It's hard to go wrong with an Anchorman
quote, especially when talking about "America's Finest City".
I'm on vacation this week thus the lack of lineups in the game threads and my general lack of presence to keep you guys in line in the comments but The Angel Fan Wife and I procured a baby-sitter, (Uncle Chris) and headed on down south for my first look at the Bums in Blue - 2007 style.
The drive from Long Beach was rather breezy, only a bit of traffic just as we reached the outskirts of the city. Camp Pendleton were in the midst
of some sort of training or maneuvers as there were about 3 very large helicopters doing all sorts of interesting stuff, either that or we were being invaded by a family of three
trying to cross the road.
We parked a few blocks out to save on parking and trekked it to the park to get our tickets. Petco has an interesting pricing structure to
discourage people from going to the games
, encourage people to buy tickets online. They actually raise prices by $2 for day of game tickets bought at the ticket window. For all I know this is common practice around ballparks these days, but it's the first time I came across such corporate trickery and maybe "whale's vagina" wasn't that far off.
We got their pretty early so we could dine at one of the fine establishments in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter
just a few blocks from the park. After heavy deliberations, we saw a solid contingent of Cubs fans hanging out at the Rockin Baja Lobster
which looked like a good place for a margarita, ones that happened to cost as much as our dinners.
Once done with our pre-game adventures we headed to the park, our seats in the front row of the upper right field boxes
(Section 233). A pretty decent view of the park, although you had to stand up to see anything hit to the wall in right.
As for the game itself, well you all watched it, but here are a few of my own observations:
- After Michael Barrett finished warming up Sean Marshall in the bullpen he headed to the dugout. I'm not sure if this is ritual or not, but he proceeded to do the man-hug handshake with just about everyone in the bullpen except Rothschild who just got the handshake. I guess Larry isn't the touchy-feely type.
- Marshall looked pretty unimpressive to start the game and the first few innings. The location was all over the place although he did change speeds quite effectively as his final line of 8 K's will attest to.
- Petco is just a brutal hitters park. The Cubs hit a few that just died particularly Lee's shot to center that barely hit the warning track. A ball that sounded like a homer off the bat. Of course to be fair, Marshall would have been gone by the fifth in most any other park.
- Either Wells had a pedestrian move to first or Murton's been studying up because he had a walking lead on his stolen base.
- There's a dancing groundskeeper who breaks from the pack when they rake the infield. He has a scoreboard graphic and everything. He also rules.
- I'd love to tell what Murton was thinking or doing when he got doubled off second base but we were on a quest for ice cream so I only saw it on the monitors. I can tell you what he was thinking afterwards though, "Crap, that was dumb...better not make eye contact with Lou when I walk in the dugout".
- There was a nice audible thump when Soriano hit the wall and scoreboard on a deep fly to left followed by a nice audible "oooh" from the crowd (can't recall the batter or the inning). Soriano was flexing his wrist for the better part of the rest of the inning.
- The rally-crushing double play by Izturis was about as predictable as they come.
- I absolutely have no idea why Piniella went out to visit Marshall right before the blast to Kouzmanoff if not to take him out. Marshall had been tempting fate all day with some deep flyballs and Wuertz had been up for the better part of 20 minutes in case Marshall had to be pinch-hit for in the top half of the inning.
- If you've never witnessed "Trevor Time" in person
, you're missing out. Hoffman walks out to "Hells Bells" and the crowd goes nuts ala "Wild Thing" in "Major League". Of course if I was a closer, I'd go with "Peanut Butter-Jelly Time
Not much else to say, another one-run loss and a depressing walk to the car. Sigh. Cubs try to avoid the sweep tonight against Chris Young with Marquis going for the Cubs. I'll be watching at home tonight but I'm going to try and hit a couple Dodger games this weekend.