Because I can: A few thoughts and pictures from my holiday week.
7/3 – Mariners vs. As
O.co is a lousy place to watch a ballgame, and I gather that it sucks to play there too. All the worst features of a generic stadium planned for multiple sports and none of the good–assuming there are any.
But when your team wins, you can forgive a lot. The Ms’ four two-run home runs suggested they might finally be pulling out of their extended hitting doldrums. It’s only a suggestion, of course: Wednesday’s 0-14 with runners in scoring position shows they still have a lot of work to do, but, y’know. Hope.
And a very impressive fireworks show after the game. If you’re one of those heretic non-baseball fans, you should consider going out to the ballpark on a fireworks night just for the show. And if you wind up enjoying the game too, so much the better.
A relaxing way to spend the Forth. Carnival games for the kids–and a rock-climbing wall and pony rides–a few local merchants and community organization booths*. Amateur entertainment: a karate demonstration, Zumba demonstrations, a clown act. Fortunately, this year’s acts didn’t include any singers. And the lion dance was very impressive. Outlining the lions in color-changing electroluminescent wire was a great idea.
* I got a key chain from the San Pablo Police Department, a flashlight from the San Pablo Senior Center–and joined the San Pablo Friends of the Library.
The fireworks weren’t as technically impressive as the As’ show, but were just as satisfying.
7/7 – Manuscript editing
Sachiko was kind enough to offer her thoughts. She wasn’t impressed. I don’t think the chapter can be salvaged to her standards: it doesn’t have nearly enough scenes of cats being fed.
7/7 – Blaze vs. Giants
Minor league baseball at its best. Perfect weather, excellent seats, and a good game.
One of the beauties of lower-level baseball is the small parks. Sitting close enough to the field that you an read players’ lips after they commit an error gives you a totally different impression of the game than you get from a seat in the upper deck at a major league stadium.
San Jose won the game 9-4. At the same time, the San Francisco Giants beat the Mets to end their seven game losing streak and the Mariners came from behind to win their game against the Tigers in extra innings. So the only team that didn’t have a good time was Bakersfield.
The most dramatic play of the game was Angel Villalona’s long, high home run to center field. Villalona, San Jose’s first baseman, has a body that puts one in mind of Pablo Sandoval, and when he gets it behind a ball, one suspects he could hit it through the fence.
Despite the majesty of Villalona’s home run, the most interesting sight of the day was pitcher Tyler Rogers. He has one of the purest submarine deliveries I’ve ever seen, and he uses it to great effect: 39 strikeouts to 9 walks in 37 innings for San Jose so far this season. I expect him to move up quickly–he had a rough time in a brief stint at AA Richmond (Go Flying Squirrels!) but he seems to be putting the pieces together well, and I expect him to do much better on his next try.