Tagged: petco park

Pants! Beer! Bradley! OH MY!

IMG_5931.JPGSo the title is from a comment I made about something Jen tweeted. So props go to her for starting the conversation. You know what? I’m just going to start at the beginning.

So at 4:45ish I met Jen and her friend Courtney outside the front gate at Petco. We went to pick up Courtney’s ticket and then hung out waiting for Kaybee and Hyun Young. However, I didn’t know we were actually meeting them OUTSIDE the turnstiles, so I was already in line to go inside when I turned around and saw two more people with Jen. I wormed my way through the crowd and in all my hyperness introduced myself. There was supposed to be another with us, but alas, Tom could not make the trip. So the five of us trekked up the stairs and parted ways at the top–Jen, Courtney and I went to the Rockies’ dugout, and Kaybee and Hyun Young went to the Padres’ dugout. And here’s where the adventures start.

IMG_5908.jpgThe only reason there are pictures in this entry at all is because my Flickr is being a bohunkus, and I want to show off the wonderful that is this game. It was far too hot to wear the Pants, which is probably why we lost. However, they safely made it to San Diego tucked into my purse, and they had to pose. And they still look blue. But Jen can vouch for me–THEY’RE PURPLE. And you can see the interlocking CR on the right.

In any case, when we got down to BP and stood up against this railing, we saw two things. First, Jen saw a guy in an AJ Pierzynski jersey, who, as you know, rox her White Sox. So that was cool. And when we sat down, somehow (I wonder) Tulo came up in the conversation. I obviously started rambling about how adorable he is, how well he’s doing this year, how he plays the game how it’s supposed to be played, and how I’ve been chasing his autograph for a month and a half now and Jen, if I don’t get it I’m going to cry and this is NOT waterproof mascara. Jen looks at me and says, “Isn’t that him?”

IMG_5906.JPGIT WAS TROY. Sitting right there, not twenty yards away from me. I squealed and then hyperventilated. He was hurt in Houston, I couldn’t get autographs in Anaheim, and Dodger Stadium ushers wouldn’t let me down by the dugout to get autographs there. And here he was. With those weird three lines shaved into his hair that I constantly tweet about and have failed to explain. So the day was already looking good for us autograph hounds. At least, until Crotchety Old Usher #1 came down and told us that we weren’t allowed to stand up during batting practice. Okay, yeah, I get that you don’t want us to get whacked in the face, but we’re both wearing gloves. But whatever. We sat down. We got Dexter Fowler’s autograph. Jen and I snapped pictures of Garrett Atkins for Emily. Spilly signed, but I already had him. I really wanted Troy.

So the guy behind me (Troy Fan #2) needed Troy’s autograph as well. He asked Troy if he would come back and sign, and as Troy walked away he nodded. Well, all of us has a story of a ballplayer who said he’d come back but didn’t. Keep that in mind for a few minutes.

Somewhere in here, Crotchety Old Usher #1 comes down and checks us for tickets. God, was I glad I paid $30 for a first-level ticket because unlike at the Bee Game, tickets were actively being checked both in the seats and at the top of the aisles. We separated and were off to our own ticketed seats–I sat on the end of the third-base line, Jen was in right field. The security guard I had been talking to told me that Crotchety Old Usher #1 wouldn’t come back, so I took off my jersey (I had a Matt Holliday shirt underneath, so I had essentially changed my outfit) and snuck back to “my” seat. At this point, the (my brother-in-law’s) camera fell on the ground and got mashed in the front. It wouldn’t turn on and I called my mom almost in tears. She talked me off my mental ledge and later, Courtney easily fixed it (although the lens still doesn’t retract all the way), and I sat down to chat with the security guard and the guys in my section. The boys came out to stretch and we shouted for Troy, because that’s what we, as fans, do, right? We shout for our boys.

ANYWAY, after the National Anthem, I held up my jersey like a flag with the back to him and shouted for him again. I draped my jersey over the blue padded railing visible in the above picture and he PUT HIS GLOVE DOWN ON MY JERSEY. Maybe you didn’t hear me. HE PUT HIS GAME-USED GLOVE ON MY OWN PERSONAL AUTHENTIC JERSEY. I DIED. Ask the Angels fans next to me. Then he looked at Troy Fan #2 and said, very calmly, something to the tune of “Man, next time I tell you I’m coming back, you don’t have to keep shouting at me. I’m coming back.” I wish I had been paying better attention to what Troy Fan #2 said in return, but I didn’t. Troy signed my jersey, PATTED IT, picked up HIS GLOVE, and went on his way.

Troy didn’t say it angrily. I’ve never seen Troy use anything except one single tone of voice–he’s always very calm and level. Hardly any inflection, no facial expression. Just words. He’s articulate and smart, and very level-headed when it comes to speaking. Now, as we know, he can make a mess of his hand when he angrily bashes a bat on the ground, and he smiled when I asked to take a picture with him, but usually he’s nothing less than zen. But in any case, calm or not, I wasn’t sure whether to be frustrated or sympathetic.

Which is why I’m going to write an open letter to Troy and all ballplayers. That will be my next entry, and I’ll link to it here when I’m done. (eta: here it is.)

After this, I met a nice young man next to me who recently graduated from Mines, and we talked a bit. I whipped out my baseball knowledge to impress (and my hyperness to frighten) some guys sitting on the other side of me, and then someone came to sit in my seat so I had to go to my ticketed spot, where I promptly had popcorn thrown on me by a guy in my row who was half joking. I was not taking any more of that, and I really didn’t want butter on my jersey, and the rest of the fans were heckling and yelling at me anyway, so I called Jen. We met at the top of the aisle and stood behind third base until the eighth because THE USHERS WERE STILL CHECKING TICKETS.

Seats at Petco on the first concourse are split into two halves–top and bottom. The top half was empty all the way around the stadium, and yet when a couple came to sit in the TOP ROW of the TOP HALF, Crotchety Old Usher #2 asked them for their
tickets. IN THE TOP OF THE EIGHTH INNING. I was dumbfounded.

At some point during that inning, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around. A man in a retro blue/orange Padres jersey and his wife held out two tickets to me and Jen and the man said, “How would you like to sit behind home plate?” I screamed. Or at least, I did internally. Then I hugged him and Jen okayed it with Courtney, who isn’t particularly into baseball, and we took off for our new seats.

IMG_5924.JPGOH MY GOD, y’all. We found row 22 and decided we could go down to row 2 instead (of the top half) and sit in a nearly empty row. Wouldn’t you know it, an usher came to ticket us. He looked and said, “Ladies, your seats are down here.” DOWN. As in, WE WERE MOVED CLOSER TO THE FIELD. Oh my goodness, me oh my. We were sitting in a wheelchair row and RIGHT BEHIND HOME PLATE. I have never had such good seats in my whole entire life. Admittedly, it was only for an inning, and by that point we were losing, but holy cannoli on a stick made of holiness. And I’ve never even said that before. I made it up specifically for this occasion.

Once Troy came up to bat as the final out of the game for us, Jen and I started crazily doing the Tulo chant (which, in case you don’t know it, is clap clap clapclapclap, clapclapclapclap TU-LO!, and I was doing it the whole game, and Meg said she heard us screaming for Hawper too, and I verified both by rewatching the FSNRM broadcast) and my hands turned red and I’ve lost most of my voice from it. Well, this crazy drunk lady was just absolutely sloshed off her @$$, which is weird because she was probably in her late fifties or early sixties. She was yelling “SHUT UP!” and actually stood up from her seat and advanced a few steps towards me to tell me to shut up and that Tulo sucks.

IMG_5926.JPGHere’s the best part, and why Jen and I left cracking up. We did the chant until he struck out, and when he did, she ran at me and put her hands and face up in my face, literally maybe five inches away. “TULO SUCKS! TOO BAD!” and stuck her tongue out at me. It was all I could do not to pass out from laughing. She was there with some little old man in a wheelchair and they left. A lot of Padres fans booed me or told me that the Rockies sucked as they passed me and Jen taking pictures in front of the emptying field, and I looked one in the eye and said, “Nothing you can say about Troy will ever make me love him any less. I will always completely adore him.” And the guy looked surprised and said, “I respect that.” And I was just like, if you respect that, shut the heII up! WTF?

I was denouncing all Padres fans when an adorable blonde usher came up to us with a big smile on her face. She asked us if we wanted her to take our picture together, and of course we did, and then we told her about the nice guy who gave us the tickets. Apparently he’s a season ticket holder and when he and his wife left for the evening, they told her they were going to give the tickets to a Rockies fan. We both asked the usher to give the man and his wife our thanks and left feeling redeemed.

Then we met up with Kaybee and Hyun Young outside and took the first picture in this entry as sort of a tribute to Kaybee’s profile picture on her blog. I think it turned out well, don’t you? Then we parted ways.

Totals for the night:

– two autographs
– one somewhat angry ballplayer
– one cute Mines grad
– two crotchety old ushers
– one super nice usher
– two nice season ticket holders
– eight nice people
– four amazing bloggers

Pointless Ramblings:

– when I said I was writing an open letter, I was not joking. So if you have any “ballplayers being rude/mean/not keeping their word” stories, please email them to me.
– I love my family for taking all these treks for me.
– at some point during the game, we called Tom and left him a very loud voicemail. We wish you had been there, man 🙂
– I don’t have energy for more and I know you don’t have patience for more.

Stinging the Friars; A Midsummer Surprise

IMG_5818.JPGSo you may or may not have known that I went to Petco (or PETCO, but that looks dumb) Park last Thursday, July 2. Well, I did. And Jen was there too. And… it was a very interesting day.

I started out by the players’ entrance in hopes of acquiring autographs. By the way, if you’re going to do that, please have no reservations about feeling absolutely creepy. Because wow, I felt so stalkerish hanging out there.

It was weird. We saw big Escalades drive up, visiting players in taxis, new Lexuses with the paper plates indicating their freshness from the Lexus plant. We saw one player pull up with his wife in the passenger seat, and then saw her leave a few minutes later. If I were married to a ballplayer, say, Tulo, I would want to be there for all of his games to support him, plus, I love baseball anyway. But this player maybe has kids at home that his wife needed to pick up or take care of, since it was 9:30 in the morning anyway.

IMG_5831.JPGThe one sighting that made me the happiest was David Eckstein. He drove up in his little fuel-efficient sedan, waved, and went inside. Three minutes later, he popped back out and chatted and signed and took pictures for as long as we wanted. I also got some encounters with other important, well-dressed men, but you’ll have to go to my Flickr to see those because I haven’t got the patience to deal with Moveable Type right now. I’ve got pictures of the bee swarm, the park itself, the skyline… one picture I have to put up right now is the “rammycackle” picture, because I’m begging for help. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? They put it up randomly in the home half of the second and I have had no luck whatsoever attempting to decipher it. Padres fans, help me!

The Astros won, despite the swarm that took over the outfield and a ballgirl’s jacket. Petco looks a lot smaller in person than it does on TV, but we had a ton of fun and it’s extremely beautiful. I didn’t get sunburned like I did at Dodger Stadium, and my arms are actually turning tan instead of crimson. A great time was had by all, and then it was time for the drive back to LA.

In other news…

I’ve never been a big All-Star Game follower or voter. I mean, yeah, I watch it and I get into it, but you won’t catch me submitting hundreds of votes like the people I met at Minute Maid who take boxes of ballots and punch them during the game. I become particularly frustrated with the National League because players who are not all-stars (Kosuke Fukudome, for example, last year) are voted in by players who vote for popularity and not for good players, which leads to disappointing performance by the NL. However, this year I have been stunned by the sheer talent of the National League roster and while I don’t want to jinx us, I feel better about our chances.

Most importantly #1, Manny Ramírez was not voted in. Thank God.

Most importantly #2, HAWPER AND MARQUIS. Not only does Hawper have the fourth-highest (at last check) batting average in the NL, but he’s also a spectacular outfielder. Jason Marquis is now in a league of his own as the only pitcher in the Major Leagues with eleven wins to his name. Way to go, Jason and Hawper. Y’all deserve it.

Also, Tim Lincecum. Who I absolutely love and/or adore.

Pointless Ramblings:

– If everything goes exactly to plan, I’ll be in San Diego for the game on July 18th against the Rockies. However, this plan depends on circumstances beyond my personal control, so for now I can only hope. I should know by tomorrow if I’m staying or going, and if I’m not staying I go back home on Thursday.
– I’m going to NYC, hopefully sometime before I leave for school. Hopefully ASAP, but I’d also like to see the Mets and Yankees play, so I’m trying to find a weekend when they’re both home.
– The weekend I get up to school, August 21-23, the Rox are in town and I’d like to have an early birthday celebration by going to one of the games. I’d like anybody who’s in town to come, so please think about that. It will probably be the 21st, but if that weekend doesn’t work, I’ll plan for it later in September. My birthday is August 30th but they’re in San Fran that weekend.
– Also, if I stay here for that Padres/Rox game, I will probably do some extra traveling, so stay tuned for further updates. I also might have some exciting news to announce in the next few days but then again, it might not happen. We’ll see.
– My blog titles suck lately. I apologize.

Chasing the D-backs; A Tribute to Dodgers Fans

God-awful title, I know. I am horrible at plays on words. And this is going to be a huge entry, so if you’ve got stuff to do, put this blog on hold and finish whatever you’re doing.
So on Friday, we made the six-hour trek from Los Angeles to Phoenix. First of all, if you’re going to this, for the love of God please make sure your A/C compressor is functional. If you don’t you’ll positively die when it gets up to 120 degrees on the open desert between LA and Blythe… and even then you’ve still got two hours to go. Also, I beg you to stop at every gas station and just fill ‘er up, because there’s nothing between them except some nasty rest stops. And finally, enjoy the drive.
I enjoyed the drive, anyway. Being the geology megadork that I am, I listened to my iPod (Bose QuietComfort 2 headphones are the bomb diggity) and mentally identified every formation we drove past and speculated about the makeup of the mountains. Because I’m that cool. Not cool was the rise in temperature I felt in the middle of nowhere IN TRAFFIC. Yes, there is traffic in the middle of nowhere. Don’t ask how. It existed.
Drive aside, Phoenix itself was… hot. We were actually in the suburbs, so the only time I spent within Phoenix was at Chase Field (more on that later), but it was hugely hot. At night it wasn’t so bad, still up in the hundreds but at least the sun wasn’t beating down like it was during the day. Either way, I could live there as long as I had A/C.
On Saturday, we went to Chase Field to catch the Angels/D-backs game. I was cheering for the D-backs because I’ve always had soft spots for Danny Haren and Brandon Webb (don’t hate me) and I really freaking hate the Angels and their damn rally monkey. Lately I’ve learned that I am the No-Hitter Killer–Doug Davis had a no-no going that afternoon, and so did Jason Hammel this afternoon. Alas, they were not to be and both pitchers lost (more later). I wasn’t so much watching the game because I wasn’t very attached to the outcome, but rather I spent most of my time there people-watching and admiring the stadium.
Chase Field… I know Tom wasn’t a huge fan when he visited, but I have to admit, it’s probably my favorite ballpark I’ve been to. That’s not a big number (Minute Maid Park, Astrodome, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium [of Anaheim], and… yep, that’s it, Coors Field was just a tour so I’m not counting it), but I really, really liked it. The lower concourse was so incredibly open and as you walked around the outfield you could see everything that was happening on the field. There was seating everywhere they could fit it, and even up in the upper deck I had a great view, especially since the seats were tilted towards home plate.
The giant videoboard was absolutely magnificent. It was wider-than-widescreen and the video was beautiful. They had to put some random things in around the video and the linescore to fill in space, but even so, it was gorgeous. One of the things I didn’t particularly appreciate was the fact that miscellaneous boards were sprinkled EVERYWHERE. It took me two innings to find the strikeout count, and another half inning to find the pitch count. The out-of-town scoreboards hang on the walls. Other than that, it was awesome.
I didn’t eat anything while I was there, having eaten a turkey sandwich before leaving, but they let us bring food inside. Non-alcoholic drinks are also allowed in as long as they’re unopened (sealed). I went in search of an ice cream helmet since my friend’s little sister collects them, and I found a vendor near 328 who was just the cutest, sweetest thing. He gave me way too much ice cream and even held onto it while I ran to the nearest ATM to get cash. Side note–Chase Field means Chase ATMs, so thank you for not making me pay outrageous fees! Anyhow, he was blonde and extremely adorable so if you’re sitting in the top deck of Chase, be sure to drop by and say what up?!
I loved the stadium and was sad to leave in the seventh inning when the niece and nephew grew impatient. Speaking of kids, Chase Field had a great playground called The Sandlot. I didn’t go down there myself but apparently the kids loved it. All in all, I absolutely loved the stadium. Maybe because it felt like home. Who knows? For whatever reason, I adored it.
We left at five to drive back. It was cooler but I’d suggest leaving the driving for after the sun’s gone down because it gets really hot really fast. Our car made it despite the heat in the Valley, and we brought back enough Blue Bell to feed a small family for a month or two. If you’ve never had Blue Bell, try it if you’re ever anywhere they sell it.
In other news…jason hammel getty.jpg

Today, I went to go see the Rockies take on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Here’s what I learned:
1. I can’t do no-hitters. Every time one has begun in my presence, it fails completely. Jason Hammel and Doug Davis, for example.
2. I sunburn really easily. OW OW OW.
3. Troy Tulowitzki is hella hot. I know I knew that already, but suga honey iced tea, Christ on a bike, good God almighty hot damn.
And here are some stories:
1. Mark Strittmatter (please tell me that’s correctly spelled/first named or I’ll feel like an idiot) is awesome. He was asking kids trick questions and giving them a ball if they got it right and he asked the kid next to me: “say silk five times. What do cows drink? Nope, water!” So I figured, my friends have all done all of those to me. I told him to ask me one and he said if I got it right he’d give me the ball, but if I missed he’d give it to the kid. So he asked, “What do people in Kentucky call their capital? ‘Louissville” or “Louieville”? And I said, “Trick question! ‘Loo-vull!” “Nope, Frankfurt!” We both cracked up. I looked at him and said, “Mark, I’m coming up to Denver in August. I WILL GET YOU!” He laughed and when he got back to the bullpen he started telling someone else (pitching coach?) about it and they both laughed. Then when they were going back to the dugout I yelled “Mark, I WILL GET YOU!” and he cracked up again. I LOVE THAT MAN. And I WILL GET HIM.
2. Someone tossed me a ball. I’m ashamed to say that I couldn’t figure out who because I couldn’t see his number and I don’t watch enough games to know our bullpen’s faces. But it’s all rubbed up and kind of grassy so I think it might be a game-used ball.
3. There was a really cute, sweet usher down by the right field foul pole. We talked a lot. He was so sweet!
4. Spilly came out to sign. Here’s what you need to know about Dodger Stadium: getting away team autographs is nigh impossible. There are these baseline box seats that are really expensive and you can’t even go down for autos without a ticket, so those block off eight rows all the way over to the foul pole. So he went over to sign for kids in DODGERS SHIRTS and I waved him over toward me while wearing my TROY TULOWITZKI AUTHENTIC JERSEY and he just waved back! I yelled “No, Spilly, come over here!” and he waved me towards where he wa
s going with a smile, I yelled back “I’M NOT RICH!” and he laughed… and nobody signed for me. ****.
And here’s the conclusion:
What a pitching duel. That aside, I HATE DODGERS FANS SO MUCH. I had a whole section behind me (I was in the front row) yelling “TROY TULOWITZKI SUCKS” and “**** THE ROCKIES.” Because I was in right field I was right by Hawper, and the guys kept yelling “BRAD HAWPE YOU SUCK” and I yelled right back “SORRY YOU’RE JEALOUS OF HIS #2 IN THE NL BATTING AVERAGE!” I neglected to mention the “SORRY YOUR BEST HITTER WAS A HUGE CHEATER” because really, they were so drunk off their ***** I don’t think they would have cared–Dodgers fans don’t care anyway (more on that later). So basically, the only Dodgers fans I ran into that weren’t ******** were the ones I’m related to. The end.
Pointless Ramblings:
– The trip to PETCO Park was delayed from Monday until Thursday, so I’ll be there tomorrow/today (depending on your time zone; I should be sleeping).
– I’m so fricking sunburned. WOW.
– I love my suitemates. Facebook rocks.
– People need to realize they can’t have it both ways. You can’t denounce cheating and in the same breath cheer for Manny or Roger or Barry, or, I hate to say it, Andy Pettitte (we all know how much I loved him once upon a pre-juicing time). You can’t get mad when other teams’ players dope but allow your own players to do it. Grow up, people. If you’re going to support it, at least be honest. I’ve had several Twitter conversations about this.
– I hate the trade deadline.
first image courtesy of diamondbacks.mlb.com
second image courtesy of Getty Images

Quick Travel Update

[cue Baseball Tonight update jingle]

Here’s what’s going down, kids. I’m doing a lot of traveling to see ballgames this week, and here’s a list for both you and me.
June 27: Chase Field, D-backs vs. Angels. I hate the Angels SO MUCH that I guess it’s go Snakes.
June 29: PETCO Park, Padres vs. Astros. GO ASTROS. Houston people, watch for me on TV!
July 1: Dodger Stadium, Dodgers vs. Rockies. I will be sitting in dugout club, hopefully behind the Rox’ on-deck circle. Look for me in my new Tulo jersey!
At some point thereafter: Lancaster JetHawks (Astros farm team). Hopefully.
I’m headed to Phoenix today and I won’t be back until Sunday, so I won’t be reading, commenting, or updating until that evening. Forgive me 😀
Also, I added a new profile picture, if you haven’t seen it yet. I kind of like it 😀
Love you all!