By the time the first base umpire ran across the field to avoid the spray from the sprinklers, which had suddenly come on in the 8th inning, I was pretty much in an independent baseball league state of mind. And that's only part of what we did Friday night.
I guess they came on at just the right time. The SurfDawgs were losing and when two hundred and some odd people get quiet, it gets really quiet. I mean, not even crickets. It was quiet to the point that you don't want to talk because you know the guy in left field will hear you even though your sitting along the right field line. It was Silence with the capital S. The sprinklers woke everybody up nicely. Who doesn't like seeing an umpire ducking out of the way of a spray of water? Answer: nobody. I think that's the answer... Nobody doesn't like seeing that...
The night started with the wireless microphone struggling as the national anthem was being sung. The young lady singing performed admirably considering the speakers would cut in and out. She even finished it off by belting out the final verse, Mariah style. It was good. The microphone continued having problems throughout the night before they finally just gave up on having anybody speak from the field. They played a bunch of your standard slapsticky games between innings like bat spin races, musical chairs and dance contests. All the while, the mascot, a huge dog named Southpaw, kept running into things, interfering with the between innings antics. Whenever he would, I'd yell, "Southpaw, you stupid dog!" High comedy to be sure.
There was something a little off about Southpaw. I'm pretty sure Southpaw's a boy dog, but he was trotting around a little limp in the paws. During his race with a little kid around the bases, he lost the lead because he got distracted by the third baseman and had to give him a hug. A little too friendly of a hug, if you ask me. Anyways...
The game itself was relatively uneventful except for a couple of great defensive stops by the SurfDawgs third baseman (#11 Montague, though the roster lists him as an outfielder). Oh and the fact that the Long Beach Armada has a clinical giant playing first base was also interesting. I wish I had photos. He's listed at 6'9", though I'd swear on my Tony Gwynn Russian nesting dolls that he was closer to 7' even. He looked like he was about two feet taller than Rickey.
Speaking of Rickey, he went 0-2 with 2BB, a run and a dropped fly ball in foul territory. Not a great day, but it was just nice seeing the Man of Steal out there.
After the game, I bought a fitted cap and a visor for wifey. We'll probably hit another game or two this season, but in the interest of full disclosure, I thought the pricing might have been a tad high. I believe hot dogs were on the order of $3.50 apiece. You could get a steak sandwich for about $4. Scorecards were $2. I'm not sure how much nachos and peanuts were. If I were running the show, I would have charged about a dollar less for everything across the board. It was a better deal than a movie though and you can't complain about the sight lines. Once the season gets going a little bit and the players (besides Rickey) start becoming a little more recognizable, I'm sure they'll start drawing more.
As long as they don't work out too many of the kinks. The kinks are part of the fun.