Real, Live Baseball

So a month or so ago I bought some tickets to some baseball games, including to today’s Red Sox vs. A’s game, which was supposed to start at 7:35. But, uh, a few weeks later I received a phone call and a postcard informing me that the game had been moved to a 12:35 start time. You’ll notice that today is a Wednesday. Gah. To be fair, the time was moved so the Sox could fly back to the east coast before midnight. Fair enough. Fortunately, both Debbi and I were able to take the day off to go to the game. Whew! I only went to one ballgame all last year, and I want to make a better showing this year.

Debbi pointed out that we might have better luck parking at the Millbrae BART station with its huge parking garage than in the east bay, plus afterwards we could go to the excellent Brother’s Deli for dinner. Sold! So we drove up and caught BART to the Coliseum. Along the way we met a fellow who was in from Boston and was going to catch the game himself. Nice guy, we chatted about the Sox and gave him some advice on getting a ticket (which mostly consisted of “where the good seats are” and “where the ticket office is”).

We got there in plenty of time and found our seats in the second deck basically right behind home plate. In fact, we had a view like this:

Hazy Morning
It was a light and cloudy morning…

I do enjoy my ballpark food, but along with rising ticket prices, park food is getting more expensive, too. The Coliseum features Round Table Pizza, which I enjoy pretty well for chain pizza, but their pizzas seem to be getting smaller even as they get more expensive. So I may be switching to sausages soon.

The A’s are in a rebuilding period now, having traded Dan Haren and Nick Swisher in the off-season, so they’re not going to be very good (although not as bad as the Giants). Consequently, the stadium attendance resembled 1999, when I first moved here, when Red Sox fans seemed to outnumber A’s fans. Here’s a sample. Keep in mind that the Sox’ colors are red and dark blue, while the A’s colors are green and gold:

The colors of baseball fandom
Sox fans are red, Sox fans are blue…

The game got under way just a couple of minutes late, and it was a pretty exciting game! Jon Lester – cancer survivor and World Series hero – pitched for the Sox, while the great but oft-injured Rich Harden pitched for the A’s. The Sox kept collecting baserunners, but just couldn’t bring them across the plate, and at the end of the 6th inning the game was still scoreless. (The ump’s strike zone seemed to be ridiculously wide, which had something to do with it.)

But Harden had been pulled at the start of the 6th, and the top of the 7th began with Kevin Youkilis rapping out a double (quite a heads-up play as he was running all the way and just barely beat the throw), and David Ortiz followed with a home run to right field. The Sox added 2 more in the 8th off 5 consecutive singles (4 to shallow left field), and Jason Varitek capped the scoring with a home run in the 9th. Meanwhile Lester cruised through 6-2/3 innings, and two relievers closed out the game, as the Red Sox held the A’s to 4 hits and shut them out 5-0.

The forecast was for rain today, but we never got more than a light drizzle – hardly even noticeable – and it was cool and pleasant. It also turned out to be “foul ball day” as dozens of the things peppered the infield stands, including this one which came right back at us as I was taking this photo, landing a few rows in front of us:

Low bridge!
Low bridge!

We were also amused that whenever the A’s brought in a reliever, the infielders and outfielders would each gather and stand around chatting. I guess they were just killing some dead time like anyone does, but I rarely see it happen so regularly.

Pitching critics
“Do you think that curveball makes his butt look big?”

That photo’s also great because of the Sox baserunner in the background working out a problem with his laces during the dead time.

All-in-all a great day at the park, and the Sox are now 3-1 on the season. We headed out to BART and took the train back to our car, looking forward to our dinner plans… only to find that Brother’s Deli closed sometime late last year! What a bummer! They’d moved from Burlingame a few years ago and although their new digs were nicer, they seemed to have a lot of trouble attracting customers, and I guess it caught up to them. Parking around downtown Millbrae could be a challenge sometimes, too. Alas, I’ll need to find somewhere new to order meat blintzes. I’m going to miss them.

Hard to believe that our bonus day off is over already! Back to work tomorrow. Fortunately it’s only for a 2-day week…!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *