Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Finally Got to See George Pitch in Person!

I bet you didn't know that!


Yesterday, for the first time, I got to see George pitch in a game live and in person. Odd bit of trivia that I'm quite certain catches several folks who know me in the M's blog-o-sphere off guard. I'd told a few people, and I think I'd buried it in some deep comment threads somewhere, so maybe you did know that. Still, it must sound weird for those of you who know me as "The Free George Sherrill Guy" -- and it even surprised elsid when I'd mentioned it on the phone after the game. But, when your favorite player is a reliever (as opposed to a starter or even a regular position player), you don't have the luxury of knowing when the manager's going to call his name on the bullpen phone. I saw him warming up in Tacoma several times, but he never made it into the game. I hadn't been to Safeco for a game since last Opening Day, so I didn't get to see him after he'd been called up. I'm all over it when I hear the TV folks say he's coming in, but up until yesterday, I'd never seen him in person.

With that thought in mind, here's a few thoughts on Opening Day. Better late than never, I suppose. Even though I've just finished watching today's win over LALALAAAAAAA and my mind's swirling with thoughts on that awesome game, I do want to jot down a few things I noticed from Opening Day.

Rather than try and juggle everything I've been juggling lately, I decided to take the easier route and post my pictures of Opening Day before I took a stab at writing up my thoughts. Besides, I figured I needed them before I could post my thoughts. Thanks to Dr. Detecto for the shout out! And to all of you folks who've commented on SportSpot and LookoutLanding.

So, of course, pretty much all the folks in the M's blog-o-sphere who were at the game (or watched it on TV) have already posted their write ups of the game. You know the pulse of the season is ticking away when Jeff Sullivan's posted the WE Chart. Shame on you if you haven't read Deanna's Game Report. The USSM's most eminant writer (and even, in their own way, they'd admit it) Jeff Shaw wrote up a beautiful piece on his experience. If you don't have time to relive the play-by-play action on Gameday, you can get a quick recap over at Sports and Bremertonians.

Here are a few things I picked up on.
  • When he's healthy, Vlad Guerrero is one of the most fearsome hitters in baseball. He'll reach down and make a good pitch look awful (Granted, that sequence was shot in about 1.4 seconds, in 0.1 second captures -- in watching the replay of the pitch from the CF camera, it was a good pitch). Only way I see to get him out is to bust him waaaay outside a bit and then up and in around his chin. He's pretty good defensively, too.
  • Speaking of All-Star Right Fielders, Ichiro's socks look waaay cool:

    I was a bit worried, though, that George might trip over his pants:

  • Hargrove's making good on his thoughts of being aggressive on the basepaths. Perhaps that was exacerbated even more in tonight's game than the opener (i.e. with Richie getting thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, and Reed getting lucky making it all the way to third when Vlad had the ball in shallow right field), but we saw it right away when Lopez got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.
There's more that I want to discuss, and more photos and animations I'd like to use. But, alas, it's getting late, and I'm not getting much sleep anyway. The more sleep I get the better. I'll try and edit this tomorrow at some point.


At 4/05/2006 6:18 AM, Blogger Mike L said...

I love that Ichiro picture!


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