a saturday night baseball game.
now before you x out of the page and think.. "who wants to read about baseball?!!", give my words a chance.
it started out at the pyramid beer garden across the street from mariners "safeco" field where we enjoyed a cold one on one of the nicest days of the year. cold 1 led to 2 when some vancouver guy decided he ordered 6 too many beers for his crew. cold 1 on the canadian? ummm, okay. one of my buddies, TJ, recently decided to start hosting people at his house via couchsurfers.com. Markin, his first couch surfer, was fresh off the plane from czech republic. his skinny build, piercing blue eyes, euro accent and small afro fit his personality to a T. (what is "T" anyway ?) this was Markins first taste of the united states. he was all smiles and loving it already. for good reason. after reading the report and watching the video highlights you'll see why.
when we got into the ball park, things were a buzz. the boston red sox were in town and they were supported by what seemed to be half of the crowd. i have to believe a lot of them were bandwagoners. it was a mere sellout at 41 thousand people. i had read on espn.com that it would be a low scoring affair as Beckett and Felix Hernandez were pitching. these are 2 of the best pitcher's in the majors.
the five run first inning by seattle was capped with homers by Ichiro and Casper Wells, whom i like to call casper. he was the "unfriendly ghost" to the red sox fans. people were still finding their seats and the mariners were splittin wood. the mariners crowd was going ballistic and the red sox fans were hunched back in their chairs in disbelief. a lot of mariners fans, myself included, were rubbing it in while we could. anyone with a red sox hat in the near vicinity was gifted with a "hey, how 'bout those mariners?!!". the fourth inning brought all the fun. by this time the two couples in front of us clad with red sox attire were more than a few beers to the good and seemingly done talking trash about the mariners. they were deliberating between hot dogs or peanuts. i think they ended up with both.
then came the fourth inning. the red sox had Ellsbury on 3rd base. a pop fly to right was caught by Ichiro. the runner tagged and started for home. the throw by Ichiro was a laser. laser. the catcher for the mariners, Bard (which is a fun name to say anytime you can), caught the ball in his mitt, switched it to his bare hand and took a flying knee to the chin by the runner and was knocked completely over on his back. the call on the field was "safe!". the red sox fans were jumping out of their seats and loving it. the mariners fans were spilling popcorn and yelling profanities at the umpires, or at anyone near their seats that could hear them. before anything else could happen the mariners manager was at home plate arguing the call and the "boo's" that filled the air were as loud as i have heard at a baseball game. the 3rd base umpire came to the plate and began talking with the home plate umpire, all the while "Bard" is on his back and looks like he took a haymaker from Mike Tyson. Felix, the pitcher for the M's is hot. he is yelling at the ump and showing the ump Bard still had the ball in his hand. chaos everywhere. after a minute of chatting, the home plate umpire reverses the call; "out!" and signals so with his arm and fist in the air. the mariners fans cheer and all yell "yeah, thats right" while the red sox fans are complaining "you cant change the call.. what?!!". this out ended up being crucial to the outcome of the game. after the call was reversed, Francona, the red sox manager (notorious for chewing 60 pieces of gum a game.. (who does that?!!).. wait, all baseball players do is chew gum, seeds or tobacco and constantly adjust their nut cup).. where was i? oh, Francona. he storms out of the red sox dug out and gets in the grille of the home plate umpire. after only 15 seconds of yelling, the mariners fans were all ill-advisely requesting the departure of the manager; "throw him out.. throw him out of the game!!". the umpire did just that, which got even more applause, cheers and whistles than the overturned call. you could see the blood boiling in the red sox fans. it's only the fourth inning and we lost our voices already.
i had enough peanut shells at my feet at this point in the game to fill a shopping bag. aside from the peanuts, garlic fries and kettle corn were making the rounds in our section. after giving up 5 runs in the first, Beckett settled down and pitched well for the red sox. Felix gave up two 2-run homers in the six and the red sox fans were pointing fingers and taunting. now it's 5-4 mariners. at this point, i think i remember standing up, looking at a few red sox fans and loudly saying "it's about time!".
by now, the guy in front of me had his share of beers in him, and i thought for some reason it would be fun to continue heckling. anytime i had the chance i was saying "easy out" when one of the boston hitters came up. or "keep him honest" when Felix threw to first to keep the base runner close. at one point, the red sox sent the runner from first and was thrown out at second by none other than "Bard". "thats what you get", i yelled. the guy in front of me raises his arms in disbelief dropping a few F-bombs. "what the F***?!" an older fellow ushering didn't care for these words and came marching up the stairs. "listen buddy.. this is a family friendly park and we don't need you talking or acting like an idiot. now, enough with the cursing or i'm kicking you out of the game." we laughed under our breath and held back a few choice words. you can bet he would've put his fist through something if he could have, but his desire to see the rest of the game won, and he shut up and sat down. Francona had already been kicked out of the game, so i suppose he could've bought him a beer.
the mariners sealed the game by bringing in Brandon League, capable of throwing at what seemed like the speed of sound. his entrance was appropriate. each player gets to choose what song they want played when they are introduced during the game. Brandon League's song? "legacy of blood" by the metal group "Consume the Fire". think skulls and metal filling all the big screens at the field. the guy in the media room at the mariners field was loving it, because they replayed the loop over and over again as League walked in from the outfield bullpen. the song continued as he threw 12 pitches to warm up on the mound. once the 9th inning began, most of the balls he threw were fastballs. we saw one hit 99mph. he retired the side and the mariners won. red sox will probably win the world series, but we had our night of mariners glory taking them down and it all went out with death metal!
check out the video links below to see the home run's and laser that Ichiro threw from right field to get Ellsbury out.
listen to Brandon League's introduction song (legacy of blood) here by Consume the Fire: http://www.reverbnation.com/consumethefire