Orioles vs. Blue Jays 6/3/11 (J.P. Arencibia Grand Slam)
The beginning to this day was quite uneventful. While that did turn around quickly by mid-game, here’s the rundown.
BP. 0 during Orioles portion. Went over to the Blue Jays pitchers warming up and whoever was playing catch with Octavio Dotel (I don’t remember who, but here’s Octavio):
overthrew a ball into the seats. I got it off a bounce, Octavio asked for it back and said he’d give it to me when they were done. Either way, that counted towards my statline, so I was satisfied that I wouldn’t be shut out. Then, a Blue Jays hitter shot a ball down the foul line, which Dotel picked up, tossed to me, then muttered “now I don’t owe you.”
What did this mean for me? Ball number two. See, had he not done that and in the end just chucked me his warmup ball, it would have counted as one considering it was the same ball. BUT, being a loophole of sorts, since the ball he tossed me was unrelated to the other one, it could count as ball number two on the day.
I went back to LF for most of Jays BP. Jose Bautista launched a bunch, but I got none of them. I did, however, snag 2 on the fly, both impressively. One was a jump right behind Ben and Matt, the other was a snag on the move. I don’t know either hitter.
Here are some shots of Jays BP:
That last one, of Correeeeeyyyyy Patterson, shows him standing around. Why is this interesting? For one, I love Corey. For two (for two???), he wasn’t wearing high socks. I shouted to him asking where they were, he turned and said something back while also signaling an odd revolution of his hands or something. No idea what he said. Maybe that he’d put them on tomorrow, or before the game, or that he built a time machine. I have no idea.
Fast forward to pre-game stretching. Mike McCoy and Eric Thames came over to talk to some people they knew:
And I got McCoy on my ticket (pictured later) and Thames on a ball (and also a ticket):
Turns out Thames was sent back to the minor leagues after the game. He was a rookie I found out, so figured I’d get him to sign a ball, and if he ever pans out, maybe it’ll be cool to have. Who knows.
Kyle Drabek quickly came out to talk to someone, so I snagged his autograph as well, specially requesting that he write his number with it (something he generally wasn’t doing while signing). Why? He’s #4, the only single digit pitcher in baseball. Read more here.
And here’s a picture of the ticket, with the 3 guys:
My 3 baseballs on the day (#3 of 4 was the one I gave back but still count on stats):
And then the game started. They did Oh Canada with the Star Spangled Banner:
I wasted two innings randomly around the Jays dugout:
And finally wandered out to left field to chillax with my peeps. Peeps being Matt Gardner (and yes, I will always refer to him with his last name since whenever I just say Matt, it refers to the older Matt, who you can read about here), his friend Josh Hamilton (of the Texas Rangers), and Todd.
Let’s just say this. The Orioles may have lost this game 8-4, but Avi didn’t lose completely.
When J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays rookie catcher, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the 5th inning, I turned to Matt G and said how I would wanna catch a rookie grand slam. Jokingly, people! I love the Orioles, okay?!
But what happened next?
That’s right. Arencibia smacked a shot to my section, just a chunk of seats down from me. Funny thing is, and if you watch the video you’ll see how it is I react, but I didn’t see it coming until its flight down (was probably preoccupied talking or something), so I jumped up and ran over, avoiding two dudes. I got to the spot, it bobbled off of two other people and right into my glove. I closed it, held with two hands, and got out of the mess of drunk people. That’s how I remember it. But yeah, watch the clip to see.
Here are some screenshots:
Me moving into action:
Me realizing I had the ball:
Me coming out of the pile with the ball in glove:
The people labeled there, for fun, are 1) Todd 2) Matt G’s friend 3) Matt G 4) Tim 5) Matt Arrow) Me.
Me coming away with it:
Then Tim came over a few rows down and tossed me a ball to throw back, mainly to shut up all the shouting fans taunting me. So I threw it back. Let’s just say the ball had some obnoxious stuff drawn on it, and when Adam Jones picked it up in CF, he cracked up and gave us a thumbs up, and kept laughing as he threw it in. We also got later word from a friend that he saw guys in the Jays dugout laughing at a baseball. Funny.
I got a tweet last night from a guy named Kyle (give him a follow on Twitter: @kyle_mace) who I met twice before at games, and he had pictures of me throwing the ball back. Let’s see those!
Me stretching back to throw:
Right after the throw. Can you spot the ball?
No? Here’s a close-up:
And all the drunk people around me celebrating even though they saw the ball switch:
Here’s the ball in all its glory:
Turns out Arencibia wants the ball (Matt talked to him postgame by the dugout, where I stupidly was NOT). So I’m hoping tomorrow to meet up with him and get it to him. Will I get something in return? I may ask, may not. Not worried about it. I think it’ll be cool to just do that, get the ball back to him, and hopefully get a picture with him. I’d be satisfied even with that.
After the game, though, Matt G was kind enough to take a picture of me with the ball (Akron soccer represent!):
And then I chilled by the players lot with Donna and peeps and headed back to mi casa (or however you say my apartment in Spanish). Now, as I’m writing this, I’m about to head out to the next game of this series. Will update when I get back as to how the whole ball to Arencibia thing went. I have been in contact with him this morning, so we shall see!
In the mean time, here’s random stuff about the grand slam that I thought I’d share:
It’s my 4th career game home run snag and 1st grand slam.
Here are some tweets about it:
And links to stuff:
J.P. Arencibia’s postgame interview here.
I don’t know what else I had in mind to put in this section when I wrote that, so for now, it’s just that link.