Results tagged ‘ Hanley Ramirez ’

Cook Force 3 Invades D.C. (4/21/2012)

Saturday, April 21, 2012, was a personally historic day for us.  Our little 2-man father-son team has officially grown by one.

Up until this day, Kellan had been to 10 games, but I had only brought Kellan along with us if Colleen was also joining us.  But, at a few months shy of his second birthday, I have officially deemed Kellan to be old enough join me and Tim at the ballpark without additional assistance.  So Colleen got the day off and treated herself to a fun solo Saturday (shopping, eating out, haircut, etc.).

Meanwhile, the Cook Boys jumped in the car at 8:00 a.m. and headed south to the nation’s capital.

On the drive down south, Tim and I discussed the Marlins new logo, of which I am not a fan.  Tim launched into a hilarious explanation of how the new Marlins logo is a Marlin jumping in the water at night with the various colors reflecting off of the water, etc., etc.  Then he wrapped up with, “so, now you understand why you should like the new Marlins logo, right?”

Maybe you had to be there.  But it was pretty hilarious how he explained his thoughts on the Marlins logo.

Watch out, there were some little Cook boys at the ballpark who were gloved and ready for some action!

Let’s hit the stands!

Now, a ton of Saturday games across MLB are scheduled as day games this season (for the record, I’m not a fan of it), and this was one of them.  I was pretty sure that would mean no BP before this game.  And when we entered the ballpark at approximately 10:30 a.m., the field was empty with no signs of BP to come.

We hit the restroom and then milled around a bit in LF.  Eventually, Mark Buehrle (did I mention we would be seeing the Miami Marlins vs. the Washington Nationals?) walked out to LF along with Marlins bullpen catcher Jeff Urgelles and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius.  Buehrle and Urgelles played catch for a while in LF…

…and then all three headed into the bullpen so Buehrle could throw from the mound.  We were right behind the bullpen.  Cornelius and Buehrle headed over to the mound and Urgelles set up shop at home plate, just below us.  As Buehrle and Cornelius were in the middle of a discussion, Urgelles was just standing around waiting.  I could see several baseballs inside his open equipment bag right behind him.  I figured, “What the heck?”

Todd – “Hey, Jeff!”

Urgelles – (looking up with a sort of surprised and happy look on his face) “Yeah!?”

Todd – “Anyway you could toss one of those baseballs up to my boy?”

Urgelles – (Enthusiastically)  “Yeah, no problem.”

(Urgelles goes over and grabs a baseball from his bag and looks back up at us.)

Urgelles – (to Tim) “But, you have to catch it!  And you only gets one chance!”

Todd & Tim – “Okay”

He tossed the baseball up in such a way that it would fall back into the bullpen if Tim missed it:

Heck no!  Tim gloved that sucker!  And guess what –

It was a Marlins Park commemorative baseball!

SCORE!

Check out Kellan in that last picture, “Gimme that baseball!”  (Actually, he just said, “Ball!  Ball!  Ball!”

We all went crazy!  And we rained down the “Thank Yous!” on Urgelles, who seemed very happy for Tim.  We chatted briefly, joking about Kellan wanting to throw the ball back down to Urgelles – which I have no doubt he would have done had I let him – and discussing our Mariners gear – Urgelles seemed to agree it was cool to show our team loyalty and at least we weren’t wearing Nationals or another N.L. team’s gear (no threat from the A.L.).

Urgelles’s smile told the story:  the dude is definitely a cool guy.  Very nice.  Very happy to have made Tim’s day by challenging him and then watching him succeed.  We talked about meeting up later during BP to get a picture with Urgelles, but it just didn’t work out.  But I’m definitely going to try to reconnect with him later this year to try to get a picture of him and Tim together.

Thanks, Jeff!

Oh, yeah, at some point Tim yelled down to Urgelles, “I like your new logo!” ha, ha…funny guy.

With our fancy new Marlins Park baseball in hand, we bounced up the stairs…

…and headed off to the play area.

There were ZERO other kids out there.  Normally, you get three hacks at the whiffle ball air tee.  Tim took about 15-20 hacks…

…before turning over the bat to his little brother.  After 2-3 swings, Kellan turned around and tried to hit balls into the open concourse area.  Luckily, no one was around.

You need proof?  Here is proof that no one was around:

In the top left, that’s the lady running the kids’ play area climbing up the slide while holding Kellan like a sack of potatoes (not a good plan).  Kellan flew down the slide and loved it.  Then Tim and the lady running the play area did some crazy slides, including (as shown) head first belly sliding and backwards sliding.

This lady loved playing with Tim and Kellan and, if it was up to her, we would have just stayed there all day.  We came back several times over the course of the day and she did more crazy sliding with Tim (despite there then being about 200 crazy kids running all around).

Unfortunately, Kellan is too young for most of the play area.  You have to be 3-8 years old to go up in the play area *thingy*.  So Kellan and I hung out in the little *net* room under the *thingy*.

Anyway, we headed back to the field after a sufficient amount of playing.

When we got back to LF, they were just finishing setting up the cage and screens for BP.  That was a nice surprise.  We headed down into section 106:

We chatted a little bit with a Phillies fan who decided to go “neutral” and wear an Oakland A’s hat.  He offered to take our picture:

We hung out in LF until they opened the rest of the stadium at 11:30.  Then we headed into foul territory and hung out behind a big protective net (don’t need my boys getting tagged by a batted ball).

Urgelles was over there for a bit, but we missed our chance to get a picture.  As I said, we’ll keep trying.

It was getting pretty warm in the sun.  So we decided to walk all the way around home plate and out to RF, which was nice and shady.  I guess it would have been a shorter walk to head up to the concourse and circle the outfield.  But had we done that, Ozzie Guillen would not have had the chance to go grab this baseball…

…and then toss it to us.

Sure, Ozzie is a controversial figure, but I like him.

Muchas gracias, Ozzie!

We hung out in RF foul territory for a bit.  I took the opportunity to take off Kellan’s long sleeve undershirt.  And then Steve Cishek tossed us a baseball:

Thanks, Steve!

RF was nice, but Kellan kept trying to climb down to the lower rows between the railing and the end-seat – despite Tim playing blocker.

I decided it would be easier for us out in RF homerun territory.  You see, there is this funny little corner spot that would act as a natural *Kellan blocker*.  We grabbed some seats by the corner spot…

…and the boys broke out our bag of snacks (or as Kellan says, “Nack! Nack! Nack!”).

If you scanned the ground after we left this spot, you’d have to seriously question if more snacks were consumed or more were dropped on the ground.  Kellan was dropping “nacks” like it was going out of style.

We hung out for a while in this spot — nothing all that special to say about this picture, I just thought it was funny:

Shortly after this picture, Kellan dropped this big bottle of water…

…down into the Nationalbullpen – probably 20 feet below. Luckily, as’  bullpen attendant ran over and tossed it back up to us.

While chatting with a guy who works for Boeing in the Seattle area, Tim was excited to get a toss-up from a fellow number 55, all-star Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson:

We decided that we’d had our fill of BP and it was time to do some walking.  We walked a TON during this game.  In all, we circled the entire stadium 3+ times.

For some reason, we walked toward home plate (passing a group of Mariners fans!) and we kept walking and walking.  I think we were on our way to get nachos in the LF corner.  I thought the boys looked terribly cute walking through the concourse together:

We decided we needed to get some more play-time in before nachos.  So we headed back to the kids’ play area.  Tim went up top and did some more crazy sliding.  Kellan and I went in the little net room and threw our cloth baseball off of the walls:

Then, we finally grabbed some nachos.   Actually, first, we walked all the way around the ballpark AGAIN.  I figured there would be nachos in the concourse down the RF line…but no.  So we kept walking and walking (actually, I carried Kellan much of the time), and made it all the way back to the nacho place in LF.

Success!  Nachos!

Then we walked – with me holding Kellan and a whole bunch of nachos — to our seats in RF foul territory.  Guess what?  It was bring your dog to the ballpark day.  As we passed by, I notied that the Nats had set up some grass in the CF concourse…

…so the dogs to relieve themselves during the game.  Very thoughtful of you, Nats.

We reached our seats moments after the first pitch, and it was on!  Yeah, the game was on too, but I mean “it” (nacho time!) was on:

It is official:  The Cook Family Loves Nachos.

And rightly so.  They are the world’s perfect food.  And the Nationals offer some great chili cheese nachos down the LF line.

Anyway, the game was “on” too.  This was our view from Section 137:

Our actual seats were in Row EE, between the “Bohvechkin” guy with his arm in the air (above) and the guy standing and shouting in the other red shirt.  But we were hanging back a few rows so we could stay in the very refreshing shade.

This sort of famous young pitcher was on the hill for the Nationals:

Stephen Strasburg, have you heard of him?  On that pitch above, he induced a ground out by Emilio Bonafacio.

Hanley Ramirez struck out (but not on this pitch)…

…to end the first inning.  It was the first of six K’s Strasburg recorded on the day.

Sometimes a baseball game makes more sense when you watch it on TV instead of in person because there are no commentators in the ballpark.  In the top of the second inning, Logan Morrison led off with a single to CF.  And then *something* happened, but I have no clue *what* had happened.  It looked like this:

First, it appeared that the ball got fouled off of the home plate umpire, or it just hit him on the live pitch.  I’m not sure.  Whatever happened, the umpire was somewhat hurt and needed attention from the training staff.

On the play, Logan Morrison took second.  As you can see in the top left picture, the first base coach is standing on first, but Morrison is gone.  The trainer talked to the umpire for a while.  Strasburg threw some pitches to keep warm while this was happening.

Finally, the umpire was ready to go again.  And then he called Morrison back to first.  In the bottom left picture, you can see him standing on the bag (the middle head of the three pictured).  That caused Ozzie Guillen and another Marlins coach to come out and argue with the umpires for a long time.  In the end, LoMo was back of first.

On TV, I’m sure it all made complete sense what was going on.  But in the ballpark, I had no clue…neither did Tim or Kellan, especially Kellan.

Speaking of Kellan, he copies just about everything he seeing me or Tim do.  You might have noticed that I wear my glove on my head a lot during games.  Well, at one point, Kellan put his glove on his head.  So Tim followed suit and we got a picture (during which Kellan’s glove started to fall off his head) of the three glove-heads:

This was Kellan’s eleventh  MLB game overall, and his second Marlins/Nationals game.  Last season, we saw the *Florida* Marlins in DC and Kellan had a cool little exchange with Anibal Sanchez.  At this game, Anibal was facing off against Strasburg:

And he was looking sharp, too.

Anibal retired the first four batters.  The fifth batter was Jayson Werth…and Anibal retired him too:

Tim kept asking if we could go blow bubbles, which prompted Kellan to chime in “Bubbles!  Bubbles!  Bubbles!”  I had no clue what Tim was talking about.  But Tim led us right to the spot…

…and he blew a bunch of bubbles at an Autism Awareness booth in the LCF concourse behind the Red Porch.  And then it was time to grab some ice cre…wait, Tim switched things up, it was time for Dipping Dots!  So we walked almost all the way around the stadium looking for the dipping dots.  During the walk, Tim climbed up into the Gecko’s arms (above) and acted like he was being captured.

Tim went for banana split dipping dots…

…while I picked mint chocolate chip for me and Kellan to share.

We grabbed some ice cream seats in the handicapped seating down the first base line and watched Strasburg deal it…

…while Kellan and Tim chowed down on their dots to reviews of *two thumbs up*:

Tim figured out the dots fit perfectly into the drink holder and he could eat his dots with his feet up on the railing.  Ah…the good life.

I kept trying to get a good action shot of Strasburg, and I was finally satisfied with this one:

In the top of the sixth inning, Jose Reyes came to the plate with one out.  All of a sudden, I decided I should get a shot of Reyes, but he knocked a base hit down the RF line right as I pulled my camera out of my cargo pocket.  But I got him rounding first and then sliding in safe at second:

Reyes was FLYING!  That guy has some wheels.

Two batters later, Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate again.  And on this pitch, he chucked his bat 4-5 rows deep into the stands and nailed the guy in the blue shirt in the elbow:

As the boys kept munching their dots, I decided to get a shot of Reyes scoring from second – all I needed was Logan Morrison to get a 2-out hit.  But as Reyes started to turn on his afterburners, Morrison grounded the ball up the middle (you can see the ball directly behind Reyes’ left heal)…

…for an inning ending 6-3 ground out.

The score was still 0-0.  Both pitchers were looking really strong.  We decided to make one final trip to the kids’ play area:

While we were in there, Ian Desmond hit a solo homerun to put the Nationals up 1-0.

Kellan met up with another little guy who must have been right around 1-year-old.  He was walking, but he was teeny tiny.  Kellan walked up and hugged him (“oh, look at the cute baby”) and Kellan looked like Andre The Giant hugging this little guy.  He then started crawling around after the little guy:

Before we left the play area, Jayson Werth hit another solo homerun for the Nationals.  That made it 2-0 Nationals.

We left the play area and headed up to the second deck in CF.  There is a standing room party-type area in CF – when you look at the seating map on the Nationals website, it doesn’t even show this area.  So there is no “section” number.  But here is the view from that area:

And here is a look at the busy SRO area with the packed Red Porch in the background:

Ozzie Guillen made a major gaffe when he put the line-up together – he gave Giancarlo “Mike” Stanton the day off.  It was unfortunate for the Marlins because Stanton hits a monster bomb or two almost every time we ever see the Marlins.

Well, Giancarlo pinch hit for Anibal Sanchez.  On the first pitch, Giancarlo seemed to get a hit:

But Ian Desmond made a diving stop on the ball and was able to just barely throw out Chris Coghlan at second base.  Had Coghlan not been on base, Stanton probably would have been safe at first.

Anyway, we walked around the back of the Red Porch, which looked like this…

…and then we headed over to the upper deck in LF foul territory.

Since it was our first game of just the three guys, I wanted a good picture of the three of us and I didn’t think our first group shot was very good.  Unfortunately, the pictures didn’t get much better in the upper deck.

Well, this one from section 306 turned out pretty good:

And this picture turned out okay…

…but for some reason, the usher who took it managed not to get any of the field in the background.

After that guy failed to get the field behind us, I took a test self-portrait, and Kellan gave me a no games, super-serious look:

He smiles and laughs constantly when he is not being photographed, but for 85% of all pictures and videos he goes ultra-serious.

Another usher did a much better job framing the shot, but Tim wasn’t looking in the picture:

Oh, well.  We’ll get a better group shot next time…or the time after that, or after that, or after that.

The ninth inning crept right up on us.  The Nationals were still winning 2-0, and Strasburg (who pitched six innings) was in line for the win.  We headed down to the field level with the idea of trying to get in place for an umpire ball attempt.

We grabbed some seats about 20 rows back, just above the home plate end of the dugout.

Brad Lidge came in to close it down for the Nationals.

Oops…sorry, Strasburg, but Lidge walked Hanley Ramirez to start the inning and then Logan Morrison crushed a homerun into the second deck above the Nationals bullpen:

No win for Strasburg and, eventually, we were heading into extra innings!

Kellan fell asleep hugging me tight:

And then someone hit a foul ball that literally landed within five feet of us!  It landed right across the aisle and one row below us.  But I couldn’t even make an attempt on it because the little guy was sawing some serious logs.  The ball came right to another dad and his son.  Both had gloves ready on their hands.  The ball smacked into the palm of the dad’s glove and then bounced out, skipped off the steps and bounced into the gut of an older guy running up the stairs.

Chances are that will be our one chance to catch a game foul this year.  Oh, well.  It was great having the little guy take a nap on my chest while Tim and I watched the game.

Actually, Tim wasn’t just watching the game, he was documenting it.  After he took the picture of me and Kellan, he asked if he could take some pictures.  I agreed and he started snapping away.  As I watched him, it seemed like he was zoomed WAY in on everything and wasn’t getting anything he wanted to get.

But as our family watched a slide show of our game pictures later that night (which we do as a family on our TV after each game), I discovered that Tim took amazingly awesome pictures!  I was shocked and so very proud of my little baseball photographer in training.

Check out Tim’s handiwork.

Donnie Murphy (pinch running for Greg Dobbs) leading off first base in the top of the ninth inning:

Joey Espada, who tossed us a baseball at Sun Life Stadium last season, coaching third base:

The Marlins relievers (Heath Bell and Edward Mujica) and Nationals reliever (Tom Gorzelanny, accompanied by Jim Lett) warming up in the bullpens:

Both teams’ bat boys in action:

Omar Infante getting ready for the next pitch as Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos fires the baseball back to Brad Lidge:

Ozzie Guillen encouraging Infante to get hit (while accompanied by Greg Dobbs and Marlins batting coach Eduardo Perez):

Here’s my favorite of Tim’s photos: a dejected Chris Coghlan walking off the field after Infante failed to deliver the go-ahead RBI hit:

Great job, Timsky!

Tim snapped Donnie Murphy warming up his arm before the bottom of the ninth inning:

And Marlins relief pitcher Edward Mujica:

Oh…time out, I took this one of Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez…

…who appear to peacefully co-exist on the left side of the Marlins in field.

In the top of the tenth, Tim asked to get the camera back because he had not got a shot he wanted:  a Marlin running.  He did a great job getting this picture of Hanley Ramirez running out a deep fly out to RF (I actually thought it had a chance to fly out of the park):

After catching the baseball from Jeff Urgelles, Tim really wanted the Marlins to win.  He was a bit upset when the Nationals regrouped in the bottom of the tenth and won the game 3-2 on a sacrifice fly to CF by Ian Desmond.  By this point, Kellan was awake again.  On the crack of the bat, I could tell it was a game winner, so Tim and I (Kellan in my arms) hustled down the stairs to the third or fourth row.  We slid into the row and were in the perfect spot when home plate umpire Greg Gibson walked by and handed us our final baseball of the day.

Thanks, blue!

We tried to track down Jeff Urgelles on his walk in from the bullpen, but the crowd behind the dugout was tough to squeeze through and we got to 3B right as Urgelles passed by and entered the dugout.  We’ll track him down later this season!

So, we called it a day and walked to the car.  Tim entertained himself in the car by taking more pictures…

…while Kellan ate some “nacks” and relaxed.

It was a big day for the little guy.  He was fast asleep about half an hour before we got home…

…and Tim capped off the drive watching some “Octonauts” on youtube on my cellphone.

Hey, it was a good day.  Let’s do it again next weekend…

Okay, yeah, you got a deal.  Let’s do it!  We’ll see you soon, Camden Yards!

2012 C&S Fan Stats

2/1 Games (Tim/Kellan)
4/2 Teams – Tim –   Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Nationals; Kellan – Marlins, Nationals
1 Ice Cream Helmet(s) – Phillies 1
12 Baseballs – Marlins 4, Mets   4, Nationals 1, Phillies 1, Umpires 2
1 Commemorative Baseball(s) – Marlins   Park
2/1 Stadiums – Tim – Citizens   Bank Park, Nationals Park; Kellan – Nationals Park
1/0 Player Photos – Tim – Ricky   Bones; Kellan – N/A

 

Moyer Masters The Marlins (9/9/07)

On Sunday, September 9, 2007, we gathered in Philadelphia for Tim’s 7th game and Jamie Moyer’s 600th.

All of the Cooks were in attendance:

1 - terrible self-family portrait.jpg

Ah, how young Tim used to love that pacifier.  It’ll make a couple more appearances here on this blog in the future.

Along with us were our friends, the Grecos:

2 - tim and grecos.jpg

We sat in Section 235, Row 9:

citz seating.jpg.

This was our first time ever sitting in the 200-level at Citizens Bank Park.  I really liked these seats.  Row 9 is actually the last row in that section and directly behind the seats is a concrete wall so we were able to stand up as much as we wanted without blocking anyone’s view behind us.  Plus, we were in the shade most (if not all) of the hot day.

Speaking of views, here was our view:

3 - citz panarama.jpgCheck out how empty the stadium was on a Sunday afternoon game during  pennant race!  At this point, the Phils were still six games back.  Of course, they would go on to win the East with a record of 89-73 thanks to a historic choke by the New York Mets.

In 2009, after winning the 2008 World Series, Citizens Bank Park never looked this empty.  Not even close.  The place was constantly packed to the rafters with fans.

Anyway, back to the game.  I was excited because this was the first time Tim ever got to see Jamie Moyer pitch…

4 - moyer mastery.jpg…and you know Moyer always dominates the Marlins.

Moyer cruised through the first five innings pitching shut out ball.  It was great, Tim was having a blast…

5 - fun in the shade.jpg…and he was amazed when Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand made a leaping catch and smashed face first into the wall in deep LCF.

Meanwhile, the offense was clicking against a struggling Dontrelle Willis.  Pat Burrell went 2-4 with 3 RBI and his 215th career home run.  Carlos Ruiz went 3-4 with 2 RBI and his 9th career home run.  Jimmy Rollins, Tad Iguchi and Aaron Rowand all also had multi-hit games and scored 4 runs between them.

With the game seemingly in hand behind the Phils 8-0 lead, it was time to get some shots of the kids…

6 - posing.jpg…goofing around in the seats…

7 - fun with oversized sunglasses.jpg…and these kids were some master goofers.  They loved Rhonda’s oversized glasses.

And of course we had fun watching the Phillie Phanatic blast hot dogs into the stands with his big, high-powered hot dog gun…

8 - hot dog shooter.jpg…the sight of a foil-wrapped hot dog spinning around in the air as it descends into the crowd always cracks me up.  One of these days I have to glove one of those dogs.  That would certainly be memorable.

The wheels fell off for Moyer in the bottom of the sixth.  He gave up home runs to Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermida, and Mike Jacobs, and that was all she wrote for Moyer on this day.  But it didn’t matter.  He had all of the run support he needed to guide the Phils to the victory.

Tim’s look of concern as the Marlins mounted their too-little-too-late come back…

9 - it was a good game.jpg

…soon gave way to a big smile as he witnessed the Phillies bats power Moyer to his 229th career victory.

Yep.  It was a good day.

By the way, do you notice how I’m wearing a Phillies T-Shirt in the picture above to the left?  I planned to (and in fact did) meet up with the Phillies Senior V.P. of Marketing, Dave Buck, to talk about the Baseball Log during this game.  I work with Dave’s brother and I figured I’d wear a Phils shirt for the occassion.  I still wore my Mariners hat, which Dave said he could respect.  (Side note:  the Marlins sixth inning rally took place when I was off meeting with Dave). 

Although nothing came of the meeting with respect to the Baseball Log, Dave hooked us up with extremely awesome tickets (for which I was quite grateful) to an upcoming game against the Rockies, which will be my next entry…coming soon.

Jamie Moyer and the Marlins (8-9-09)

On Sunday, August 9, 2009, Tim and I made our way down to Citizens Bank Park to watch the Phillies and, more importantly, Jamie Moyer face off against the Florida Marlins.  This wasn’t a game I’d originally planned to attend.  However, I ended up buying tickets to all three Dodgers games back in May before finally deciding on attending the Wednesday, May 13, 2009 game.  I was told I could exchange my extra tickets for certain games — this seemed like the best trade-in option.  I was pleasantly surprised when Cliff Lee joined the Phillies and they shifted the pitching rotation so Jamie Moyer would start this game.

I’m always a little let down if we go to a Phillies game and someone else is pitching.  So I was very excited when I learned Moyer would start this game instead of J. Happ.

For possibly the first time ever in Philadelphia, we arrived early to the game!  The teams weren’t taking BP, but I was happy to learn that it was Phillies alumni weekend and they were about to start an alumni hitting challenge.

There were three teams of two — here are all of them but except Ricky Bottalico:

1 - alumni challenge hitters.jpg
3a - phanatic fish net.jpgTop left, Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams.  He actually put some decent swings on the ball.

Top middle, some dude.  They said he was one of the heros of the 1980 World Series team.   I reviewed the 1980 line-up and none of the names jumped out at me.  So I’m sorry, I have no clue who that is.  He hit a few hot line drives that almost had HR distrance but went foul.

Bottom left, Jim Eisenreich.  Not too shabby.  But nothing to write home about.

Bottom middle, Milt Thompson.  He’s the Phillies current hitting coach so you’d want him to blast mammoth bombs…or maybe just hit solid base hits.  Okay, i guess he did a good job of the latter.  But no mammoth bombs.

Right, Ricky Jordan.  The hitting star of the challenge.  He hit two bombs to LF.  One landed about 8 rows back and bounced all the way passed the cross aisle at the top of the section.  The second was caught on the fly by a fan in the first row.  These were the only HRs of the hitting challenge.

The team of Ricky and Ricky won the challenge on the strength of the Jordan bombs.

By the way, the Phanatic made a sweet diving catch with hit fish net on a hard liner to right-CF.  He got a huge ovation from the fans.  Unlike Tommy Lasorda, folks in Philadelphia (including me and Tim) love them some Phillies Phanatic.

We’ve never been to BP in Philadelphia before.  So it would nice to *sorta* see BP at Citizens Bank Park.  It was the first time we’d ever been able to hang out in the LF seats because they guard it like its made outta solid gold during games.

We had some fun watching the challenge out there:

2 - tim alumni challenge.jpg

By the way, check out Tim’s give-away Ryan Howard trucker cap.  Not too shabby.  He liked it.

Both of the Ricky Jordan HRs came near us, but we didn’t have a play on either.

After the home run challenge, it was time to take a lot of pictures.  I decided my main focus would be my main man in Philadelphia, Jamie Moyer.

By the way, during the game, one of my friends and colleagues called my cellphone to inform me that Tim and I were on TV during the pre-game broadcast.  Apparently, it was about a 5-second shot of Tim sitting on my shoulders while I took pictures (and/or fidgeted with my wife’s camera).  One reader commented on my last entry noting that he also saw us.  Too bad I have Directv and therefore almost no Phillies games on TV, otherwise I might have DVR’d the game.

Oh, well.  Let’s take a photographic tour of the pre-game rituals of Mr. Moyer.

The game was a 1:35 start.  As shown below, at around 12:45, Moyer and catcher Paul Bako were among the only Phillies in the dugout:

3 - moyer dugout.jpg

Is it just me, or is Moyer watching me and Tim in that first picture?  Also, note all of the cool bat knobs in the second picture.  I love wood bats.

After a while, Bako made his way toward the bullpen and I took these shots for a panaramic (we were standing at the end of the Phillies dugout at the time):

4 - citz 1b field panaramic.jpg

About 20 seconds later, Moyer started walking the to the bullpen as well.  The crowd gave him a lot of nice comments as he made his way.  Although the fans in Philadelphia can be rude and ridiculous, I’ve found that they also can be really great.  They appreciate someone who done things right.  And they showed some love for Moyer as he walked to the bullpen.

I was similarly impressed by Philadelphia’s fans last season when Ken Griffey, Jr. played a four-game set in Philadelphia while sitting on 599 homeruns.  I went to three of those games (Tim joined me for one), and the fans were outstanding.  Griff pinch hit in two of the games at times when a homerun would have been devastating to the Phillies, and the entire stadium stood for his at bats, and people were really pulling for him to make history.

Anyway, here is Moyer following Bako out to the bullpen:

5 - moyer bako to pen.jpg

Bako practiced his squating while Moyer ran some sprints from CF to RF:

6 - moyer running.jpg

After running and stretching, Moyer grabbed two balls out of this glove and popped a squat behind Bako:

7b - meditation.JPG

I got the feeling  he was praying.  He sat there for a little while before hopping up to play catch with Bako.

I used this time to take some pictures of the OF wall in RF and CF.

7 - OF wall views.jpg
I thought it was interesting that they had all those hoses/cords hanging on the wall under the stands in foul territory.  As for the picture to the right, I think Philadelphia has a really interesting CF wall.  Very interesting to look at.

 Next, Moyer played some long toss with Bako:

7a - moyer warm up motion.jpgNext, he warmed up from the mound in the bullpen:

8 - moyer bullpen motion.jpg

The Marlins pitcher, Josh Johnson, was also warming up in the bullpen at this time.  I took the picture below because I thought it was interesting how many levels/tiers there are out there:

9 - bullpen tiers.jpg

I count five levels — (i) we’re standing in the RF/CF stands, (ii) then it drops off 15 feet to the phillies bullpen, (iii) then it raises back up probably 12 feet to the visitors’ bullpen, (iv) then it raises up another 10-12 feet to the walkway in Ashburn Alley, and (v) then its up another 20 feet or so to the “roottop bleachers” and upper walkway.  Interesting design.  I approve.

 Soon, it was game time:
9a - Moyer the Moundsman.JPGMoyer got the loss, but he really pitched well.  He gave up 2 earned runs (3 total runs) in five innings.  In a lot of Phillies games, that is going to qualify the pitcher for a win.  But on this day, the Phillies just could not hit.

After watching Moyer pitch 3 scoreless innings, it was time to check out the play area.  Unfortunately, it was closed due to the rain.  So, Tim decided he’d like to play some catch.

10 - citz catch.jpg

This is Tim’s new deal since we played catch in the concourse at Yankee Stadium in July.  This was a great spot.  There were a number of Phillies employees watching us play catch and none of them cared whatsoever.  In fact, several of them helped us track down errant throws.  The fans and one food concession stand guy really seemed to enjoy watching us play catch.  In fact, one lady tried to get her daughter to play with us.  But the little girl wasn’t feeling it.

After playing catch for a while, we headed over to the SRO area behind the field level seats down the 1B line.  At pretty much every single game we ever attend, Tim asks me to buy him a certain sovenir, but I always say no.   But today, I said yes:

11 - no 1 finger.JPG

Tim loves that finger!  And at $9.00 for a piece of foam, he better love it for a long time!

At this point of the game, which I think was the 4th inning or so, the Phillies had a grand total of 1 hit.  However, Chase Utley sparked the offense with this mighty hack:

12 - utley whiffs to 1B.jpg

You might notice that the ball is between Utley’s legs.  He swung at such a bad pitch that the catcher couldn’t handle it.  A few second after this swing, Utley found himself standing on first base courtesy of a passed-ball-swinging-K.

Ryan Howard followed Utley…

13 - howard batting.jpg

…with a laser line drive to the first baseman.  Utley was doubled off.

Even the mighty Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul Ibanez couldn’t help the Phils…

14 - ibanez batting.jpg

…he grounded out to second.

We then went back to play catch a bit more.  It was the top of the 5th and the Phils were winning 1-0 on the strength of their one hit.  Unfortunately, Moyer gave up three runs (2 earned) in the top of the fifth.

The top of the seventh was a wacky (and for the Phillies) a terrible inning.  First, Shane Victorino managed to get thrown out of the game while playing CF.  Not a common occurence.  I guess he shrugged his shoulders on a called ball.  The umpire did not appreciate the gesture.

Jayson Werth replaced Victorno in CF and had a terrible game.  Including an error on a soft grounder up the middle with the bases loaded.  It went right under his glove and to the warning track before Raul could track it down.

Actually, I’m getting a head of myself a little bit.  Before the Werth error, I took three pictures that I combined to make this interesting view: 

15 - triple action zones.jpg

Note that the pitcher is about to release the ball, the batter is about to hit the ball, and Ryan Howard is helplessly watching as the ball lands 2 rows back in the seats.  By the way, when I took the dugout and walking to the bullpen pictures of Moyer, I was standing approximately where the guy in the green shirt and white hat is standing in the picture above (and Tim was sitting on my shoulders).

After Victorino was tossed, the entire crowd booed like crazy on almost every pitch for the rest of the game.  It was some of the loudest booing I’ve ever witnessed.  If the Phillies pitcher pitched a ball, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  If a Marlins pitcher pitched a called strike, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  If the Marlins changed pitchers, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  When the local celebrity told the crowd, “Its gonna be alright” before singing “God Bless America” in the middle of the 7th, BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

It was interesting.

But the Phils were done.  They gave up 6 runs in the 7th inning. 

Toward the end of the 7th, Marlins star Hanley Ramirez…

16 - hanley ramirez.jpg

hit a double…but not on this swing.  This was a foul ball.

By this point, the Phillies were losing 9-1.  Pedro Feliz hit a two-run bomb in the bottom of the 7th, but it was clear it would be too little too late.  Meanwhile, Tim was struggling to stay awake because he hadn’t really had a nap.  So we called it a day in the 8th and didn’t have to suffer through watching the Phillies give up 3 more runs in the top of the ninth.

Tim was asleep by the time we were 100 feet out of the parking lot.

Since this game, the Phillies have announced some news that is exciting to many — Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Wednesday in Chicago — but for others, like myself, it is at the same time quite sad.

To make room for Martinez, the Phillies have announced that Jamie Moyer will be moved to the bullpen.

Today, I read this article in which Moyer is quoted as stating that he is “disheartened” by this news.  I join Moyer in this respect.  I sincerely hope this isn’t the last start Tim and I get the honor of seeing Moyer make. If it is his last start in a Phillies uniform, I hope he can make another in a Mariners uniform.

Finally, I hope this is premature, but I’d like to thank Jamie for 145 wins and countless good memories.

NEXT UP:  Tim and I will be going on the our second annual Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Road Trip from August 14 – August 17th.  It is going to be a huge trip with lots of awesome and memorable moments.  Be sure to check back in to read about it.

Season Fan Stats:


17 - city hall.jpg21 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
7 Stadiums
(Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park)
17 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs,
Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins– and sort of the Giants)
17 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3) and Yankees)
18 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire, 1 Nationals) 
4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
 
3 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ryan Perry) 
2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
 
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)

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