Well, that one didn’t go too well, did it? Took all of five minutes for the first boos to appear at the Ballpark this year. By the third or fourth inning, that’s all there was. Every time the Rangers got a rally going (and when I say every, I don’t mean to imply there were many of them) someone came along to snuff it out. On the other side, every time the Rangers got a rally going, there was a pitcher there to make sure that Baltimore wouldn’t have any trouble.
A sell-out for Opening Day, but in the eighth inning we estimated that about a third of the crowd was still there, those of us masochists who like to hang around for the bitter end. Tomorrow night I’m guessing there’ll be about 30,000 there, if that, and even that will shrink if the weather doesn’t cooperate, like the weatherman say it won’t. As I write we’re going through thunderstorms, which were predicted for this afternoon but held off until late in the evening. Tomorrow they’re supposed to be earlier in the day, so ballgame time.
Not that there’s much likelihood of any kind of thunder happening in Arlington. It very much surprised me to see we had nine hits today, I would have guessed at about four. Once again the offense was lackadaisacal. They noted on tv tonight that the Rangers have alternated wins and losses every game so far, so tomorrow we’re due to win, but sooner or later that offense will catch up. Michael Young is flailing around like he is Richie Sexson.
The Rangers are 4-7 in the home openers I have attended. They started off 2-2, then have slumped to 2-5, which is pretty much indicative of how the team has performed over the years.
In the second inning, with a runner on first, a ball was hit down to Ben Broussard, he fielded it, stepped on first, then turned and tossed it to the pitcher. I couldn’t help comparing that to Teixeira, who every time he got a ball he was always spinning around to check where the runners were, to make sure they weren’t trying to get an extra base on him. He’d always take a couple of steps towards the runner, too, just in case. I guess that’s the difference between a gold glover and a run of the mill first baseman.
We sat behind a couple with a baby today, the mother said it was one month and two days old. Josh’s birthday is September 30, so he was six months old before he got to go to his first Opening Day (today was his fourth). But yeah, I would have taken him at one month, too. I was a little worried for them when the flyover was about to happen, because of the noise, but I was surprised that it wasn’t that loud this year, it was probably the quietest flyover ever. Suggestion was that there was only one, but I can’t imagine two made that big a difference.
Tom Hicks says that traffic is going to get worse around the ballpark over the next few years, as they do a lot of construction. I have to say that it wasn’t too bad getting in today, in fact it was easier getting in than out. We got there pretty early though, driving in around 11am. Note to Hicks: quit worrying about the traffic. We know you have your limos and helicopters, you don’t have to deal with it like we do, so don’t pretend you care about it. We’ll be happier if you pretend to care about getting some pitching. PS: Liverpool sucks. And they hate you.
Umpire watch: credit again, after calling a home run, they talked about it and changed the call to a ground rule double. I haven’t seen it anywhere, so I’m not sure, but I never thought it was a home run when I saw it at the game (I was on the third level, first base side). What I said at the time, as they took about five minutes to talk about it and explain it to both sides, was that if they’d watched a replay on tv they would have taken 30 seconds and actually been sure they got it right. Still, at least they talked about it, instead of ejecting someone for arguing. The interesting part was that Washington and Byrd ran to argue with the first base umpire, who stood there talking to them. The second base umpire came halfway to first, and obviously had something to say about it, but in the bizarro world of umpires, he’s not allowed to say what he actually saw unless the other umpire asks him first. Transparency and common sense, that’s all we ask for.
Couldn’t even get Jason Botts into the game in the 9th inning, down by seven? Count the days until he is out of here, sent to a team that will use him and discover the next Travis Hafner. Those days will also be counting the Mench arrival.
Finally, a big thank you to a fan who gave my son a ball today. We were walking through the concourse just after noon, and he stopped us and handed Josh a ball, and said that Aubrey Huff had just hit it for a home run in batting practice. How believable is that? It’s a white ball, slightly scuffed, so I have no reason to doubt it. Either way, Josh enjoyed playing with it during the game and at home tonight, so whoever you were, thank you very much.