Friday, July 3, 2009

Game 21: Seattle Mariners 7 @ Boston Red Sox 6

This is one of the big games Mik has been looking forward to, as he liked the idea of going to the oldest ballpark still being used in the Majors. Also, the only currently active player that has never played on the Dbacks that he likes plays for the Red Sox (Jonathan Papelbon). I still think Wrigley is the best, but Fenway is definitely one of the best baseball park experiences.

We got to Fenway around 2pm after driving in circles for over half an hour because of the stupid GPS giving totally messed up directions that was not limited to the issues with it not knowing about any of the abundant road work in the area. Anyways we finally did get there by just doing the old fashioned follow the streets on the map route and found parking right across the street from Fenway.

Before the game we spent time walking around the park and got the Team Shop visit out of the way. We also had a late lunch/early dinner at the Game On restaurant that is in one corner of Fenway Park. Right before we ended up going into the park I got a Fenway Park t-shirt and Mik got a Papelbon t-shirt, which he ended up putting on right away. Finally around 5pm the park opened and we went inside. There really is not much to walk around to inside, so we just went to our seats.

Mik enjoyed this game from the start. Of course, no matter what I think he would have enjoyed it just because it was Fenway. However, he got to see Papelbon pitch a great 10th inning, although he wished he came back out in the 11th. What Mik loved the most, though, was that Jeffery Donovan, who plays Michael Westen on Burn Notice (one of Mik’s favorite shows) threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches.

This game was the fifth time we have seen the Mariners play this summer. The first four games we saw them in they lost. We were all hoping the trend would continue. Even though we do like to see Ken Griffey Jr. do good, we preferred to see a Red Sox win. Not only did the Red Sox end up losing in 11 innings, but Griffey also had a bad outing as the designated hitter going 0 for 5.

The Red Sox took an early lead in the bottom of the first with the first run scoring on a ground rule double and the second run scoring with a wild pitch. In the top of the 3rd the Mariners got a run off of a single. In the top of the 4th the Mariners tied the game with a RBI double and then went ahead with a two run homer by Cedeno. The Red Sox decreased the lead to one with a homer by Drew in the bottom of the 7th. The Mariners got the two run lead back in the top of the 8th with a homer by Lopez. The Red Sox then tied the game up in the bottom of the eighth with a 2 RBI double. The game then went scoreless until the top of the 11th when the Mariners got a 2 RBI double. The Red Sox tried to come back with a homer in the bottom of the 11th, but it was too little too late as by then they already had two outs.

Overall a great baseball experience even though the Red Sox lost. It certainly would have been fun to see them win, but at least it was an exciting game. Mik might hate the extra innings games, but this one he at least liked until the 11th inning began and Papelbon did not return to pitch. He only liked the 10th because that is when Papelbon came in, which would not have happened if the Red Sox had won in the bottom of the 9th.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kj's Baseball Collection: Yankee Stadium Inaugural Stadium

They had a few different Yankee Stadium Inaugural Season balls to choose from. I choose one that is dark blue and silver. The dark blue strip says Inaugural Season New York Yankees. The silver strip has the 2009 Yankee Stadium Inaugural Stadium logo and the Yankee baseball and bat logo that has the patriotic top hat on the bat.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Yankee Stadium Inaugural Season

At Yankee Stadium Mik choose one of the Inaugural Season mini bats. They had them in natural and dark blue. He went with the dark blue colored one. It has the 2009 Inaugural Season logo on it, which features the facade of Yankee Stadium in an oval that says Yankee Stadium Inaugural Season and 2009 in the center.

Smashed Pennies: New York

At a travel plaza stop on the I-87 in New York on our way from Toronto to the hotel in New Jersey we found a penny smasher that had a Yankees design. I was not sure if we would find one at the Yankees, so Mik and I got one there. It turns out Yankee Stadium has some machines, but we did not spot them and they are also $1.01 per penny compared to what used to be the norm of $0.51 per penny. Mik also got a We Will Always Remember Twin Towers penny.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Game 20: Seattle Mariners 2 @ New York Yankees 4

Getting handicap tickets for this game was a pain and I never liked New York City, so this game was one I was not really looking forward to at all. It turned out to be very good, though. I guess it is not hard for them to impress me since I had rather low expectations after the ticket fiasco. Really, though, they have proved to not only be modern ballpark with conveniences for fans, but that includes consideration for accessibility that is actually followed through with.

We got to the game several hours early to avoid traffic issues being actual problems time wise. We walked around the outside of the park. We also took some photos of the still standing Old Yankee Stadium, which is really just a shell, as the insides have been stripped and put up for sale to memorabilia collectors.

Once the gates opened 3 hours before the game we went to the Monument Park, which is back behind centerfield. It was not too crowded when we went, but closer to game time it gets pretty packed. It was better than the Indians' Heritage Park, but mostly just because it was a regular elevator to get down to the park.

After Monument Park we headed to the Yankee Museum. It is rather small, especially for such a successful team. However, what it does have is worth seeing. The main focus is on their World Series Wins, but there is also seats from the different remodels and the new reincarnation of Yankee Stadium.

By the time we got done with the museum it was still two hours before game time and we could finally get to our seats on the 300 level. The seats turned out to be great ones. Best of all the experience was not ruined by fans wandering into the handicap section because the ushers were proactive on shooing them out quickly when they did sneak in. By game time there were no others trying to sneak a peek of the field by getting in our way.

Overall a great experience. I still do not like New York City and would choose Wrigley over any other ballpark besides maybe the Nats, but I would not entirely rule out going to another game st Yankee Stadium some day. Of course, the particular game we saw was part of the enjoyment.

The game was a good one played by both teams. The pitching wad pretty good, although almost all the scoring did come off homers. The coolest thing was seeing the top two active career home run leaders each hit a homer. The top leader Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 622nd and Alex Rodriguez hit his 566th, which puts him 3 away from tying the 10th career home run hitter of all time. The Yankees closer, Rivera, also got his 502nd career save. By the way he is second in the all time career saves record list.

I am too tired to get photos uploaded now. I might try and add before we leave for Boston area tomorrow, but we must hit the road early to ensure we make it to Mik's baclofen pump refill appointment on time. I really hope Internet is good at the KOA in Boston.

Sent from my iPhone

Update 7/2/09: Photos have been added. There are a lot more of the stadium and the game in the album, which you can get to be clicking here or by clicking any of the thumbnails in this post.