Saturday, September 09, 2006

Florida Baseball....it's faaaantastic

Sorry for the lack of posts during the vacation. The internet connections were spotty at the Tampa/Miami motels/hotels and I never really had time to crank anything out. Excuses, excuses.

The highlight of the trip was seeing Anibal Sanchez throw a no-hitter. We were thinking about going to the game on Tuesday because Dontrelle Willis was pitching but it rained a lot and we decided to skip it. I'm glad we did because the no-no was one of the most exciting things that I've ever witnessed. I've seen no-hitters through six innings but never anything deeper. As he got each out in the 7th, the place buzzed a little louder and when shortstop Hanley Ramirez made a great play for the third out on a ball up the middle that I thought was going to be a hit, I leapt out of my chair and high-fived the guy behind me. The place was now in full buzz(as loud as 5,000 people could buzz) and the 8th was pretty electric. With a man on first, Sanchez induced a slow grounder to second base where Dan Uggla pulled off a perfect "run the guy back to first, throw to first to get the batter, then throw back to second and tag the runner" 4-3-6 double play. It was beautiful and the crowd roared as loud as 5,000 people could roar. In the ninth, he struck out the first batter with a 95 mph fastball. His fastest pitch before that was 91 mph. I think he was pretty juiced. Luis Gonzalez, Mr. Steroids, pops up quickly and we're one out away. Eric Byrnes hits a hard grounder to Hanley Ramirez who takes too much time but nips Byrnes by half a step and it's pandemonium in South Florida. The coolest part about it was watching the Marlins come sprinting out of the dugout and watching Sanchez cry. The Marlins have a payroll of 15 million! For the whole team! The Mets were going to be my October team since the M's won't be playing any games in October but I might have to root for the Marlins. I can't believe that they have 2 rings already and that really turns me off but how can you not root for a team with a $15 mil roster? I did some research and the following players make more than the entire marlins team: Alex Rodrigues, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina, Manny Ramirez, Todd Helton, Andy Pettite, Magglio Ordonez, Randy Johnson, and Chan Ho Park. Unreal.


Packed House(moments before the first pitch of the no-no) Posted by Picasa


Marlins cheerleaders Posted by Picasa

Earlier in the week we went to the Devil Rays-Mariners game. Kenny got us sweet seats right behind home plate so we watched the M's take batting practice and even got a cameo from the man himself, Kenny Barron. The game was entertaining but the way the Mariners lost really got to me. They were up 6-4 in the 8th, Felix was pitching a pretty good game, then he visibly lost it. With a runner on 2nd, he threw a wild pitch to Ty Wigginton, then bounced another ball about a foot in front of home plate. Right then I knew he was done and I told Renee, "they should pull him right now. Don't let him throw a crappy fastball because that's all he can get over". Anyway, he throws the next pitch low and walks Wigginton. I said to Renee, "man, we got lucky there. Now we'll definitely pull him". The pitching coach went to the mound and the whole infied huddled. I figured that the relievers weren't quite ready and they were stalling before yanking Felix. Finally the ump came out to break it up and Felix was still in the game. "What the hell is going on," I verbalized to Renee. Before Felix could get set, Rene Rivera stood up and shouted out some instructions to the infield. OK, I thought, they're still stalling. Hargrove is going to come out of that dugout any second now. Then all of a sudden, Felix got set and I realized he was going to stay in the game. As he started his wind, my exact words to Renee were, "this is terrible," about 1 second before whoever the heck it was hit a 3-run bomb to put the Devil Rays ahead 7-6. I haven't seen very many Mariners games this year but that managerial decision, or non-decision, was one of the worst that I've ever seen in my life. If I were the GM, I would have called downstairs and fired Hargrove on the spot. I've heard that he's a nice guy and gets along with everybody but holy crap I was disgusted.


Renee at the Trop Posted by Picasa


The best translator in the league Posted by Picasa

Finally, the baseball trip is complete. I saw 32 games in 30 different stadiums and I had a frikkin blast. I'd really like to do it again someday.

The rest of the trip was pretty relaxing. Renee wanted to go out and hit the clubs but laziness got the best of us and we stayed in most nights. It was ridiculously humid and rainy and apparently it was the middle of hurricane season. If you want to go to Florida, go between November and March. We didn't have a choice because Renee had to plan around work but I wouldn't recommend going in early September. If you go to Tampa, make sure you go to the Salvador Dali museum in St Petersburg. It's the second-biggest Dali museum in the world and was very well done.


Fishbowl full of alcohol Posted by Picasa


Asian girl drinking fishbowl of alcohol Posted by Picasa


Giant Green Apple Cotton Candy Posted by Picasa

Renee and I got home on Friday night and I got to enjoy two glorious days of football with my friends. On Saturday we got together to watch the UW-Oklahoma game and we were treated to a 13-13 halftime score. I thought the defense played pretty well and I was encouraged by the 37-20 loss. Stanback is terrible and I really hope Willingham benches him sooner rather than later. Sunday was pure vegging out. The Seahawks game was at 10 AM and the Giants-Colts game ended around 9 PM. That's a lot of time spent sitting on Davis' couch. Everyone's freaking out about the fact that the Seahawks only won 9-6 but a road win is nothing to scoff at and I'm glad we're 10. Obviously there are some things to work on but I'm confident that the Hawks will be fine.

This week I've been looking at houses and I'm very close to putting in an offer on one. I can't wait to have a huge mortgage payment. I didn't have any time this week for a poker trip up to Canada so I'll have to go up early and often next week. The mortgage isn't going to pay itself.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about time you posted a new blog. I noticed all of your pictures look good except the one of the cheerleaders is blurry. They must have been seriously shakin' those booties! Gotta love Miami.

Dave

Dude said...

Hargrove stalling? No way!

I laughed at that because I don't know whether (due to your relative youth) you know that during his playing days, Hargrove was known as The Human Rain Delay.

Maybe if he stalls long enough, he will keep from losing 90 games this season.

Jordan Lewis said...

LOve ur Blog except im a huge D backs fan and there is no way he was doing steriods the man was the weakest player on the team back then even Craig freakin counsell could bench more than him he had the smallest bench press on the team.

CSG said...

Hey Brandon, this is Cale Green from the Fairmont. I think I'd kill to see a no-no in person, that's pretty cool, especially considering the crowd rivalled a last days for the Expos kind of crowd. Anyway, you should check out my blog, it's a general sports blog, mostly NFL and MLB. If you like it, maybe you could link to your blog?