After watching Tuesday night’s exciting game where USA came from behind to beat
Venezuela Puerto Rico I decided I had to go to at least one game while I still had a chance. So Jbox and I headed down to watch Ichiro take on our Red neighbors to the south.
Every game on TV thus far has shown little if any crowd, so I knew getting tickets would not be a problem. I figured we could even scalp some real good seats for practically nothing. I was wrong. Jbox and I approached a few scalpers on the way to the outfield gates. We offered around 15 bucks for tickets, but no luck. I don’t get these guys, I even told one "Hey I can walk up to that ticket window right behind you and get tickets for 15 bucks. We’d be idiots to pay you more," I guess they were just waiting for some real suckers to come along. Not us I tell you, not us.
So Jbox and I got our $15 park passes and made our way down to Field Level. We strolled through a very ghostly stadium, filled with fog and a vast emptiness of seats. Good thing we had our thunder sticks brought to us by the good people of visitpuertorico.com to fight off Fidel’s spirit or whatever else might try and frighten us.
With all but a few hundred fans we decided on seats in row 2 next to the photographers box down the third base line. Not bad for 15 bucks…stupid scalpers. With the game about to start we were feeling really good about getting back to Petco. Even though I haven’t missed the Padres, I realized I had missed just going to a game.
After only the second batter of the game we had our first occurrence. Japan’s Nakajima shattered his bat while grounding out. I didn’t see the play because this big ol’ harpoon comes flying towards us and slams into the wall in front of the camera men. Ten more feet and one of us would have been dead.
Everyone around us gathered their cool and the seats around us started filling in with some of the greatest fans in the world. On our side of stadium it was mostly Japanese fans. It was a good thing I wore my M’s cap, everyone knew Jbox and I were Ichiro fans and not a bunch of "comunistas de mierda". A fan behind us was really giving it to Cuba’s third base coach all night long. Yelling and cussing at him, making fun of Castro, etc. I started feeling bad for the guy.
Anyway, the true real Japanese fans were great. I’m pretty sure a lot of them flew in for the games. Including the Ichiro party girls and some crazy wearing a goat’s head. They’re so passionate. I wish Padre fans could get this fired up. Jbox and I couldn’t help but get excited, we were high fiving everyone when Japan would score or Cuba would strike out and even when I caught a foul ball.
That’s right I caught me a foul ball. It was the bottom of third and Cuban DH Enriquez grounded a slow roller towards us. Nobody seemed interested in going after it so I jumped up, slid past Jbox leaned over the wall as far as I could without falling and grabbed it. I stood up, pumped my fist and started celebrating with my new friends. Everyone was excited, that is except one camera man.
Turns out as I was leaning over trying to balance on the top of the wall when my foot lightly grazed his back. Boy did he let me know about. At first I thought he was excited for me, then I realized this Japanese photographer was pretty pissed. He pointed to his back then my foot then gave me the thumbs down sign. I said I was sorry, but he gave me another thumbs down sign and went back to work. I mean you know disrespect dude, but seriously. I don’t know the protocol in the Tokyo Dome, but that’s just the way it works over here. Foul balls are like gold and casualties are bound to happen.
The game wore on and after 4.5 innings it was already 10 pm. These WBC games seem to take forever and it was getting cold. So Jbox and I decided to pack it up after the sixth and a commanding Japanese lead that eventually eliminated Cuba.
All in all, it was a great time and if you have the chance head out to tonight’s final game at Petco or drive on up to Dodger Stadium.