
busy and exploring during game one, spent most of game two with us.  Tim, I must say, is a very energetic a funny
little guy.  Tells some great jokes.  And Todd talked with me/us for most of the 2nd
game, about all things baseball really. 
There were multiple innings where I don’t remember what really happened
since we were having some fun talks. 
Baseball is finally back.

 

The Orioles got crushed in this game by the score of
1-13.  Yeah, the Rangers flat out mashed
(including another Nelson Cruz home run). 
Arrieta was off his game, but it could have been because of Jake Fox
catching.  Who knows.  Though Fox looked awesome with his retro bird
helmet plus the black uni:

 

Jake Fox Retro Oriole Bird Helmet

 

 

So yeah.  Was an
interesting day, spent a ton of it just relaxing around talking to people
watching a game, and didn’t go too crazy with things.  Then I went on Sunday (post coming soon), and
that’s that.

 

Season stats:

 

Baseballs: 12 (7 hit, 3 on fly, 1
toss up, 3 found)

Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero,
Oliver)

Orioles home games attended: 5

Orioles total games attended: 5

Total MLB games attended: 5

Total baseball games attended
(MLB+MiLB): 5

Rainouts: 1

 

 

Oh, and I’m still holding Adam Jones to this.  But it was cool just
yesterday when I told him he should
visit the MLB Fan Cave, and he replied that
he already was going.  Then MLB put up
this video of it.  Ryan Wagner, one of
the cave dwellers, is an O’s fan.  He’s
pretty darn cool.  I enjoy following the shenanigans
of the MLB Dream Job here, and you should, too.

 

Oh yeah, and be sure to check out the flyer and info for the May 8th Orioles game fundraiser!

 

And in case you don’t know, both Nolan Reimold and Manny Machado are owning their respective minor league leagues (that sounds funny).

 

Follow me on Twitter:
@2131andBeyond

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