So after the adventure I had gone through the previous game, and the state I awoke in, I feel as though I shouldn’t have been in the mood to go back to Citi Field any time soon, but so I did. I woke up at about 11:00 in the morning, and since the Mets had announced when the game was postponed that the gates would be opening at 4:10 and trains/buses run less regularly on the weekends, I almost immediately headed up to the apartment of a friend I was staying with this week in the Bronx, showered, got changed in to clothes that were more suited for the 50-degree temperatures, took all of the stuff I didn’t need in my backpack out, and headed off to Citi Field.
The way this game would work is the resumption of the previous night’s game would begin at 6:10 and the regularly-scheduled game would start soon after that. People who had tickets could exchange them at the box office for tickets that were that same dollar amount or lower. But since I was hopefully not going to be back at Citi Field after Sunday’s game (this entry you’re reading about is of a Saturday) and I had picked up a collective three ticket stubs the game before, I exchanged them in the following way: Two tickets for this game and one for the Sunday game:
The two tickets for this day’s game were behind the third base dugout and in left field, and the Sunday ticket was for further down the third base foul line. I figured that I would want more flexibility for this day’s game, and the next day’s game I already knew would be full of ballhawks, so I wanted to stay away from behind the dugouts and left field, which are the two most popular spots for ballhawks during the games at Citi Field. Also, it was John Franco bobblehead day, which Ben Weil was coming to specifically for the bobbleheads, so having two tickets to this game would enable him to get an extra bobblehead. (Even if I was stupid and gave him the ticket I already scanned to get in.)
I learned when I got to the stadium, though, that the bad-phrasing Mets had changed the gate opening time from 4:10 to 5:10 somewhere between me sleeping on a fleece and getting to the game, so I now had to wait for another hour, and it would also be another hour that I wouldn’t have inside the stadium I wasn’t worried about my streak because I would have 10+ innings with a dugout seat, but it was just annoying to know that I rushed to the game when I could have been relaxing on an actual bed for that extra hour. The Mets actually then changed that *while* I was waiting at the gate and made the new opening time 4:45. Unfortunately, when I got in, there was still a whole lot of nothing going on:
Since there was nothing of the players going on, I went and saw some other interesting things going on in the stadium:
The groundscrew put the thing that covers the tarp in the stands down the third base line.
Mets employees for whatever reason had a ladder going from the second to the third deck in left field.
The random “lucky seat”s that the Mets have throughout the stadium in section 123 was two seats from my ticketed seat in that section, which was seat 4 in that same row.
I quickly got bored with these things, so I took a peek inside the dugout:
When I didn’t see anything going on in there, I decided to take pictures of the top of the visitor’s dugout:
Like I said, I was bored.
At around 5:15, Ben arrived in the stadium, so I talked to him briefly but then quickly became designated bag carrier as he made several trips in and out of the stadium to get the extra bobbleheads. At the end of his many trips, he had a ton of bobbleheads. I think he said he had gotten ten by the time he was done. I mean here are just a little over half of the bobbleheads:
Normally Ben only gets two of a bobblehead; three if he really likes the player. But in this case, he came across some extra tickets that came without people wanting the bobblehead, so Ben ended up keeping seven of the ten bobbleheads for himself.
When it came time for the first game, here was my view of the action:
See the only kid in the picture on the seat all the way to the right? His name is Harrison, and he approached me during this game and asked me if I went for baseballs often. Through our talking, he remembered that he had actually first talked to me over a year ago at this game (I apologize in advance for the awful writing) and I remembered that he was the one who had taken the picture of me in my poncho outside the rotunda in the entry before this one. It turns out he is an autograph collector who has gotten 1,000+ autographs at games, and usually sits in the seats you see him in, which is how he has seen ballhawks a lot before. I ended up talking with him and some guys who arrived in the second game for the majority of the game.
In the first inning of the game (or the ninth inning, if you will) the Mets struck out to end the inning, and although I was on the outfield end of the dugout, the stands were empty enough for the resumption game that there was an empty row of seats that I managed to get to the home plate end of the dugout through, and so I got Brian McCann to toss me a ball. On my way back to my seat on the outfield end, I saw a kid with Braves gear, so I gave the ball to him.
When the first game ended, I stupidly forgot for a couple seconds that the umpires would be exiting the field, and this hesitation may have cost me a ball as I was out of position at the umpire tunnel and didn’t get a ball from the home plate umpire. The time between the games wasn’t all bad, though. It was in this time that I had pre-arranged a meet-up with fellow MLBlogger, Bryan Mapes of the popular blog, Three Up, Three Down. He was in the club level of Citi Field, but came down to meet me in the concourse of the field level:
Despite having conversed many times over Twitter and our respective blogs, this was the first time we had ever met in person. So there’s that.
I then headed back to my seat where I enjoyed the same view–except darker–for the rest of the night despite not snagging another ball:
And so that was it. The Mets lost both games, which made Bryan, a Braves fan, very happy, but I pretty much just sat, enjoyed the games, and got to cross another thing off my baseball bucket list. Even if I probably never would have thought to put this exact scenario on my bucket list ever.
The Mets even had the firework that were supposed to go off the previous day go off in honor of my 1-ball performance:
I would go back to the Bronx knowing that the next day would be just another day back at the ballpark, but with a lot more batting practice and ballhawks than I had been seeing the past two days. And I would have one mission: snag two baseballs to get to 100 all-time at Citi Field.
- 1 Ball at this game (not pictured because I gave it away
- Number 524 for my “career”
- 78 Balls in 18 Games= 4.33 Balls Per Game
- 1 Ball x 27,622 Fans= 27,622 Competition Factor
- 80 straight Games with at least 1 Ball
- 98 Balls in 37 Games at Citi Field= 2.69 Balls Per Game
- 37 straight Games with at least 1 Ball at Citi Field
- Time Spent On Game 12:02-11:49= 11 Hours 47 Minutes
Sorry it’s two days late– given October 13th was Observing Baseball’s two-year anniversary– (YouTube was giving me problems uploading it, FOUR TIMES) but this is a video tribute-type thing I did for two years of Observing Baseball. Feel free to pause the video to click the links below the video that I allude to in the video itself. The reason I wanted to celebrate this way is because I know a bunch of you have joined on in the past year. Also, sorry for the length. I prioritized having everything in there over making it watchable for people with ADD. Enjoy:
And one good thing about being two days late on this entry is I get to shoutout all of the cool people who wished me a happy birthday. Here are said cool people:
First of all, here, is the link to the final initial entry (just don’t think about that and click the link).
Predicted Record: 60-65 wins
Actual Record: 94- 68
I really have no clue as to how the Diamondbacks pulled off this season other than players on the team got better. The 2010 squad won a mere 65 games, and the team actually got worse through their offseason moves. None of the notable additions I have in the initial entry did anything for the team in 2011. Really it was just young players progressing. The biggest example would be Ian Kennedy. I saw him as a Yankee and knew he could be a really good pitcher, but to go from 9-10 with a 3.80 ERA to 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA is amazing.
That’s really it for the Diamondbacks. There are countless other cases of players that got better on the team, but it would take me forever to list them all.
Just a note on the “Offseason Recap and Preview” entries, I don’t know how soon I will start them. The source I used last year for the Notable additions and subtractions doesn’t have them for this year. Does anyone know a good place to find this information? Would MLB.com have it somewhere in their countless links? Once I get this information, I will begin immediately. Until then, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll show you what has been happening in my uneventful life this offseason. Regardless, I will try and find a source for these things ASAP. Maybe I’ll just use MLB Network’s information. The only little caveat with this is that I would have to watch it EVERY single day. There are worse things that could happen to me, but it would be mildly inconvenient to me.
Also, I am currently at 98 comments all-time. So if anyone comments on an entry and doesn’t get a response within a couple days,that is why. I don’t want to be the 100th comment, because I may do something (give away something) to the 100th commenter, and no, you can’t just comment twice to get the 100th comment. If someone does this accidentally, I will just go with the 101st comment. I’m completely sure if/what I would do for the 100th commenter, but I’ll see who it is, and I’ll use that as a starting point for what the prize is.
First off, here, is the link to the entry in question.
Predicted Record: 80-85 wins
Actual Record: 82-80
This another lucky shot. I *definitely* didn’t have Matt Kemp having a WAR of over 10 and Clayton Kershaw turning into a Cy Young pitcher. So, I was just lucky that the rest of the team regressed/ got injured enough to offset these two, and make my prediction true.
This just makes me wonder how bad the Dodgers would have been had Kemp and Kershaw laid a redux of their 2010 seasons. Eithier had a pretty good season, starting with that 30-something game hitting streak to begin the year.
So, to recap, I got this prediction, but it was pure luck that I did so.
First of all, here, is the initial entry.
This is another vlog entry, so here is the video:
First off, here, is the initial entry.
Predicted Record: 70-75 wins
Actual record: 71-91
I am actually very surprised I got this prediction right, because they did win 91 wins in 2010, and however valuable Adrain Gonzalez was to their offense, he is NOT worth 20 games. So, I actually think I made a bad prediction last offseason, because there is no way the Padres should have only won 71 games just because Gonzalez got traded. Only with the regression of the starting rotation (most notably Mat Latos) and the trading of Mike Adams could the Padres have lost so many wins.
I know I gave the Padres an F as a grade, and they lost plenty of players besides Gonzalez, but I didn’t make any mention of said players in the entry, and this leads me to believe that I didn’t take them into account as much as Gonzalez. Even so, I think the net loss of players only accounted for 15 wins. In which case, I should have made a prediction more in the 75-80 range. Anyway, I really can’t complain that I lucked out and my prediction came true. I don’t know how I got to this prediction, but…
First of all, here, is the initial link.
I actually vlogofied this entry. The video is below.
First off, here, is the link to the entry.
Predicted Record: 60-65 wins
Actual Record: 72-90
I guess all of those extra wins I had going for the Cubs actually went to the Pirates. Imagine if the Pirates had kept up their initial pace? They would probably be in the upper 80s. So really, the only explanation I have for the Pirates stepping up there game and coming within 10 games of .500 is their pitching was way above what the parts they brought in would have suggested. Heck, I didn’t even include the player that was arguably the Pirates’ MVP for the first half in Kevin Correia. He was acquired in the offseason, but I didn’t even think he was going to have THAT much of an impact.
Their offense was never really explosive, so when the pitching started to decline, the team started going in the wrong direction, because they weren’t scoring enough runs to come their deficits. However, they are, like the many years before that, a young team, and can always improve if they just KEEP THEIR PLAYERS. I don’t know how the Pirates plan to compete (well I don’t know if they actually have any desire to actually try and compete, but that’s a different discussion for a different time, which I alluded to in the Recap and preview entry) with them constantly trading away their young talent just when they are a bout to approach free agency.
That’s pretty much it…I don’t know how many ways I can say that the Pirates did better than I thought.
First of all, here, is the first entry.
Predicted Record: 77-82
Actual Record: 71-92
I really didn’t expect to get this prediction right. For whatever reason, the Cubs have always been a sort of an enigma to me. I can never really figure them out. I am an East coast guy,but I also like looking into the lower profile teams, and I guess the Cubs really fit into neither of these. For example, I never knew of Aramis Ramirez or Mark DeRosa until three years ago. I had absolutely no idea who they were.
I actually was pretty close given that my predicted record was predicated on the rotation returning to its predicted potential with Zambrano and Silva, neither of which lived anywhere near their expectations. Other than this, I can’t really say much. I didn’t go to a single Cubs game. I went to close to 50 games last year. So to say I didn’t see the Cubs at all is a bigger statement than it seems.
I guess that’s it…
First of all, here, is the initial entry.
Predicted Record: 60-65 wins
Actual Record: 56-106
I actually thought that I was being a little tough on the Astros when I predicted this record range. The Astros were just that horribly bad. Like I began the entry, I think that it was mostly, because the Astros lost their two faces of the franchise. Then during the season, they lost one of the two remaining faces of the franchise in Hunter Pence. Now who are the two big faces of the Astros? Carlos Lee, and Wandy Rodriguez. Not your ideal two.
The youth wasn’t really an advantage for them this year as there really didn’t seem to be enough leadership in the clubhouse, and the inexperience got the best of this team. Yes, they do have a very clean slate to work from with no long-term deals other than Carlos Lee existing, but they do have to get some players with which to win, but this is a conversation for another entry.
So, the Astros mediocrity came from them clearing too much house in 2010-11.