A Long Time Coming

It has been over a year since I attended my last Major League games. This past Saturday I took care of that in style. I attended the rare doubleheader in Chicago. The Cubs played the noon game, and the White Sox played a six o’clock game. This has been something that I have wanted to do for a while now, and Saturday I got my chance. We had good seats for the Cubs game that gave me a good vantage point to try out my new lens that I have been renting. For the first game of the year it was a good one. The Cubs and Rockies traded the lead until the Rockies finally prevailed. On a hot day it was a nice quick game that let us get on the ‘L’ for stop two on the day. During the Sox game the heat started getting to me so I moved up from our seats in row one for a while. When I got back so did the Sox offense, and they completed the perfect day by coming back to beat the Mariners. Fireworks closed out a great sports day. I have seen more than 18 innings in one game. I saw the 19 inning game in 2006 between the White Sox and Red Sox. In 2003 in a doubleheader at Wrigley we watched 24 innings. I have seen more in one day, but never at two parks. That was a great experience that I would like to try again.

I have not been posting much on here as I have shifted my interest a bit. I have a blog called csd’s Daily Photo where I have to take a picture a day for a year. You can find that blog here. Some of that content is sports related, but of a high school variety that I didn’t think needed to be repeated here. Purdue cranks up the football season Saturday, and the blog will be back then. I think that I will go back to the original format at that time. I will just talk about my experience, and leave the analysis to the pros.

Here are a few pictures from both games Saturday that I liked.

This was my first time seeing the Ron Santo statue outside of Wrigley

Former Cub Tyler Colvin shares a laugh prior to the game

Tyler Colvin just misses getting hit in the helmet early in the game

Starlin Castro tries to turn a double play

The fractured bat of Anthony Rizzo rests in the outfield grass

Another tight play at second base

The last time I was at the Cell they were unveiling this statue of Frank Thomas

 

I finally got to see Kevin Youkilis in his other Sox

My man Paulie making contact

Newly acquired Pitcher Brett Myers just after release

Alexei turning the double play

Eric Thames having some fun with the crowd

Kyle Seager blasts the second of his two home runs on the night

Kevin Youkilis makes the final out near the Sox dugout

High fives all around for a job well done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quentin Barrage Cannot Down Mariners

Something must be wrong with me. After attending three Major League games in the first two weeks of the season I have not been to one since. Almost two months without attending a game! I have had some circled to attend, but something always came up. Last night I was able to finally get back to the Cell to see the Sox play. I found a good seat on the third base side for a great price on StubHub. The high temperature during the day meant that it would be a great night for baseball.

King Felix enjoying a laugh

I got to the park early enough to see batting practice. I walked out near my normal spot in right field to watch some of the lefties hit. I basically stood behind last year’s Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. Early in the session a line drive was hit near one of the Mariners relievers. He dropped the ball, and as he was bending over to pick it up another ball was hit right at him. One of his teammates tried to catch the ball, but missed it. The ball hit him hard right in the back. Felix in front of me was on the ground immediately laughing. The picture at the beginning of this paragraph is of Felix just cracking up. For some reason I have seen quite a bit of fun just watching batting practice. I decided to take a walk around the park in the middle of batting practice. I came across one of the Chevy girls who told me that if I punched 25 all star ballots I could get two free tickets. I jumped at the chance, and sat in the left field bleachers to punch my tickets. One player for the Mariners was still hitting the ball out of the park. I would put my glove up whenever he came up, and punch my ballots while the others were batting. The player was Carlos Peguero, and he ended up hitting one right in front of me. It was a couple of rows down, and a ballhawk had settled under it. I realized he was too far forward and put my mitt right above his. The ball settled right in my mitt, and I had my first MLB ball of the season. I gave one away on Opening Day so this is technically my first. After I caught the ball I sat back down and finished punching my way to two more games. Continue reading

White Sox Sweep the Mariners

Thursday night I went with my co-workers to the Sox game. The Sox had already won the first three of the series with the Mariners, but they always have trouble closing out opponents. They had won 17 of their last 18 games at home and ten in a row at the Cell. I was at the last game before the 18 game streak when they lost to the Tigers, and the other loss against the Cubs. It would be great if the Sox could pull off the sweep.

Continue reading

Ken Griffey Jr. Retires

I just saw on the MLB Network that Ken Griffey Jr. has hung up his cleats for good. He does it 75 years to the date since Babe Ruth announced his retirement, and on the same date that he was drafted #1 overall in 1987. I was lucky enough to see him play a couple of times, but he will always be one of the best players that I saw while growing up. Griffey has been off his usual pace so far this season, but he is still a future Hall of Famer and deserves better than this. He has not been playing lately so this is probably a good decision for him. He finishes his career with 630 home runs. I was looking forward to seeing him in July when the Mariners come to the Cell, but that will not be now. I hope he does well in whatever he does, and look forward to his speech in Cooperstown in 5 1/2 years. Continue reading

Quite The Opposite Of What You Would Think

Tuesday’s doubleheader did not go close to how I thought it would. I thought that the 1st game with Colon going against a pitcher with a longer last name than experience would be the high scoring affair. I was dead wrong. The Sox scored two runs on two hits to win the game 2-1. The finally got some timely hitting. After a walk to Fields, Quentin singled, then Pauly hit a double down the line that scored both runners. That was all he offense for the Sox. Colon pitched a great game only giving up one earned run. Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks came in to close the game out. An error by Fields made the 9th inning exciting, but Bobby did his job and sealed the deal for the Palehose. The Sox sent 27 men up to the plate in the game, and still came away with the victory. That just ensured that Owens would only go 0-3 instead of 0-4.

The second game seemed to take forever to start. The first game ended so fast that we had to wait around for the 7:11 start of game two. The Sox brass did pull a great move and show the Bulls game on the jumbotron while we were waiting though. I thought that this game would be a pitchers duel. Danks going up against Felix Hernandez. I was half right. Hernandez pitched a great game going 8 strong innings striking out nine. The Sox got their only run in the ninth off of Ray Corcoran when the game was well over. Danks had his first bad outing of the year. He only went four innings giving up five runs. His ERA was under one, but had to skyrocket after this outing. The Mariners had a great day. Russell Branyan had five hits in five at bats. Betancourt was on base five times as well, but was 4-5 getting on in the ninth on a Broadway error. The Mariners won easily 9-1 to even the series. After an exciting first game, this was hard to watch. I spent a lot of the second game glancing down at my phone watching the Bulls blow the game against the Celtics on ESPN Gamecast.
On a side note I can only wonder if this will be the last game that I will see with Jerry Owens in a Sox uniform. He played in both games, and did nothing to show that he can stay around here. He had so much promise, but maybe the expectations became too much for him. Maybe he needs a fresh start with no expectations to achieve his potential. Either that, or he could be one of the fastest beer truck drivers on the South Side.

After going almost twenty years without seeing Ken Griffey Jr. play I was able to see him once again on Tuesday. I love the fact that I have now seen him in a Mariner uniform, but I wish it could have been in his prime. He is on of the greatest players of this generation, and someday may set the highest percentage for Hall Votes. He was a shining star in a troubled time for baseball. He was on pace for the home run record when it still meant something in 1994 when the strike cut short the season. He helped get baseball back to some respectibility when the steroid issues started coming out. He is proof that the good guys always rise to the top. He hit a double in the fourth inning of the first game that almost got out of the stadium. It would have been a huge thrill to see a home run by ‘the kid.’ I have seen Sosa, Thomas, and Thome hit home runs in the 500′s, but never one in the 600′s.

I was excited about the fact that I was able to see two games for the price of one, but the weather almost made it a bad time. The temp stayed around 39 degrees for both games, but I started feeling it at the end of the second game. Even though we were getting bombed I decided to stay and take the entire doubleheader in. Maybe we can do another one of these in June or July huh?