Orioles vs. Tigers 4/6/11 and 4/7/11
So I usually do single game by game entries, but between
midterms this week and long days at the park (get there around 3:30, leave at
11:30), I have been squeezed for time.
So, I did the Opening Day entry
earlier in the week, followed by last night the quick post on the Jose Valverde spitting incident. Here are my game entries for the 2nd
and 3rd home games of the season to finish up the Tigers series.
So Wednesday was a relaxed night at the ballpark. Attendance went from sold out on Monday to
12,451 that night, so after BP, we just chilled in the outfield seats.
I got there around 3:30, still don’t know why.
Adam Jones tweeted at
me offering to come in early, but he never got back at me, so that didn’t
happen. Ballhawks and fans gathered with
me at the gate, and the day had begun.
For a pic of the group, check out Zack Hample’s blog entry of the game (and the 2nd game) here.
So running around to BP, the first ball I snagged on the day
was a Mark Reynolds shot. He hit it to a
section to the right of where I was standing, and Tim and I both ran towards it
as it hit the seats and rolled awkwardly through a row. He was 2 rows down, I was right above it, so
I was able to reach over and grab it. On
the board. My goal on the day was 4 (to
even out with the 2 from the opener, since I want to average 3 this year), so
this was a quick start.
After that, I made two of my best snags ever. The first was a Casper Wells home run that I
got only about 15 feet to my left, and with no fans fighting for it. The reason it was special was because I
spaced it horribly, and had to leap and throw my arm back just to barely grab
it on the tip of my glove. Got high
fives for that one.
The 3rd ball of the day was a Brandon Inge home
run that was a section over to my right.
I ran a bit over, but saw it was landing in a group of people about 6
rows down, so I didn’t really make a move.
The ball ended up missing everybody and hitting off a chair, flying high
in the air into another group of people to the right and a row in front of me. I reached above them with my bare right hand,
tipped it up into the air above them all, and then jumped and grabbed it. This one got me the most congratulatory
remarks I’ve ever gotten, and trust me, I don’t make that many nice catches, so
I was proud of this one.
That was it on the day for baseballs. But 3 is good for me. I honestly feel good as long as I don’t get
shut out, which hasn’t happened since the 2009 season.
And I like this one shot I took of Tillman, Matusz, and
Britton during BP:
After BP, I ran over to where Max Scherzer was signing by
the dugout, and after he ignored me multiple times for wearing an O’s shirt, I
made a “we both hate the Yankees” comment, he smiled, and signed my ticket.
I ran over to the Orioles dugout hoping for a warm up
ball. First, I stopped by where Vlad was
signing for a minute:
And got him to sign an extra ball I had brought with me (I
usually bring a clean ball or two for this kind of situation):
I didn’t get a 4th ball, but whatever. I’m satisfied with 3 still.
Tim and Ben and I stayed out in left field for the entire
game. Low attendance and lineups full of
right handed power (besides the O’s with Reynolds and Vlad, the Tigers have
Miguel Cabrera), we will be out there all season. It was a chill night sitting out in the
middle of the LF seats. Felt like
baseball season again.
Anyways, 4 HRs were hit to right or center field. Awesome.
Whatever. And Zack Hample snagged
Alex Avila’s shot, so check out info on that on his blog post (linked at the
I left in the 8th to go sit with Brittany and
Donna at Donna’s seats (Brittany has season tix next to the bullpen) that were…
well… beautiful. To show, here are a few
pics from that view:
So that was cool.
Though the Orioles lost their first
game of the season that night, it was still very relaxing to attend the
game. Afterward, I went with Donna and
Britney out to the players’ lot. I had
never gone there after games (mainly because I live in the city now, so I don’t
have to worry about rides or missing the subway or anything), but they
introduced me to it. We waved to
players, talked, and got yelled at. And
Jake Fox stopped his giant SUV to sign for everybody, though I didn’t get
that. I got 2 pictures of him signing
from his car, but both are dark and blurry.
I then left, went home, and
crashed. Class in the AM.
Season stats (after this game):
Baseballs: 5 (4 hit, 1 on fly, 1
toss up, 0 found)
Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)
Orioles home games attended: 2
Orioles total games attended: 2
Total MLB games attended: 2
Total baseball games attended
Then Thursday hit. I left class at 2, went back to my place to
do some things, and left around 3:15 for the game. Got there by 3:45, and chilled outside the
gates again. Zack Hample never showed
up, but that was because he was at the other gates (Ha!). Ben and Tim came around 4. Matt never showed up (turned out he was sick).
I said ha before because Zack went
to the other side since the run in is slightly shorter, but his gate opened a
full 30 seconds or so after ours, so we ran past him before he could even come
in. It was funny.
Running in, I got one ball in foul
territory down the 1B line, and then Tom (security guard) pointed out another
in the seats down the 3B line, so I had 2 already before even reaching the LF
BP brought more photos of our young
pitchers. This one of Matusz and Britton
talking with new pitching coach Mark Connor (I think that’s him):
BP was empty for the first 25
minutes or so for us, which was nice:
In that picture, the people are:
1. Tim (going up the stairs to look
for easter eggs
2. Zack (recording notes and such
after Orioles BP ended)
I got some pictures of Justin
Verlander throwing some:
Jeremy Guthrie was back from the
hospital (he had pneumonia), pictured here talking with Verlander:
I scooped up an Adam Jones home run
hit into an empty section, then caught a Brandon Inge home run on the fly in an
empty row later in BP. Though it was
busier, nobody else made a play on that one.
And that was that. I didn’t go for any autographs or extra
balls. Just the 4 on the day. Talked with my favorite ushers a bit and
wandered the concourse. Oh, and got some
of the old Orioles to sign cards. They
do that every Monday and Thursday home game.
Got Tippy Martinez, Fred Valentine, and Bill Swaggerty. Woot.
The game was cold. Tim, Ben, and I again sat out in left field,
but this time next to the bullpen. Ben
hit 12 balls on the day, including multiple at the pen, so we just chilled
there. Though on most righty batters, we
got up and moved to ends of rows to prepare for HR balls. Was quite funny actually how much we never
settled into actual spots, though we got no balls, the seats were so empty that
moving around was easy. Finally, though,
a HR was hit to LF (Adam Jones’ shot), but it was a line drive smash down the
line, and way out of reach for where we were.
Tim and Ben danced like white kids,
Ronnie said hey, and we just had another chill night at the game.
Brad Penny pitched for the Tigers:
And Chris Tillman for the Orioles:
The end of the game brought an
Orioles come from behind W, but it also brought us Jose Valverde spitting on a fan in the 8th inning. Click on that for more info.
Here’s my loot (space in the
baseballs is the Jones home run that I tossed to a kid after BP ended):
Baseballs: 9 (6 hit, 2 on fly, 1
toss up, 2 found)
Autographs: 2 (Scherzer, Guerrero)
Orioles home games attended: 3
Orioles total games attended: 3
Total MLB games attended: 3
Total baseball games attended
And I am leaving in just a couple
of minutes for the park. The O’s take on
the undefeated Rangers this weekend, and I plan to be at all 3 games, win or
lose. The weather is crummy out, so
probably no BP, but these games can bring some good fortune and fun at times,
so I’m there.