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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Guess Who's Playing in Syracuse

Ankiel in the on-deck circle

Ankiel at bat

Rick Ankiel is rehabbing with the Chiefs.

According to Wikipedia, Ankiel "is the first player since Babe Ruth to have won at least 10 games as a pitcher and also hit at least 50 home runs. Ankiel is also the only player other than Babe Ruth to both start a postseason game as a pitcher and hit a home run in the postseason as a position player."

He got on base and eventually scored the first two times he was at bat.

Ankiel heading to dugout after scoring his 1st run as a Chief.
  • Jeff Frazier - a wave & a smile
  • Michael Aubrey - ignored us
  • The Mystery Coach - we couldn't figure out who it was (he wore a jacket). We thought it was Corey Brown, but it wasn't.
JERSEY RAFFLE: Camo (Cam-meow) from Josh Wilkie. Anthony bought tickets because Sandee is a Josh Wilkie fan, but he didn't win. Sandee is consoling herself by reminding herself that it was a cam-meow jersey.


Official Chiefs Flip Flops. Does life get better than this?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home Again

I missed Saturday's double-header due to family celebrations, but I was back at the ballpark tonight. What a gorgeous night for a game. The early afternoon thunderstorms had me worried, but everything was wonderful come game time. Especially the win!

First Base Coach Cheer:
  • Michael Aubrey ignored us.
  • Tug Hulett waved back
  • so did Gregor Blanco
  • but not Jhonatan Solano (or as we said, Sola-NO!)
Scary moment of the game: when Chris Marrero fell rounding first.

Quote of the game: "That was a Lombardozzi Doozy."

Question of the game: Do you prefer the socks in or out? Indianapolis all wear theirs out, while most of the Chiefs wear theirs in. Michael Aubrey was the notable exception tonight.

They raffled off yet another camo jersey from last season. I've started meow-ing everytime someone wearing one walks by. You'd think they'd be out of the camo jerseys by now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rain, Rain: GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!

First Pitch: 7:40PM
As Mike (the Assistant GM of the Chiefs) and I discussed yesterday, it's astounding how the Chief's at-home schedule and the forecast for rain have been perfectly aligned so far this season, starting with Opening Day.

Yesterday's game against Rochester started late. This is the photo I texted to Sandee so she'd know she wasn't missing any action while driving to the stadium.

Rochester games are always fun. There's a crew of Rochester fans who show up in Syracuse for every game, and they always sit in the same seats, near us, so it's almost like they're part of the community we've created. Also, one of our favorite Chiefs from last year, Chase Lambin, plays for Rochester this year. Seeing him play 3rd base again is interesting.

Before last night's game, AXA gave away scholarships to graduating high school seniors. X-Chromo's friend was a recipient, and she was there to cheer him on.

And YAY on Seth Bynum being back in the line-up (at short stop).

First base coach cheer: Tug Hulett heard us yelling, seemed startled by it, found us in the stands and waved.

Oddity of the night: During the 2nd (and final) rain delay, I looked up toward the luxury boxes and saw bubbles drifting into the rain.

Scariest moment of the night: Third inning. Jeff Frazier at bat. He swings and misses the ball, but hits the catcher in the head with his bat. At least, that's what it looked like to us. I could be wrong. The catcher needed several moments to recover.

Best inning:  Why, the third, of course. Not because an opponent was hit in the head with a bat, but because the Chiefs scored 6 runs, making the score 8-1. And the bases were loaded, with two outs, when the game went into rain delay. It was eventually suspended. Today's scheduled game is already a double-header due to a rainout earlier in the season. Last night's fireworks were also rained out. Perhaps they'll be rescheduled for tonight. (I took a photo of Sandee and Anthony from the third base side of the concourse. They were in their seats, umbrella up, trying to wait out the rain. Unfortunately, the photo is too dark to share here.) August 26th will now be a double-header due to all the Syracuse-Rochester rain issues.

Good fun 1: Yolanda Vega from the NYS Lottery was on hand, and between innings, she and Dave Anthony threw balls into the stands. Description of a prize package was taped to each ball. I caught one. We won scratch off tickets . . . I want to say $50 worth, but I could be totally wrong on that. When all was said and done, we won $9.

New things at the stadium: Bright red banners behind the net, for the Home Plate Club seats. They look great. Also, it looks like the Chief's scored a new graphics package for the scoreboard. I saw some different things last night. Lookin' good, Chiefs!!

Good fun 2: Sandee gave me presents: A small plastic bat filled with candy that we use as noise makers when our team does something awesome (lots of use in the bottom of the 3rd last night!); incredibly awesome flip flops to wear to games (when it doesn't rain).

Sandee (and Anthony) are very clever!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mascots & Roster Update

Scooch 6.8.10
Pops 6.8.10

Just a couple of candids of Scooch and Pops.
Too crazed to post more.

Oh, some stuff I just found out:

Carlos Maldonado is on the
 7-day DL again.

Jhonatan Solano has been activated.

Chris McConnell is now in Harrisburg

Chad Gaudin is up from Hagerstown

2B Steve Lombadozzzi is up from Harrisburg.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MiLB All Star Voting

I've voted. Have you? There are only 4 days left. Rumor has it Michael Aubrey is in the lead for Internatioal League Designated Hitter.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small Things 1.0

Because this blog focuses on being at a ballgame instead of the ballgame itself, while the Chiefs are on the road we'll be posting about the little things we've noticed at the stadiums (yes, plural) over the years.

Sometimes children can be guest announcers for an inning or two. Several years ago, I heard my cousin's son, although I didn't know it until they thanked Nathan Compton after his shift. Didn't even know Kevin and family were at the park.

One night last week, the fans were treated to a good giggle when the young announcer told us Hay-HOOS Valdez was at bat. But no one corrected the kid, because in the next inning, he announced Hay-HOOS Flores was batting. It was so cute!

Little things add up to fun.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kelly Gruber

Former Syracuse Chief and Toronto Blue Jay great Kelly Gruber was at the stadium Tuesday night. Sandee and I debated having our photo taken with him, then decided to go for it for the blog. Here we are: Sandee on the left, Kelly in the middle, Molly on the right.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baseball, Romance, and Stadium Etiquette

Baseball and romance go hand-in-hand. Think Bull Durham, or to a lesser extent, The Natural. My first date with TV Stevie was a Columbus Clippers @ Syracuse Chiefs game back when the Clippers were still the Yankees' Triple A team and the games were played in MacArthur Stadium. A baseball game is much more conducive to getting acquainted with someone than a movie. You shouldn't converse during a movie. Baseball is made for talking.

So I'm not anti-romance at baseball games. However, there's a certain decorum that should be observed. Sandee mentioned a butt-pinch she saw the other night. You're in a stadium with hundreds, if not thousands of other people. Did you really think no one would see?

Then there's the story of the BIGS.  Ew.

When I arrived at the stadium, someone was sitting in Sandee's seats. We struck up a conversation, and I mentioned they were sitting in a season ticket holder's seat. They very nicely moved. A few minutes later, another couple arrived and sat on the opposite side of Sandee's seat. It very well could be that they bought those seats. I texted Sandee to warn her, though, because this couple was big. I mean, they couldn't-fit-in- the-seats big. When we're packed that closely together, it gets uncomfortable. While I was waiting for Sandee to arrive, I glanced over at the couple, and he was running his hand up the inside of her thigh. I mean, UP the INSIDE of her thigh. Ew! Ew! Ew!

People! Really!

So yes, be romantic at the stadium, but keep your hands to yourself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When the gang's all there

There is nothing like a night at the ball park enjoying the weather, the game and your baseball friends. If you haven't tried it, you are missing out!

I have to say that once I pass through the stadium gates, all the baggage of the day just literally dissolves. From hearing "Programs!" to the smell of hotdogs to the anticipation of the next base hit or home run - these are only some of the things that make me want to go there night after night.

It's almost sad when a homestand comes to an end and you know that now you'll have to listen to the game on the radio if you want to know what's going on. The good thing about that is that the radio announcer gives you some "insider" information on the players. I still really prefer to be there in person, though it's hard to stay on top of things at home when you work all day and spend the night at the stadium. (Well, until Mr. Stoic kicks us out, that is). So be it! I'm a season ticket holder and happy to be!!

Molly and I have the same sense of humor and we love to cheer, cheer, cheer for the Chiefs - there is NEVER a dull moment at the games. Sometimes, we see things that we don't expect to see and I'm thinking we could start sending forwards with pictures that would be equal or better than anything you might see at Walmart ;) Papertowel Head (see Molly's pictures) received a pretty good butt pinch from the guy she was sitting next to during the National Anthem. Quite amusing to witness, I might add. I'll have to let Molly tell the story about the "BIGS" who were sitting next to me the night any rate, in between cheers there is fun, fun, fun for the fans - especially the ones in Section 207!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday with Scranton Wilkes-Barre

Another perfect-weather night at the stadium and another loss for the Chiefs. The infield didn't seem to be into the game tonight.

First base coach cheer: Tonight we played "Guess the First Base Coach" because they both wore jackets without numbers. We're pretty sure the two were Matt Antonelli and Corey Brown, but neither one of them would acknowledge us. We are devastated.

Oddity of the Night:

Yup. That's a paper towel from the restroom.
 It gets odder.
Uh-huh. Sticky notes on the forehead.
It was too quiet at the stadium tonight. Depressing. Which is probably why the team seemed very lackluster. Except, of course, for Gregor Blanco's home run and Jesus Valdez in right field.

Former Chief Kelly Gruber was on hand, so Sandee and I had our photo taken with him, which we'll post here later. Our conversation with him left much to be desired.

Now the Chiefs will be off or on the road until June 24th. Time for Sandee and me to catch up on the minutae of our lives.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Musing

Another beautiful night at the ballpark. Chiefs lost. For a while, it looked as if the team would rally, but no such luck.

First base coach cheer: Jeff Frazier gave us a big smile and wave. YAY Jeff!

The Maven told us that yesterday's game is the best Chiefs game he's ever seen. He's been going to Chiefs games for 51 years. The most memorable game was a playoff game in 1969, but yesterday's game was the best.

Ballpark oddity: There's a man who walks by us during every game and flips the Maven a piece of candy.

Li'l Fox was out and about in his uniform toight. I didn't get a chance to snap a photo when he walked past me, but I did get one of him with the rest of his family. He's such a cutie!

Adam Fox's son in his Chiefs Uniform
 Dave Anthony, who does a lot of the in-game contest announcing, was in rare form tonight. When it came time for the NY Lotto contest, Dave had a lot of fun. The contestant's surname was Palin, so Dave introduced him as Sarah Palin's 1st husband. Then he asked him to sing the Powerball Theme Song. Too funny! Dave gave me permission to make up anything about him that I want to. Bwahahahaha.

On a final note, my friend Ellen Hartman's new book (MARRIED BY JUNE) is on sale now. I started reading it this morning, and came across the following sentence:

"So far, he'd read the Stations of the Cross, lit a candle for his grandmother, said a prayer that the Nationals would find a starting pitcher and, if it wasn't too much, a center fielder who could both catch and hit."

So I e-mailed her.

I started MARRIED BY JUNE before coming to work this morning. So far I'm loving
it, except the part where the hero is praying for a starting pitcher for the
Washington Nationals.
CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I know, I know, that's what the farm system is for).

Her response:

I didn't realize that was the farm team. I had to look up team lore about the Nationals because I didn't know who their rivals were or what the tenor of the hometown fan relationship was. I'd have worked in a Syracuse plug if I'd realized.
Ellen, Ellen, Ellen. I could have told you anything you want to know!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Afternoon With the (SWB) Yankees

Another very competitive game, although the Chiefs weren't able to pull off this one. It was an exciting 9th inning, tying run on base, winning run at the plate. Great baseball.

The First Base Coach Cheer:
  • Adam Fox -- a little wave
  • Tug Hulett -- a smile
  • Jesus Flores -- talking to players in the vistors dugout
Oddities of the Day:
  • the woman walking by us with a tray filled with condiments. Nothing else. Just ketchup & mustard.
  • Pena (Hassan) pitching against Pena (Ramiro), followed a couple of innings later by Flores (Randy) pitching against Flores (Jesus).  (Maven called out, "Come on Pena!", so I asked him, "Which one?")
  • Cheering when the 1st base coach and the batter have the same first name: Chris Marrero and Chris McConnell (last night); Jesus Valdez and Jesus Flores (today).
Annoyance of the Day:
  • The Ballot box for the voting for the Player of the Game was gone when Anthony went to cast our votes, around the seventh or eighth inning. A friend of ours asked, "What if someone who wasn't in the starting line up comes in and hits a grand slam to win the game?" A very good question! And the scenario came true -- okay, no grand slam, but still -- in the ninth inning. Tug Hulett and Jesus Flores, neither of whom were in the starting line ups, came in during the ninth and made signficant contributions to the game. But could we vote for them as Player of the Game? Nope.
Pleasant surprise:
  • Carlos Maldando played today. Go Carlos!

Carlos at bat

Carlos Maldonado ready for 1st game pitch

"Grizz" from 30 Rock was on hand for the National Kidney Foundation.
"Grizz" throws out first pitch
Kei Igawa was the Yankees' starting pitcher. When his name was announced, there was a collective gasp throughout the stadium.
Kei Igawa

For the third game in a row, the Chiefs are raffling off a jersey from last year's Armed Forces Day. While I am all in favor of US Armed Forces, I don't like the jersey. I've been trying for two season to win a pink one (Breast Cancer Awareness). It seems like they have a lot of Armed Forces ones. (This year's Armed Forces jersey is also the Memorial Day and Independence Day jersey, and is much nicer than last year, altho' TV claims it looks like an Astros jersey).

Camo or used cat litter?

Two former co-workers have told me that they're reading this blog! YaY Kevin and "Flanders"!

The Yankees Are In Town

The Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees, that is.

Yesterday also turned out to be Longhouse Council BSA Night (among other promotions), so there were lots of people at the game. I was nearly T-boned trying to get to the parking lot because people were running the stop sign and not yielding right-of-way. I stopped my car and told the other driver that the stop sign meant she had to stop. Sheesh!

And people were, as usual, sitting wherever they wanted, regardless of the ticket they held. The Usher told several people to move out of reserve seats, but they wouldn't leave. Then when the season-ticket holder arrived, they merely moved over a couple of seats. I was telling Anthony the story and the two girls must have heard me because they spent a couple of innings glaring at me. I, of course, glared back. Then it started raining a little, and they left. Fair-weather fans. I have no use for them.

Enough complaining.

Okay, it rained for a couple of innings, but it was still a great night for a ball game. Ryan Zimmerman, 3rd baseman for the Washington Nationals, made his Syracuse Chiefs debut. He's down for rehab. He looked pretty darn good to me.
Ryan Zimmerman at bat

Ryan Zimmerman playing third

Ryan Zimmerman at first
Maybe some of the many fans were there to see Ryan.

The first base coaches for the night were Adam Fox, Chris McConnell, and Gregor Blanco.

Adam gave us a huge wave and grin.
Chris probably couldn't hear us.
Gregor heard us, but didn't realize he was supposed to smile and wave back at us. Next time, Gregor!

The oddity of the night: someone in the upper deck was blowing bubbles, which drifted over the stadium.

After the game, I spied a very short person in a Chiefs uniform in the dugout. So I hung out a few extra minutes, and sure enough, Adam Fox and his son emerged from the dugout to take batting practice. The Little Fox was wearing a pint-sized Chiefs uniform with his dad's number. It was so cute! And kudos to Adam for being a great Dad.

Fox Jr. & Sr. heading out to left field for batting practice

In their Chiefs uniforms
Batter up!
"Dad! Give me one over the plate!"
"Wild pitch!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Barking Gulls and Loons

I missed my first game of the season on Thursday. Education day. I'd thought about trading in my coupon for a ticket and taking the time off from work, but I had a lot going on this week during regular working hours and couldn't justify -- to myself -- more time off.

And I was late to Friday night's game. Not as late as I'd been the rest of the week, but late enough to miss Chris Marrero's 3-run homer. Sandee texted me about it as TV was parking the car. Then I ran into Suspect on my way to Section 207, and he told me all about it.

Chris: I'm sorry I missed it!

1st base coach waves for Friday, June 10: Adam Fox and Jesus Valdez!

One thing Sandee and I noticed the other night, and commented on it again last night: whoever was umping behind home plate sounded like a barking gull every time he called a strike. Even TV said something about it. But even more disconcerting was the person making loon calls somewhere in section 209. I mean, I felt like I was in ON GOLDEN POND or something. I was at a baseball game, not some lake resort in the Adirondacks.

Even though the Chiefs lost, they play a very competitive game against the Louisville Bats last night. It was a good game.  Now bring on the SWB Yankees!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

They're Baaack!

The Chiefs are home again!  Not that I've been able to catch very much of their play. I had to do something with TV Stevie on Tuesday night, so we didn't get to the stadium until the top of the 8th inning. And tonight (Wednesday) I had a meeting that ran until about 8:15, and the game was in the middle of the 7th by the time I arrived. But the Chiefs won tonight, and against Louisville, too.

As late as I was, I still beat Sandee to ballpark. We yelled to first base coach Jeff Frazier and got a wave from him. And as late as Sandee was, she arrived before Suspect.

After the game, we noticed a young boy running the bases. Turns out it was Adam Fox's son. We watched Adam and his son play out in left field. I grabbed my camera, but the batteries were dead, so I used my cellphone instead to capture the moment.
It was one of those moments that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. We could have stayed at the stadium all night, watching, but they wanted to lock up and go home, so we had to leave, too.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On the Road in Louisville

Sandee and her husband Anthony were visiting family in Louisville and went to see the Chiefs play the Bats every night they were there. I listened to the games on the radio when I could. On Wednesday night, the announcer spotted Anthony in the crowd. "There's a man in a Chiefs hat here," he said, sounding completely amazed. "All the way from Syracuse to Louisville. Maybe we can catch up with him later."

I texted Sandee and asked if they were sitting near the announce booth. She confirmed it, then later told me she'd waved to the announcer. I listened, but I never heard "the man in the Chiefs hat" mentioned again.

The Chiefs haven't won since Sandee took off for Louisville. Maybe when she and the Chiefs finally get home, and we're all in the ballpark together again, Sandee and I can cheer the Chiefs to victory!

Good news: Carlos Maldonado has been activated from the 7-day DL. Go Carlos!