Hey -- LOOK! He CAN Bend His Brim!!!
This might very well be the first photo of George in an Orioles' uniform with his brim bent! Yeah, I know, it's only a spring training/batting practice cap, but hey -- it's a start.
I had the time of my life at the game. It was definitely bittersweet for me going to the enemy bullpen and seeing a friend. Thanks to the awesomeness of George Sherrill (and, of course, Sid too), I got to sit 22 rows up from home plate for his return to Safeco Field. I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- my fandom of George goes well beyond his status as a Mariner player (of course, now being a former Mariner).
It was an awesome game -- Guthrie matched Felix pretty well, and I was very very surprised to see Trembley leave him in there after 100 pitches. I turned to a family friend of the Sherrills (with whom I had the pleasure of spending most of the pre-game with, to which and gave a guided tour of Safeco) and said "Here comes Walker to face Ibanez -- he's terrible against lefties!"
Well, the decision to leave Guthrie in to intentionally walk Ibanez came back to haunt Trembley -- after walking Beltre to load the bases, I was the lone voice in a sea of Orioles friends and family members (okay, there were some M's fans to the side of me -- but I was sitting in the O's players' seats) chanting "Fra-ank Tho-mas (clap clap, clapclapclap)!" when Vidro came to the plate (in the spirit of good ol' Lookout Landing mockery).
Needless to say, I was quite happy that the M's didn't have to face George tonight in my presence. After all -- my cell phone LCD display got smashed somewhere along the way tonight, and I could barely dial Sid's number a few innings earlier. It would've been tough to try and put the "Hey -- don't call Sid when George is pitching" jinx, whether or not my cell phone actually was working.
And this night was even made more awesome by the fact that I was able to take my son along with me and share a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was fun for him being able to talk to George in the 'pen, I'm sure, and getting to hang out with one of Brian Roberts' relatives (a 4-year-old close enough to his age -- the only kid I've met that actually could keep up with my son's energy level and not be put off by his crazy silliness).
I heard in the post-game show that Felix had caught that nasty bug going around the clubhouse (and, well, my house, too). He got off to a slow start, but found the strike zone and while not nearly at full kingly strength. It was good enough and -- like Bedard's Opening Day start -- he showed his aceness by being able to pitch through adversity when he didn't have his greatest stuff.
I sure felt like a king being there...
Jeez. It's late. I'll have many more pictures in the coming days. I may not ever get to experience a baseball game like that one again. What a night!