I knew I was going to head out to one of the Angel games against the Tigers this week. I randomly chose Tuesday’s game. As it turns out, the weather was not a friend to me on this day. This will be a pretty quick entry because not a lot happened.
I left in plenty of time to get to the stadium before it opened. As I was driving along the freeway it started to rain. Ridiculous. Then the rain let up… then, as I got of the freeway it picked up again. Ugh.
I parked and walked up to the outfield tunnel to peer in at the field. I was disappointed to see the tarp out on the field. I headed up to the Home Plate Gate anyway. At about 5:00 the rain had lessened again but I just knew there wouldn’t be batting practice. I called Michelle, who had planned on meeting me at the game, and she decided to just go home… she told me if the weather got better she might drive out to meet me later. I considered just calling it a night right then (I thought about my streak–I’d snagged at least one baseball at 43 consecutive games).
I ended up heading inside–grabbing my giveaway item (an Angels wall calendar) as I went. I ran toward the first base side and out onto the field level. Cue the sad trombone. No BP. I did see a few Angels throwing over near left field–so away I went.
Rodney almost threw one over the center field fence.
When they finished, Rodney threw his ball to a little kid (who already had a ball given to him by Scot Shields as he passed by). The mystery player still had a baseball in his pocket. I took a wild shot as he moved the ball from his pocket to his glove as he walked away toward the dugout…
“Rodriguez! Aqui, por favor!”
Now, let me just say that the player looked to be Hispanic. Also, according to my roster the Angels have three players with the surname Rodriguez on their forty-man roster… all pitchers. The player turned, saw my glove up in the air, and tossed the ball over a few rows of fans and to me. I bobbled it–but held on and, just like that, my streak was at forty-four. After checking photos at home I confirmed that it was Francisco Rodriguez who threw it to me. Not the one who used to be an Angel and is now a Met… a different Francisco Rodriguez. He has since been reassigned.
I walked over to the bullpen. Mike Butcher was heading toward the dugout and the rain had continued… I asked if they were going to play if this kept up and he assured me they would. After that… nothing happened. For a while. Seriously.
Here it is from the first base side:
Around 5:45 the grounds crew felt the weather was good enough to take the tarp off the infield. They were right to do so, it wouldn’t rain for the rest of the night.
They did a good job:
And finally, a couple of Tigers came out to throw. By this point I had decided that I would just head home before the game started (due to traffic, the weather, and wanting to watch LOST). I watched Ryan Perry and Joel Zumaya throw. I stood behind Perry for a few minutes as Zumaya pitched fireballs to him. Yikes!
And they put on their own long toss show.
I ended up getting both of their autographs on ticket stubs, and Phil Coke signed a baseball for me, too.
Three autos, one baseball, a free drink, and a calendar. A quick night.