A Flying Turtle or What Just Happened?

All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.

Ellen Glasgow

 

My favored Bullpen Pub is no more.  It has been replaced by The Flying Turtle.  The menu is sparse and the service took long enough that I had enough time to change my mind.  I didn’t really want to eat at The Flying Turtle anyway.

I must say that I did enjoy the tribute to Dave Niehaus.  Even my dad, not a huge fan of rap, appreciated Macklemore’s performance, citing his annunciation as a reason why.  I liked seeing Dave’s family and wife throw out the first pitch.  Congratulations to Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro, and Felix Hernandez on their well deserved awards.

However, as I looked around Safeco Field last night I felt uneasy.  Luckily not everything has changed, but as the banner in the sky circled advertising the nearby strip club, it became very clear that this was not the same Safeco Field. 

It also felt particularly crowded.  My sister offered up the comment that perhaps we hadn’t been to a sold out game in awhile and so it felt overcrowded.  I contest that I have been to several opening days, and sold out games.  It has never been this crowded. 

Numbers aside, this was a meaner crowd.  There was a man seated in front of us that yelled expletives to even the groundscrew as they danced and children as they passed.  I was flanked by a group of haggard women in their mid-thirties who had clearly been drinking too much, magnifying their naturally crude behavior.  We escaped our seats to go walk around the field, but after my disabled father was shoved by a gaggle of drunken youths, we decided it best to leave.  Not sure what the reason is, but there appeared to be alot of underage drinking last night in addition to adult binge drinking.  No one asked to see mine or my sister’s card, although I am in the habit of showing my card before I’m asked.  Safeco Security appeared to be overwhelmed.  Listening to the radio in the car, we made it home in time to turn on the tv and confirm the loss.

Seattle 12-3 loss to Cleveland.  I’ve been to many games we’ve lost, I’m a Mariners fan.  I’ve also been to games where someone said or did something rude.  The term I’m choosing to describe my frustration and bewilderment at what in my opinion is the worst game I’ve ever been to in both categories: “A Flying Turtle”.

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

Caught the June Bug

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going,

because you might not get there.”      

- Yogi Berra

 

I began my new job at the end of May.  This is the first time I have even visited my mlblog since then.

Work is fun, but it definately is alot of work.  Maybe that’s why they call it….

But I am adjusting well, and I am happy :)  Now I need to work on balancing my interests as well.  Yay mlblogs :)

I also still haven’t been able to find my camera cord- another distraction to mlblogging since much of what I want to blog about is inspired by photos I’ve taken at games that are still sitting in my camera memory. 

The difference is now that I have a job, $40 for a new cable doesn’t seem so bad.  Is that wrong?  I may crack soon and just go buy a new one… and then according to Murphy I’ll find mine the next day…and then I’ll have two.

But yes, I just wanted to pop in and say hello.  I missed you.

Go Mariners!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

Git R Done!

Then there’s a feller who got hit by a train!  How the – how the heck do ya get hit by a train?!  I mean it’s not like it’ll jump up and attack ya at the last minute or nuthin!  There’s like a railroad there to give ya y’know, a HEADS UP SIGN!  I tell ya, if y’ever gonna get hit by a train, do this: [steps to the side]  TA-DA!  There ya go!  Attaboy!   – Larry the Cable Guy

I love the wailing of the trains outside of Safeco… We beat the Red Sox 5-4!  I watched FSN and scored the game in my book.  The first three innings belonged to the Sox.  In the 5th Ichiro hit a home run, and in the 6th we scored four runs (including Ichiro’s second home run of the game).  Ichiro was then intentionally walked in the 8th, and made a great catch in the 9th for the second out.  David Aardsma closed the game.  David, you are a great closer.  Great job Ms!  I know you’ve been playing tough the past weeks because I’ve been watching.  I’m glad the final scoreboard tonight reflects your hard work.  You deserve the W!   

Larry the Cable Guy made an appearance at Safeco tonight, even participating in batting practice in a Mariners jersey with the sleeves cut off to his liking (by Ken Griffey Jr.). 

Today was pretty busy, lots of volunteering.  Still no sign of usb cable. Sigh…  Pray to St. Anthony for lost items:

Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find my camera usb cable which has been lost.

At least restore to me peace and tranquillity of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss.  To this favor, I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God.  Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good.  Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God.

Amen

(“Lose My Soul” by Toby Mac playing in the background… ‘I don’t wanna gain the whole world, and lose my soul…..’)

or

Tony, Tony, look around.

Something’s lost and must be found.

Amen

I’m very excited to go to both Saturday’s and Sunday’s SEA vs BOS games.  My sister is a huge Red Sox fan (legit- she was born in Massachussets / there are childhood pictures proving her lifelong fandom including one outside of Fenway with THE Johnny Pesky / etc.)  So, needless to say, we always make sure to go to as many Mariners/RedSox games as we can (this regular season, only this series :(  ). 

Let’s Go Mariners!  Git R Done!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://justiceproject.typepad.com/the_justice_project/images/2008/05/10/larry_the_cable_guy.jpg

2.http://www.catholicgreetings.org/card_images/684.jpg

Zombies!

Baseball is a game dominated by vital ghosts; it’s a fraternity, like no other we have of the active and the no longer so, the living and the dead.   – Richard Gilman

Since my last entry the Mariners have played five games.  We won only one of those games 5-3 against the Twins.  Then we were swept away by the Rangers. 

Meanwhile…

Friday and Saturday I appeared as an extra in the shooting of my band friends’ music video.  I would classify the theme as ‘the psychobilly undead.’  I was actually scoring the first inning of the game on Saturday when I received a text to join the zombie video shoot day two.  And so – scorecard interrupted, but plenty of zombie fun.  We all wore clothes with a retro vibe and had our zombie makeup professionally done.  There were circus performers, dancers, and a hearse.  There were alot of takes of the same scene and waiting for cameras, lighting, and rearranging sets- but it was fun.  My favorite time-killer was reinventing pickup lines zombie style. 

Before going home I, of course, had to stop by my friend’s get-together to make a gruesome appearance.  Before taking off my zombie makeup at home I took an awesome picture.  I was planning on posting it here.  The past days have been spent in pursuit of my camera usb cable.  Purchasing a new one would be too expensive for me.  I will vigilantly search so that you too may witness the awesomeness of zombie makeup.  I also will no longer wait to find the usb cable before I mlblog.  While it would be more inspiring to mlblog using my own pictures- I’d rather mlblog than not mlblog at all.  Plus, what if (gasp, knock on wood) I never find it?  Sigh.

Here’s to hoping for the best this weekend.  Back home at Safeco we’ll play the Red Sox at their only trip to Seattle this season.  Tomorrow I’ll have to watch FSN, but Saturday and Sunday we’re going to the game!  With some luck I’ll be able to post pictures soon!

Go Mariners!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://rlv.zcache.com/zombies_undead_baseball_sticker-p217728671656293391tdcj_210.jpg

2.http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq182/friedathedog/pinupzombie.gif

Baseball Lover and Deeply Serious Geek

“So think twice before you yell, ‘He stinks!’ about any major leaguer; he’s spent his entire life beating the odds and proving himself as the best of the best of the best of the best of the best.”   – ‘Watching Baseball Smarter’ by Zack Hample

We’re on a five game losing streak.  Texas edged us out in the two game series.  Kansas City nearly shut us out in their two game series.  The Twins shut us out last night.  I was impressed by the Royals and former Mariner Willie Bloomquist.  Born in Washington and able to play any position well, Bloomquist was my favorite Mariner for several years.  I was of course very sad to see him go; dissapointed we let him go.  I suppose not everyone believed in his talent the way I did.  I proudly wore my Bloomquist shirt both days.  I am very happy to see he is treated much better in Kansas City and given the opportunity to play everyday.  He is batting .389 this season.  Good for him!

I am currently reading “Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks,” by Zack Hample.

Zack, ‘The Baseball Collector,’ is a well known mlblogger.  It is an enjoyable read covering everything baseball.  Zack keeps it interesting and isn’t shy about offering his opinions.  There are quotes (I heart quotes), a baseball slang glossary, and a poem entitled ’151 Ways to Hit the Ball’ which I found very entertaining.  Thank you Zack for sharing your baseball knowledge and a bit of yourself with fans of the game!  Check out his blog at:

http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

 

Seattle meets Minnesota tonight at 4:10 for game two of the series.  Felix is pitching.  Let’s get two wins and beat the Twins- Go Mariners!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://sparkmagazine.com/images/mag_issues/story_139.jpg

2.http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/13700000/13701302.JPG

Get Well Soon Shawn!

“Every season has its peaks and valleys. 

What you have to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon.”  

- Andy Van Slyke

 

We lost two very tough games to TEX.  Yesterday’s game was a particularly rough loss 7-2 in the 10th inning.  Saltalamacchia’s Grand Slam sealed the deal.  I liked when Branyan caught a foul along the first baseline seating area in the 4th and the announcers commented on the  ‘quality fans getting out of the way and even assisting him.”  I always like to think of Mariners fans as being quality, but confirmations through actions (like not interfering with a game) certainly help.

Even worse than losing yesterday, it was heart breaking to watch Shawn Kelley fall to the mound in pain in the 10th.  He is suffering a strained oblique.  He held it together very well as I’m sure he was in quite alot pain. Get Well cards can be sent to:

Shawn Kelley

c/o Seattle Mariners Baseball Club

P.O. Box 4100, Seattle WA 98194

Tonight we play KC at Kauffman Stadium @ 5:10.  Silva is scheduled to pitch.  I am very interested to see Willie Bloomquist play.  The Royals have him playing left field and he is batting .378 this season.  Kansas City is on a four game winning streak with a 16-11 record and is leading the Central Division.  We can always hope that .5-game-behind-us-TEX will lose to the Athletics, but the only game one truly can control is one’s own. 

Go Mariners!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00673/grand-canyon-leap3_673093c.jpg

Wake Up and Smell the Baseball

“If the people don’t want to come out to the park, nobody’s going to stop ‘em”   – Yogi Berra

Rise and shine Mariners fans!  It’s a new day!  I know, I know, but we lost last night you say.  The saying you can’t win them all is true.  What the Mariners are doing this season though is playing tough- win or lose.  And because they are playing tough when they are down by one (or several more) runs, many times this season we’ve proven we have the stuff to win in dire situations.  We did lose last night, but we played a great game and battled the whole way.

Last night I watched TEX edge out SEA from row four of the third base side.  Very nice seats indeed.  I scored the game- this time also keeping track of foul balls like we talked about before.  I found it very easy as I was already watching every pitch anyway and simply not writing anything down for foul balls before.  I also brought my camera and had planned to take some pictures, but we arrived late (late as in not when the gates open- which to me is on time…), I was scoring the game, and it’s a little difficult to eat Ivar’s bread bowl clam chowder, score the game, and take pictures.  I do have plenty of pictures from other games and events that I haven’t posted on mlblogs yet, and I hope to very soon! 

Felix gave up six runs (two each in the 4th, 5th, and 6th), but pitched very well striking out nine batters.  Millwood pitched a great game too, and when he had reached his 70th pitch would you believe 20 were balls and 50 were strikes?  Fact.  We were able to score four runs in the 5th thanks to a HR by Branyan, base hit by Lopez, double by Johjima, and HR by Gutierrez.  We scored one more run in the 7th, but couldn’t seem to find a way to get another.  Twice we ended innings with men left on third (Ichiro hit a spectacular triple btw).  I was a little sad, but it was a very exciting game to watch.  Both teams played really hard.  If you are a Mariners fan you really need to go to some of these games!  I definately know the economy is hurting many of us right now, but the Safeco ballpark seats are cold and waiting to be filled with “The Best Fans in Baseball.”  And no matter the final score, you can expect a great game in a beautiful ballpark.  And some garlic fries.  

Game two of the two game series vs. TEX starts today @ 1:40.   I am very optimistic that we can take this game.  Go Bedard!  Go Mariners!

 

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://www.schulzmuseum.org/images/pe19730611.jpg

Pitch to Lopez? Amen!

“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, you have to, reach down and prove something.”   – Nolan Ryan

Extra Innings!!!!!  Watching the game was an all-day affair.  There were chores and things to be done.  I ended up watching the tv at home and listening to the radio on the way to church.  I sat in the parking lot hoping the game would finish before Mass began at 6:30 (which it did!).  It all ended when Eveland walked Ichiro to pitch to Jose Lopez.  Bases loaded, Lopez bats in the winning run.  YES- THAT JUST HAPPENED.  TWICE.  (see Friday…)

*************************************************************************************************************

Memo

To: All opposing pitchers

From: Ms. Mariner Monroe

CC: All opposing managers and coaches

Date: 05-03-2009

Re: FYI

Pitch to Lopez!

Feel free to intentionally walk any batter to pitch to Lopez anytime.  It is highly recommended that you also load the bases in case you prefer to walk in a run rather than battle Jose.

*************************************************************************************************************

It cannot be forgotten that the Mariners actually came back twice- once in the bottom of the ninth with one run and once in the bottom of the thirteenth with three runs.  Sweeney and Johjima both walked away with home runs.  Johjima’s home run tied us up in the 9th 4-4 and was hit off the first pitch! 

Great game guys!  It’s nice to pray when the sun is shining!

The best way to stay ahead in our division?  Beat the other teams in our division.  Watch out Athletics, Angels, and Rangers!  After the win today we are tied for 2nd in the American League with Boston behind Toronto.  It’s also important to beat these teams.  Boston will be here May 15th-17th.  Toronto will be here July 27th-29th.  Those will be good games- go buy your tickets now…

The Rangers are in town tomorrow @ 7:10.  See you at the Safe!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

photo credit:

1.http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2008/09/07/lopez_jose_ap_260.jpg

Turn Back the Clock

“It’s supposed to be hard.  If it weren’t hard everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.”   - Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in ‘A League of Their Own’

Tonight was Turn Back the Clock night at Safeco Field.  The Mariners wore the 1939 uniforms of the Seattle Rainers.  There was an announcer introducing the players using a classic microphone and dressed very nicely wearing a straw hat.  We played a great game.  Washburn pitched very well.  Branyan hit a home run.  There were several close plays- at home and second base.  Both teams fought it out and the Athletics took it 3-2.  I am very optimistic about taking the series.  Game three starts tomorrow @ 1:10. 

After watching the game I needed something to cheer me up a bit and I was in a nostalgic mood.  I checked Ondemand free movies for any baseball movies and ‘A League of Their Own’ is currently available.  Tom Hanks looks alot like my dad.  They make the same faces and have similar mannerisms.  This makes scenes like ‘There’s no crying in baseball’ especially entertaining.  I also like the throw back to the era when people dressed nicely at the ballpark.  Remember- there wasn’t a whole bunch of money to be had, but people made the effort to look polished.  And nearly everyone wore a hat.

Speaking of hats, I couldn’t help but notice the green blob behind the O on Oakland’s hats.  I exclaimed at the dinner table:

“What the heck is that green blob on their hat supposed to be?” 

“That’s an elephant of course,” both my mom and dad replied, “You should know that, you were born in Oakland.” 

“That’s the ugliest elephant I ever saw.”

“Well, elephants were different back then.”

This went on and on for awhile until I conceded.  A few innings later:

“Are you sure that’s an elephant?  I know what they look like and that isn’t it.”

“Yes!  It’s the Oakland Athletics and their mascot is the elephant.  They were the Philadelphia Athletics, then the Kansas City Athletics, then the Oakland Athletics.”

“Ok.  But that still isn’t an elephant.  It looks like a leaf.  Are you sure it’s not a leaf?”

Much later in the game:

“Hey- they’re not wearing Athletic uniforms.  Just like the Mariners are wearing Rainers uniforms.  It’s just confusing because their uniforms still say ‘Oakland.’”

“Oh, that makes sense.”

“Ok.  But that still doesn’t explain that blob.  Yeah, they’re wearing the Pacific Coast League’s Oakland Oaks uniforms- but that doesn’t look like a leaf.”

After a quick trip online:

“Oh.  It must be an acorn.  That was their mascot.”

A quick glance at the game.

“That’s the ugliest acorn I ever saw.”

 

I think it’s supposed to be an oak leaf.  And we probably could have learned all this if we had spent less time talky talky and more time listeny listeny [to the game].  I did think it was funny how my parents so valiently defended the elephant.  This prompted me to find out what the Athletics official name for thier mascot is (ours is The Mariner Moose).  Meet Stomper:

btw- elephants look the same now as they did back then.

Go Mariners!

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

photo credit:

1.http://a.espncdn.com/media/pg2/2002/0510/photo/geena_i.jpg

2.http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/oak/images/fan_forum/2008/stomper_wave.jpg

Yes Way Jose!

 “Everyone is a star and deserves a chance to shine.”   – Marilyn Monroe

 

OAK @ SEA, Mariners win 8-7

Highlights:

-Beltre’s 1600th hit!

-Branyan and Gutierrez home runs

-Broken Bat double play 4-3-6

-Oakland 6 run inning

-the video hydro race had a ducky crossing!

-Jose Lopez

 

As I was leaving the park and heading to the car I was asked about the pitch count on Lopez’s at bat.  I’ve been asked questions about the pitch count and the pitcher’s stats before and my usual response is that it isn’t something one keeps score on.  In this particular situation, I myself was curious as to the pitch count.  I began to question- Why don’t I score foul balls?  Is it common for other scorers to keep track of foul balls?  What is the best way of keeping track of foul balls on a scorecard?

 

Christian at BaseballByTheNumbers.com notes that “Other things that happen in a game, such as, the number of foul balls hit by a batter, ball and strike counts, the location where a base hit first touches the ground, and other such things, may or may not be recorded depending on the individual,” and that “The scorecard produced by the amateur scorer has no importance in the official record keeping of baseball statistics. Rather, for the amateur, the game is scored as a means of entertainment, to help a fan “keep his head in the game”, to produce a unique souvenir of the game, or, just for the heck of it.”

http://www.baseballbythenumbers.com/baseball-scoresheets/baseball-scorebook/baseballscorekeeping.html

 

Matt Murphy at eteamz.com has a pdf file on “Keeping Score Baseball.”  He suggests there are three levels of score keeping- easy, medium, and hard.  “For people interested in doing pitch counts, note all foul balls after 2 strikes have been recorded.  You can do this with dots, dashes or small slashes somewhere in a free area within the batter’s box.” You can check out his article at:  http://www.eteamz.com/vadistrict5/Files/KeepingScoreBaseball04wo.pdf

 

Wikipedia suggests counting foul balls as an F just as strikes are S and balls are B.  

 

I used to not keep track of the count at all (isn’t that easier?).  I received “Ultimate Baseball Scorekeeper” by Benjamin Eli Smith from my Dad many Christmases ago.

 Batter Up! The Ultimate Baseball Scorekeeper

The book is aimed at young aspiring score keepers and makes a perfect gift for baseball fans.  There is a section explaining basic scorekeeping rules and notations, scorecards with space to make notes about the pre-game show, seventh inning stretch, and post-game wrap up.  There is space to attach ticket stubs, collect autographs and more!  It is where I originally learned how to keep score.  The book doesn’t mention a system for keeping track of foul balls and suggests keeping track of the balls and strikes as an advanced technique.  “My father taught me the system you just learned, and I adapted it to my own taste.  Every fan has a slightly different method.  Don’t bother arguing.  This scorecard is for your own use in years to come, and the right system is the one that makes sense to you.”

 

For the most part, I’m not sure anyone particularly cares about foul balls in the grand scheme of the game- other than counting total pitches.  There are situations- like Lopez’s amazing at-bat last night- where the pitch count is of high interest.  The problem is if one is not in the habit of keeping track of foul balls by the time one finds an interesting enough case it’s too late to start counting in the middle of an at-bat.  I am intrigued by attempting to keep track of the pitch count.  I want to at least try it.  It may end up being something I do regularly.  Just as there are many ways of scoring a game, I also think that avid scorekeepers find their methods evolve over time.  Maybe this is my next evolution. 

 

I was still curious about the Lopez at bat, and luckily when I got home and turned on the tv to wind down a bit before bed, Branyan was in the midst of being walked.  Lopez was up at bat!  And so I sat down and kept track.  Here it is; two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, game tied seven to seven.  

 

Pitch                Call

1.                                          Ball

2.                                          Ball

3.                                          Strike

4.                                          Strike

5.                                          Foul

6.                                          Foul

7.                                          Foul

8.                                          Foul

9.                                          Foul

10.                                      Foul

11.                                      Foul

12.                                      Foul

13.                                      Foul

14.                                      Base Hit

Yuniesky and Felix first out of the dugout to congratulate Jose.  Ms win 8-7.  Great job Lopez!  How annoying of Springer to walk Branyan thinking you’d be an easier out.  I don’t think you’ll be underestimated again for awhile. 

 

Game two is tonight @ Safeco 6:10.

 

xoxo

Your Safeco Sweetheart,

Ms. Mariner Monroe

 

 

photo credit:

1.http://www.seattlepi.com/dayart/20080527/450mariners28_lopez2_TONED.jpg

2.http://www.amazon.com/Batter-Up-Ultimate-Baseball-Scorekeeper/dp/0811826112

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