I elected not to go to last night’s game, as batting practice was rained out by storms rolling through around 4 PM.
Today was like the movie Groundhog Day, because at the same exact time, a quick thunderstorm popped up. It rained for about 10 minutes from 3:55-4:05, which was just enough for batting practice to get moved indoors.
I asked Jonathan Sanchez for a ball twice in the first 30 minutes, once in center field, and once by the bullpen. He ignored me both times.
I planned to ask a third time, but his side session went long, and at 5:30 I jogged over to the right field foul line to try to get a ball from a pitcher.
Ryan Vogelsong had finished throwing and was running sprints. I noticed a ball in his glove.
I waited patiently for him to finish, and when he did, I asked him for the ball, and he flipped it to me.
I also asked him to sign my ticket since there wasn’t much else going on:
A bit later I noticed virtually every fan in the stadium crowd along the right field line.
The Giants “rock stars” Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson and his beard were out throwing.
They didn’t even stop to sign autographs on their way back in.
As for the game, I spent most of it in the club level. I didn’t get any foul balls, but Buster Posey hit one three seats away from my seat in the 9th inning after I had left the club. I just stared dumbfounded at the club seats, it would’ve been such an easy catch. That’s the way it goes.
Here’s today’s baseball: #1200:
And the sweetspot:
Game: 1 ball (1 thrown)
Season: 78 balls (29 hit, 18 thrown, 21 device, 10 found)
Games: 12 games
Average: 6.50 balls per game
Career: 1,200 balls
Awful day today. I hate Sunday games. I shouldn’t have gone. The plan was to drive down, peek in through the gates and see if the cage was set up. If it was, I would go for BP. If it wasn’t, I would just leave, rather than running all over the stadium trying in desperation to get a ball.
The cage was set up. Nice!
I entered the park around 11:15 or so – the Riverwalk gates open at 11:00 AM on Sunday. All fans are confined to the outer open air concourse between right and center field for the first 30 minutes. At 11:30, fans are allowed into the seating bowl. It’s been that way every Sunday for the last three years.
So 11:30 rolled around, and no one from the security guard came to open the gate by the bullpen. It was already unlocked, so when 11:30 came, I followed two ballhawks into the seating bowl. Inexplicably, after about three minutes in left field, we were approached by two security guards. They told us we had to leave because the gates open at noon. We tried explaining that it was 11:30, and always had been, but he said, “No, they told us noon.”
As we were being ejected, one of the ballhawks managed to get a ball tossed by Ross Ohlendorf, and another ballhawk got a ball from John Grabow. I got nothing. I realized that I would miss most of BP, and was livid.
Today (Monday), I checked the Pirates website for the official policy on gate times:
Gee, all fans shall be admitted to the park 2 hours early on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). So, 1:30 minus two hours is…. 11:30!
What else would you expect from such an inept organization that hasn’t had a winning season in 17 years. ******* ridiculous! One season ticket holder who comes every Sunday was on the phone with his account rep. The account rep said that we should be allowed in at 11:30, and would call security to straighten it out, and then call back. The season ticket holder said he never got a call back from his rep. Figures.
The backhanded move had many fans speculating that the Pirates wanted to save having to pay all of the ushers, security guards, and concessions workers 30 minutes of pay – by having them begin a half hour later.
I spent the next 30 minutes out on the riverwalk in right field waiting for a possible home run ball that never came.
Luckily, Tim Lincecum threw a ball to the crowd gathered outside of the seating area.
Game: 1 ball (1 thrown)
Season: 235 balls (124 hit, 76 thrown, 35 device)
Games: 48 Games (5 didn’t have BP)
Average: 4.90 balls per game
Career: 401 balls