Monday, July 11, 2005

Play Ball

Another picture perfect day in LA and the lure of the ball game (not to mention some fantastic seats.... these past two games have been viewed from some enviable angles and many thanks are due for getting HurdAudio out into the sun to indulge my baseball obsession).

The Angels present well. There's a proud team history and the fans are baseball smart and engaged with the game. This time I was positioned at field level close to home plate where the sound of the crowd seems to cascade down from behind and to my right. And the "pop" of the ball hitting leather was deliciously audible from the field. In a crucial game moment when the Angels seemed poise to mount a comeback with the bases loaded and the incredible Vladimir Guerrero at the plate (last year's AL MVP and a hitting talent I admire a great deal) the intensity and sound of the crowd and game was amazing. One seeks to be at games for moments like those. I can only imagine what would've been uncorked if the outcome of that at-bat had delivered what the home crowd was clamoring for.
The outcome of the game (SEA 7, LAA 4) was another win for the former "home" team as the last-place Seattle Mariners completed a four game sweep on the road against the first-place team. It was an odd display of offense from a lineup that has struggled all year long complete with a home-run from the .150-hitting catcher (his third of the season). These teams both have some impressive talent on the field though I'd have to give the long-term season edge to the "new" home team Angels with their consistent and proven coach and a hitting lineup that produces from top to bottom. Being a recent transplant it was nice to see Seattle take some wins, but I really expect to see Los Angeles in the playoffs when all is said and done. And I sense my AL West allegiance is shifting.

This particular matchup affords the opportunity to take in the artful hitting craft of Ichiro and Guerrero as well as two of my favorite relief pitchers: Francisco Rodriguez and Eddie Guardado who are admirable talents no matter who they are playing for. The thrill of seeing them up close at the field like this is in viewing all the recognizable movements from broadcasts up close and in full daylight. Not to mention the better-than-5.1 surround sound of physically being at the venue.

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