Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I've been wondering what to do with the usual two days off in a row that I get, and on Tuesday night I decided to go watch the Braves-Rangers game, the most exciting game I've seen since my first ever ballgame. In that, at Fulton-County Stadium way back in 1987 I saw the Braves beat the Cubs on a bottom-of-the-ninth homer by Ted Simmons. In this game, I saw the Rangers take a 4-0 lead and then watch the subsequent comeback, and then another horrible outing by Roberto Hernandez that gave the lead back to the Rangers at 5-4. Before I go into the Andruw heroics, there were many cool things in this game: Alex Rodriguez made a great play on a grounder where he stopped the ball and pushed it over to second base to get a force; an errant throw by Rafael Furcal that Robert Fick tried to turn into a tag on ARod at first base turned into a small argument that led Bobby Cox out to argue. I was hoping the sparks would fly, but it was fairly minor, yet Fick still argued with the 1st base umpire after the next out was recorded and ARod was on 2nd--it would have been cool to see someone kicked out. I saw Rafael Furcal's 100th stolen base. Now on to the bottom of the 8th where Chipper Jones walks and gets moved over to second on a Fick grounder. Castilla grounds out and leaves Chipper at 2nd, and who should be pinch hitting for Darren Bragg (who struck out 3 times and looked totally feeble except for a home-run distance foul ball) but Andruw Jones. Now, I thought this was great that he'd be pinch-hitting but I thought there was no way, no way, he'd get a pitch to hit, they'd walk him, and they'd take their chances with Henry Blanco. But they pitched to him, and Andruw looked like a guy who was hurt, got a quick 0-2 count from Ugueth Urbina, when all of the sudden SMACK--everyone knew it was gone. I hadn't seen Atlanta this excited about a game in awhile. Smoltz pitched for the save and it was scary but he got it done, with Ruben Sierra hitting a ball with two men on that went to the warning track and ended the game. I was sitting field level to the right of the first base dugout, and needless to say it was one of the best seats I've ever had. The difference between these seats and the behind-the-plate seats at the NLCS is that it is easier to see the trajectory of a fly ball and decide whether it's going to carry or not. The best and worst thing about Atlanta is that you can buy these tickets easily--in fact I could have bought behind-the-plate seats for this one.

I heard the news of Sosa at the game of course. Funny, I very nearly went to that game--but you know what? After the Sosa business that game was very boring, and it's the Devil Rays too. As for Sosa, I'm waiting for the verdict on his other bats. I wonder if he was using such a bat at the home run hitting contest in Atlanta where he was hitting balls into the upper deck--no small feat.

Mike--surely you're going to see the Reds play the Yankees, if you haven't already.


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