Friday, July 08, 2005

Batter Up

It's summertime here in Southern California. And with two local MLB franchises along with three others in-state, cable-TV with various sports networks, a Chicago network and another that tracks Atlanta there's always something on to indulge my obsession with this game. But there's seriously nothing like getting out to a see a game in person.

Angel Stadium in Anaheim is great. Having only ever been to games played in covered or retractable roof stadiums I was surprised by difference in the acoustics of this wide-open structure. There was a close play that resulted in an out in the bottom of the 9th and the sound of the crowd voicing their displeasure along the third-base side was surprising as the sound seemed to amplify like a giant bull-horn focused onto the field. From my perspective the sounds of the game and the crowd seemed to travel well with relatively little reflection from the architectural structure. They're also pretty light on playing canned-music through the PA system which makes for a better baseball experience in my opinion.

It was the Seattle Mariners versus the Los Angeles Angels as the "old" hometown team took on the "new." With the All-Star Bartolo Colon looking for his 12th win against Joel Pineiro seeking his first win since April it was surprising to watch the Mariners jump out to a big lead early. Colon was having an off night as he gave up several walks that ultimately allowed five runs to score in the first inning. Pineiro, on the other hand, had excellent location and gave up only six hits over the course of pitching a complete game. In the end it was Seattle 10, LA Angels 2 in a quick game that ran less than two and a half hours.

There's something satisfying about the clockwork precision of major league defensive plays as they get turned with 99% accuracy and the competitive hustle of running down foul balls. There was one broken bat ground-out that split the wood long-wise with a distinct sound that caught my ear. And the pop of a 94-mile-per-hour pitch landing in the catchers glove has its own resonant quality. I could get used to this kind of lazy, outdoor summertime scene.

No comments: