Results tagged ‘ Baltimore Orioles ’

Tigers at Orioles (5/31/09)

Tim and I headed down to Baltimore for the second time this season to close out the month of May with a game between the Tigers and Orioles.  It was Tim’s first time seeing the Tigers.  We were joined on the trip by friends Mark and Brady Kelly.  Several months ago when I planned out the 2009 season, I asked Mark if he and Brady would like to join us for this game because Mark is from Detroit and he and Brady are Tigers fans.

We drove down separately and we arrived a bit before Mark and Brady.  It was by far the warmest and sunniest game we’d been to this year so far.  We arrived around 12:00 for a 1:35 start.  I was hoping we’d catch the end of batting practice.  However, the teams didn’t take BP before this day game.  Instead of BP, we were greeted by a parade of little leaguers marching around the warning track.  You can see them ringing the stadium behind us in this picture:

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We headed down the 3B line to watch the Tigers pitchers play long toss and do sprints.  I was hoping that some Tiger would take pitty on us and throw us a ball because we were a father-son combo not included in the 13,000 kids who got to march around the field.  But no such luck.  However, we did get our first autograph and player picture of the season:

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Ryan Perry is a rookie reliever for the Tigers.  His stats make it seem like he’s having a nice first couple months of his career.  He would not pitch in this game.  Tim doesn’t look too excited to be in this picture.  I’m guessing he was dissappointed the basebal player wasn’t Ichiro or Griffey.

After watching the Tigers pitchers warm up, he were blazing hot.  The sun was beating down like nobody’s business.  So we headed up to the last row of the upper deck to take some pictures for a panoramic — and stand in the shade:

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Tim’s an Irishman.  So the sun isn’t his best friend.  After standing in the sun for half an hour watching the pitchers play catch, he was drained.  Here he is on the verge of konking out on my shoulders once we made it to the shady and breezy upper deck:

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We stayed up in the upper deck for a while so we could beat the heat.  Tim was confused when we were up there because there were no bases on the field.  They were still watering down and chalking the field.  I took a series of photos of the crew chalking the field:

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They traced that metal frame and then chalked over the tracing.

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And that’s how you chalk home plate, folks.

While we were up hiding in the upper deck shade, we got a call from Mark.  He and Brady had arrived and were out by our seats.  We decided to meet up over by the bouncy house.  So we started walking toward the RF corner.  From the concourse behind the 1B foul territory, I took this interesting picture looking down toward the ground level:

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I think this picture is pretty interesting.  To the far right, is a long meandering walkway from the ground level up to the 300 leve.  Next to it are two long escalators:  one goes up to the suite level and one goes up to the 300 level.  Straight ahead is the warehouse along Eutaw street.  At the bottom is a sign that says “Home of the Orioles,” which hangs over a walk way through the bottom of the wearhouse.  If you’re walking outside the stadium from the CF gate on the far side of Eutaw Street, this cut out is the first break in the long warehouse wall and it cuts through to the B Gate and a small ticket office.  By the way, when the ticket line at the CF side of Eutaw Street is reaaaallly long, this one will most likely be about 2 people long.  Finally, right in the middle of the picture is the bouncy house.

Before heading down to the bouncy house, we ducked back into the seats and took this picture looking down a bustling Eutaw Street from Section 306:

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After bouncing in the bouncy house . . .

timmers bouncing.jpg . . . we didn’t find Mark and Brady.  So we headed over to the seats to see if they were over there.  They weren’t.  So, Tim posed with the orange seat in right center field:

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This is Section 96, Row D, Seat 23.  Apparently, on September 6, 1996, Eddie Murray’s 500th career home run landed in this seat.

Anyway, Mark and Brady weren’t over here either.

We headed back to the kids area and Tim played on the play fort – its fairly unimpressive, so I won’t show you a picture.  After a few minutes, we headed back to the seats once again.  On the way, we stopped to get some chicken strips and french fries.  While looking for napkins, we ran into Mark and Brady.

As I mentioned, Mark and Brady are Tigers fans.  And they were decked out in Tigers gear.  So lets just get it out of the way — THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY!  Do you know the controversy?  Interestingly, every single Tigers fan I’ve ever asked about THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY has been totally oblivious to its very existence.  Apparently, the Tigers’ fans are not very observant.

So what is the controvery you ask?  Here it is — the Old English script “D” on the Tigers hat is totally and completely different than the Old English script “D” their jerseys and no one seems to care or notice

Shocking!  Huh?

Here is indisputable photographic evidence:

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Let’s take a closer look:

1. The upper right corner of the Hat “D” has little fancy points and a concave diagonal edge while the same part of the Jersey “D” is rounded with no pionts and no concave edge.

2. The traditionally straight edge of the capital “D” is replace in the Jersey “D” with three vertical lines.  The two inner lines are straight and the outide line is sort of shaped like a shark with two pointy fins on his back.  Meanwhile, the straight edge of the Hat “D” has only two vertical lines.  Neither are straight.  Instead, they both look sort of like tall thin S’s.  But congrats to the Tigers, the outside line on the Hat “D” also has the two shark like fins on it!

3. The Two S-like vertical lines on the Hat “D” have two little bars connecting them – one at the top and one at the bottom.  The top bar is convex and the bottom bar is concave.  The Jersey “D”?  You got it, no connector bars at all between the roughly corresponding vertical lines.

4.  But there are more connector discrepancies.  The left and right side of the opening of the Hat “D” is connected with two little bars – the top bar is concave and the bottom bar is convex.  How about the Jersey “D” — just the opposite.  The top bar is convex and the bottom bar is concave.

5.  Finally, the Hat “D” is cool and the Jersey “D” is not (this one is subjective).

So you say, “Come on, I never noticed this, but how can it be a controversy?  All Tigers fans must know about this?”  Nope.  You’re wrong.  In fact, Mark himself — a Michigander — was totally unaware of this last year before I asked him about it.  Recently, Mark surveyed a bunch of Tigers fans at Comerica Park.  None of them knew about this.

The big question:  why is it that Tigers have two different D’s on their uniforms?

The answer:  NO ONE KNOWS!!!

According to my limited internet research on this (limited because I don’t really care about it), the Tigers themselves have no clue why they have different D’s on their uniforms.

So there you have it:  THE BIG TIGERS “D” CONTROVERSY!!!

 Anyway, I ignored the crazy mix-matched D’s on Mark and Brady’s shirts and hats and went about our day.  We headed over to our seats.  We watched about one inning there.  It was too hot and sunny for our pale little boys.  I noticed that Section 306 (from the picture above) was essentially empty and totally shady.  So we headed up there (after playing in the RF standing room flag area for a bit).

Here was our view up there:

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That picture makes the seats seem higher than they really were.  Actually, I really liked sitting up there.  But before we get to that, here is a look back at the flag area and our seats in Section 96:

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If you go straight up from the White Sox flag in the middle row and then look a little off-center to the right, you’ll see a guy wearing a neon yellow shirt with four empty seats behind him.  Those are our empty seats.

We had a great time in the shade.  Tim had chocoloate ice cream WITHOUT an ice cream helmet:

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Can you believe the Baltimore Orioles STILL don’t offer ice cream helmets?  Come on, Orioles?  It is 2009!  Get with the program!  The fans demand ice cream helmets!

Look at the terrible mess caused because Tim had to eat his ice cream out of of an inferior little bowl.  It was a chocolate covered disaster area by the end of this.

After Tim changed from his Griffey shirt into his Moose shirt, Tim pointed out the batter:

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Next, it was time to try to catch a foul ball:

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Of course, it would have taken a mammoth Ruthian foul ball blast to get a ball up to the little guys.  So Tim and Brady discarded the gloves and did some dancing:

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Despite these sweet moves, the Orioles managed to not put Tim and Brady on the jumbo screen.  Can you believe it?

You know, there was also a game.  It was a pitchers dual.  Edwin Jackson pitched for the Tigers and had a no hitter into the 5th (I think).  Curtis Granderson hit a home run.  Here is he not hitting that home run:

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Is it just me or is Granderson wearing clown shoes?  His front foot looks disproportionately huge to me.

How about a bonus picture of former Mariner Adam Jones?

adam jones.jpgFor the most part, the Tigers scored whenever Mark turned his back to the field.  So, I guess he turned three times.  With the Tigers up 3-0, Fernando Rodney entered the game in the bottom of the ninth: 

big screen fernando rodney.jpgAnd he slammed the door on the Orioles.  Mark and Brady were happy.

Before heading to the car, Mark took our picture:

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As we left the seats, Tim asked if we could go run around the flags.  I told him we couldn’t because we had to go home so we could play baseball.  Tim agreed.

As we walked onto Eutaw Street, I looked toward the field and notice something wonderful on the jumbo screen – a notice that the Mariners will be in town starting June 9th!

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Tim and I will be back for one of those three games.  And Griff will likely hit a monster bomb — like the one marked on the Warehouse wall as shown above.  Well, he might not hit it that far.  That’s the only ball in the history of Camden Yards to make it to the Warehouse in the air.

So with that, we walked to the cars.  Mark and I tentatively planned to catch a Marlins vs. Phillies game at Citizen Bank Park in August.  It will be Brady’s first Phillies game.

Tim slept for 1 hour and 50 minutes of the two hour drive home.  As we pulled into our garage, Tim (still groggy from his nap) asked, “Can we play baseball now?”  Well, I did promise we could instead of going to the flags again.  So we played baseball in the yard for about an hour and a half before it started getting dark.

Another fine day of baseball in the books.

Season Fan Stats:

12 Games
5 Stadiums
(Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field and Nationals Park)
12 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Phillies, Mets, Nationals,
Braves and Padres, Dodgers)
9 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (3), Mets and Nationals)
5 Baseballs (2 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies)
3 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, NL East, AL West)

1 Player Autograph (Ryan Perry)
1 Player Photograph (Ryan Perry)
3,607 Miles driven/flown to games (season)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), The Bird (O’s), 3 Presidents (Nats))

Game No. 1 – Rays @ Orioles (4/12/09)

Well, I’m new to this blogging thing, and I somehow managed to do this write up and delete half of it.  So, with mild frustration, I’ll give it another go. (Click Picture for Bigger Version).
Safeco Field is my baseball home.  However, on Sunday, Tim and I trekked down to Baltimore to visit our baseball home-away-from-home:

 

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We visit Camden Yards every season to see the Mariners.  However, this trip was to see the Rays — one of the final 10 teams we need to see this season so Tim can say he’s seen ‘em all.  Seeing the Rays vs. O’s also gave us a chance to catch up with two former Phils, Pat “The Bat” Burrell and Adam Eaton.pat the bat.jpg

Here is a shot of Burrell fouling off a pitch against Eaton.  We bought tickets in the cheap seats ($9/upper deck left field), but never sat in our seats.  At the beginning of the game, we grabbed some snacks (nachos for me, fries for Tim) and found some nice seats behind the left field foul pole.  As we munched on our ball park fare, we witnessed a very un-Camden Yards event, unruly patrons being threatened with ejection from the park.

Apparently, three 20′something guys, brews in hand, had been the recipients of several profanity complaints.  They did not react well to the news that further cursing would result in the boot.  As the guards were leaving, the lead hooligan said to his accusers, “Thanks a lot for the warm welcome to Camden Yards.  Happy Easter!”  Tim got all excited and started yelling really loudly, “Happy Easter!  Happy Easter!  HAAAAAAPPPPY EASTERRRRR!”

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Meanwhile, the Pride of the Snohomish Panthers got Pat the Bat to pop out to right.  As you may know, Adam Eaton is from Snohomish, Washington where his high school was a conference rival with my Edmonds-Woodway Warriors.  I figure he grew up a Mariners fan and, like me, a huge fan of Ken Griffey, Jr.  So, I found it interesting to see Eaton was sporting the sacred “24″ on his back.  One of my co-workers, a die-hard Phillies fan, told me it wasn’t a very good way for Eaton to pay his respects to Griff (a reference to Eaton’s poor performance while playing for the Phillies). 
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After we finished our food, we headed to the upper deck to check out the view from the general vicinity of our actual seats.  Not too bad:

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We also saw this bush made into a batter up there.

Next, we headed to Tim’s favorite spot at Camden Yards — the standing room area above the rightfield wall.  It has an official name, honoring some former Oriole I can’t remember, but I like to just call it the flag pole courtyard.  We we arrived at the flagpole courtyard, we were happy to see a beautiful flag announcing to the world the Mariners early-season dominance over the AL West:
Mariners in 1st.jpgTim became so emotional after seeing this, he had to hug the Mariners first place pole
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Tim loves running around all of the poles.  And he always finds a puddle in need of some stomping.  But this day, around the 5th or 6th inning, we received a surprise visitor out at the flag pole courtyard:

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Right before this picture, Tim and The Bird had a full-on battle, a dancing battle.  At the outset, it looked like the Bird was creeping up to Tim to give him a high five.  But as the Bird approached, Tim busted out some crazy up-down arms/in-out legs dance moves.  And the Dance Battle had begun.  After Tim busted his moves, the Bird mirrored the moves.  A small crowd gathered to watch and laugh.  Tim then shimmied backwards, laid out backwards on the ground and rolled over a couple times.  The Bird followed with the same.  The crowd laughed more.  Then, it was Tim’s turn.  He popped to his feet and ran hard to the right looking back at the Bird over his shoulder and – BOOM! – he ran straight into the AL East first place flag pole (Blue Jays) and hit the deck.  He thought it was hilarious.  The Bird then started hobbling around like he was drunk. 

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Here is another picture of us with the Bird.  This is actually pre-Battle, when Tim was sizing up his competition.  A couple innings later (I believe in the 8th), Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena hit back-to-back jacks for the Rays.  Pena’s HR ball landed just about where we are standing in this picture.  It easily landed on the cement within 10 feet of us.  I was blinded by the sun (as was everyone else) and totally lost the ball.  The ball crashed hard to the pavement and bounced dirctly into a guys cheek bone and, from his face, back onto the field.  A few minutes later, an Orioles attendant ran out with a bag of ice and a bottle of water for the guy.

Here is a good view of the flag courtyard:

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The Pena homerun landed a couple feet closer to the camera from the closest pole direclty in the middle of the picture (the Rays flag pole).  The Dance Battle with the Bird went down between the two furtherest poles in the middle and left side of the picture.  Hey, while we’re standing right here, how about a picture of the original foul pole from Memorial Stadium?

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 And, how about a panaramic view from this corner of the stadium?  Yeah, why not?
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And, while we’re at it, how about another from behind home plate?
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Nice, huh?  Its a great park.  Really, the only bad thing about it is that the concourses are closed off from the field.
no view concourse.jpg  Here is an example from behind home plate, slightly towards 1B.

Unless you’re in the tunnel, you cannot see the field from the concourse.  However, there is plenty of standing room inside the stadium.

So, after hanging out for a long, long, long time in the flag pole courtyard and taking some picts for the panaramics above, it was time for a Cook tradition – ice cream in a home team helmet!  Wait, the Orioles are one of the few teams out there who don’t have ice cream helmets.  NOOOOOO!!!!  I put in an official request (well, I told the lady in the fan assistance office that it was “official”) that they get ice cream helmets in the near future.

Tim didn’t seem to mind not having a helmet.  And soon it was time for some jumping in the bouncy house!

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Unfortunately, when it was time for Tim’s group of kids to clear out of the bouncy house, Tim (predictably) did not want to leave so this guy had to go get him (check out that sad face!):

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Here is picture from the kids’ area looking toward the concourse.
kids corner.jpg  From where I am standing with the camera, it is a hard right to get to right field and Eutaw Street. After taking this picture, we headed back to the courtyard for the Pena homerun.  We then headed toward home plate to watch the rest of the game from the fancy seats.  One great thing about Camden Yards (great for fans, not for the Orioles ownership) is that it is pretty empty a lot of the time.  Lots of great seats to sit in.  Here is a picture of us between the courtyard and home plate.  An attendant actually took this right as we got to the field before the game.
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And here are some view from the seats you can sit in after paying $9/ticket for the upper-deck:

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We only sat in these seats for 1 inning.  Tim was starting to get tired and grouchy from having no nap.  After an inning, we went up directly behind home plate to see if anyone would foul a ball straight back.  If they did, I figured I’d get it easily because no one was up there – maybe three people besides us.  Well, I was wrong.third base line.jpg  A ball did get fouled straight back, but it hit the seats and richoted straight up.  It landed on a little fence/ledge below the TV / radio booths.  It then rolled toward the first base side for about 20 feet.  Tim was on my shoulders and I trailed below the ball waiting for it to fall down.  Unfortunately, it fell down about 5 feet in front of me and bounced once before falling down the stairway and directly to a teenage boy running up the stairs for the ball.  Had the ball come down a foot or two in either direction, it would have missed the stairs and we would have gotten it easily.  Bummer!

Anyway, here is a nice picture of the reverse view of the Pat Burrell photo above.  When I took the Burrell photo, we were sitting almost directly where the attendant in the ridiculously bright orange jacket is standing in this photo…and the hooligans I mentioned earlier were sitting to the left in the first row above the aisle (the raised seats) and directly against the tunnel out to the concourse.  Anyway, that, in a nutshell, was our first game of the season.  As for the actual game, the Rays won 11-3.  The Orioles scored all 3 of their runs in the bottom of the 9th.  James Sheilds got the win, Adam Eaton the loss.  Homeruns by Longoria, Pena, Zobrist, and Barlett.  A 3 RBI triple by Carl Crawford.  It was an action-packed game, and an extremely fun game, particularly for a game without the Mariners  I’ll leave you with some season fan stats and a couple more pictures fo me and the little guy taken by the very accomodating stadium attendants:
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“Cheese!”

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Season Fan Stats:

1 Game

1 Stadium (Camden Yards)

2 Teams (Orioles, Rays)

0 Ice Cream helmets (Booo Orioles!)

0 Baseballs

1 Awesome Day of Baseball

Next Up:  Padres vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, April 19, 2009

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